If you are a teacher and see a lot of missing students from your classrooms today, they might be out buying a PS4. This is the newest game console from Sony and is the first of the next generation game consoles to launch. The other big name of course is the Xbox One. While I am sure these system will have some great games and will provide hours of fun, what are the implications for education?
I had some thoughts on this.
- In 1996 the US government created the first super computer called ASCI Red capable of more than 1 Teraflop of computation performance. They used it for simulating nuclear weapons designs. That was the world’s fastest computer until 2000. The PS4 is rated at 1.84 Tereflops. So you can now have what was the world’s fastest computer 13 years ago in your living room.
- The graphics performance is very good as well. The capability to do simulations with physics based world has increased dramatically from the last generation.
- The PS4 can have a camera, motion tracking, and voice controls. It is also has full Internet capability. This could be a great system for taking virtual field trips as a class. (especially if you can get a decent VR headset for it)
- What really interests me is the possibility of linking these systems together into a massive super computing cloud. Who knows what can be simulated then? (see this story about a virtual 1.21 Petaflop super computer)
- Systems like this should be able to push enough graphics to permit Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality system to emerge. (Although the folks making Oculus Rift say it isn’t good enough yet. Hmmm)
Here’s a video from EA showing some of their new games on the new consoles. Truly amazing. Just imagine what kind of education games can be made with this technology. 🙂