Highlights from the Game Developer’s Conference 2010

The 2010 Game Developer’s Conference in sunny San Francisco has just finished, with a record-breaking 18,250 attendees from the gaming industry. GDC isn’t the place you tend to see big new games announced, but sometimes you do get a glimpse into the technology of titles yet to be revealed.

Too much goes on at a conference of this size to recap it all, and a lot of it is pretty special interest, so we’ve picked out a few of the most interesting tidbits that emerged from the developer hive mind.

Sony’s Playstation Move

Sony finally announced the name of its motion controller as ‘Playstation Move’ at GDC, and showed off some of the games in develop. We’ve got a full article about Move here, so mosey over for more details.

Cloud gaming

OnLive and Gaikai both want to power gaming on their end and then deliver it you live over the internet. All you need is a computer/set-top box capable of showing some video. Whether these services really will be able to deliver a good gaming experience with barely any hardware use on your end remains to be seen, but the fact they’re both planned for launch this year and turned up to GDC bodes well.

Unreal Engine

Epic Games still hasn’t announced a new Gears of War game, but as the GDC crowd was shown a jungle scene with a Brumak stomping through it to show off new features of the Unreal Engine, it’s probably fair to say GoW3 is coming. Also, Epic was very pleased to show Unreal Engine 3 running on the iPhone 3GS. It wasn’t quite comparable to PC versions, but opens up possibilities for more accomplished graphics on the iPhone and iPad. Oh, and there’s a 3D version of UE3 coming too.

Virtusphere

Yes, this really is a virtual reality sphere. Virtusphere makes them for the military, but there’s obvious gaming uses here, hence the appearance at GDC. Strap on the virtual reality helmet and just walk forward to walk forward. Turn quickly to turn. Interact thanks to special equipment. Okay, this would take up a whole room of your house, and would get pretty expensive for multiplayer, but if this isn’t the ultimate gaming experience then I’ll eat my virtual reality visor. Just as long as I don’t get out of it after four years and discover that my real name is Dwayne Dibley.

Bonus rumor! Nintendo DS2?

Rpad.tv were determined to dig up info on a new Nintendo handheld at GDC so they set about doing just that. They discovered that it would have two screens again, but with barely any separation, so they could act as one if the developer was so inclined. It would have roughly the power of a GameCube thanks, possibly, to Nvidia’s Tegra chip. It will have an accelerometer, bringing it into line with the Wii and the iPhone. It might be due late this year, with an unveiling at E3 in June. Or maybe random devs told the Rpad guys this stuff just to get rid of them. Who knows?

UPDATED:
Nintendo has announced the successor to the DS will be the 3DS. Details are scarce, but it’ll have 3D screens without the need for glasses and will be backwards compatible. We’ll have more information at E3 in June.