IBM, Startup Launch Massive 'Grid' for Online Gaming

A start-up, Butterfly.net Inc., and computing giant IBM IBM.N , have created a global network for online video games capable of supporting a million players or more that will be rented to major game publishers, the companies said on Thursday.

The "Butterfly Grid" will also be one of the first major commercial applications for IBM's concept of "grid computing," in which far-flung computers are linked using open-source software to create powerful computing networks, IBM said.

The Internet already exists as a platform for interactive games, but the costs of developing for the Web are high and games can be interrupted by glitches in Internet traffic.

Currently, most massively-multiplayer online games can support multiple users in the hundreds of thousands, but Penberthy said accommodating millions of simultaneous users was possible if games were built correctly.

He also said those users will experience more reliability in their games and smoother game-play.

"I think what they'll see is a lot of the 'jitter' go away," Penberthy said.

News source: Reuters

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