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hardware, and are often used as benchmarks for measuring personal computer performance.

Computing

Game-related advances in computing, especially parallel computing, include the Cell processor in the PlayStation 3, a microprocessor that consists of one general-purpose CPU and eight coprocessors to handle streaming computation like that often found in interactive applications. Another example is “cloud gaming.” Companies such as OnLive and Gaikai have demonstrated that high-performance gaming is possible using only a thin client by streaming output (effectively a movie) from a powerful server in the cloud. These companies are raising the bar for the types of applications that can be moved to the cloud.

Display

One of the Nintendo 3DS screens uses parallax-barrier technology to present a different image to the left and right eye, effectively creating a 3D image with no need for glasses. The 3DS also includes a slider that lets the player control the strength of the 3D. The PlayStation 3D monitor uses fairly standard LCD shutter glasses to achieve 3D, but it also uses this technology for an innovative “dual view” mode in which two players see different 2D images. In the near future, low-cost head-mounted displays (HMDs) will provide an immersive 3D experience that updates the image seen based on the player’s head motion.

Input

Recently, video games have pushed the boundaries of input technology beyond the joystick, gamepad, keyboard, and mouse. A primary reason for this innovation is that earlier advances in graphics and display technology (output) greatly outpaced those in interface technology (input), creating an unbalanced user experience.

Several key technologies for input have enabled the revolution in interfaces. The commercialization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has made possible small, low-cost sensors such as accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers, and pressure and temperature sensors. In conjunction with wireless, high-speed, low-cost, low-power, low-encumbrance digital communication, these microsensors can be used to collect a wide assortment of data for processing. And finally, digital video cameras have become viable as low-cost input devices that (when combined with ever-growing processing capabilities) can provide real-time information about how players are moving their bodies.

Peripherals that use these technologies in various combinations have changed the way video games can be played. The EyeToy digital video camera for



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