Gaming Technologies & PLM? Part 2

Hello! First of all, thanks for your comments on my previous post!

I spoke earlier this week about the transition from product centric to experience centric design. Let me now address the tools and technologies part. I think gaming technologies can be used in PLM.

The example of the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue screenshot confirms that the caviar for real-time 3D rendering quality is today (and will be tomorrow) found in video games.

But more importantly, this rendering quality has to be combined with a very high-level of interactivity. Many things indeed happen in a video game: fast camera changes, visual effects, large environments, etc. All these actions run on consumer equipment, like a PC, or, now, much more often on a gaming console.

So for PLM fans who would like to move to the next generation of what I would call “product experience based design”, I would strongly suggest using real gaming technologies in compliment to your traditional PLM software, with even an emphasis on those that support game platforms such as the Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

There are plenty of gaming technologies out there. Which ones should you trust?

The answer may be: the real gaming technologies, the ones you really want to use, are the ones that have undergone the challenging test of being used on today’s consoles. But why?

Let me explain. If you’re using gaming technology that was optimized for the console, you’ll most likely get more optimization for your PC. Building a game on and for a console requires the very highest level of work in terms of performance optimization. Game developers know their constraints (the console) and work hard to create amazing experiences despite them. As opposed to a game console, a PC by definition is rather unlimited in possibilities, as you can “cheat” by adding a more powerful graphics card, a more power CPU, more memory etc.

Having said that, game development is still a very young industry compared to more traditional industries, and it is difficult to find a gaming technology usable by people who are not game development experts. In addition, most technologies, as well as being hard to use, don’t allow a very fast prototyping and iteration process, which is essential to both PLM and gaming.

What do you think?