This screenshot from the latest product update of High Fidelity, Philip Rosedale's new VR world, is pretty damn impressive, and I'll tell you why. Well, let HF's Chris Collins first set the scene:
High Fidelity will achieve high scalability both by maximizing the number of people who can be together on a single server, and also by connecting servers together to create larger single spaces. In pursuit of this first goal, we’ve begun optimizations to maximize avatar concurrency for the single-server case. So far, as is show in this image, we’ve been able to support a couple hundred avatars connected to a single server, with the nearest 40 or so rendering at 75Hz in the Oculus using fairly detailed avatars and including joint and facial animation.
Thing is, all these 200 avatars look pretty fully rendered, so it's even more impressive if they can consistently get 40 of the nearest to render in, well, high fidelity. With Philip's first VR world, Second Life, it is difficult to get even forty avatars total on the same server, and that's with hellacious sputtering and partially rendered avatars. (You can get about 200 semi-visible avatars in proximity to each other, but only when they were on four different sims right next to each other, which almost always looks like a lagtastic wreck.) So if this level of quality concurrency works as well as promised, that's quite a leap, and an important one.
More updates from the video, many others that are also intriguing: