Criterion Software announced today that Sony Online Entertainment will make use of their dynamic PVS middleware rendering software in the development of two of their upcoming MMORPGs, EverQuest: The Shadow of Luclin and Star Wars Galaxies. The software, based on Finnish company Hydrid's Umbra technology, is unique in that it can determine what visual components need to be rendered on the fly. This means that only the required graphical elements are drawn, thereby reducing server strain. It also has the bonus side-effect of robbing cheaters of one of their tricks by making it impossible to look through walls.
Kelly Flock, SOE president, stated that dPVS "will help create 3D massively multiplayer worlds of unimaginable scale and scope." The technology seems bound for the PC right now, but with Sony gearing up its online plans, this innovative technique for speeding up online play might just wiggle its way into some console RPGs in the near future. Stay tuned to RPGamer as more details of Sony's online plans are announced.