It’s easy to think that with the many new features that Microsoft has integrated into its next-generation console Xbox One, an easy win for the company would be the next step against its biggest competition, Sony’s PlayStation 4.
However, following its big reveal last week, Microsoft has received more backlash than pats on the back, starting with the now suspicious always-on (meaning always listening, not always connected) Kinect 2.0, the scattered focus on games and entertainment, and the lack of perspective on the new rule for Indie game publishing.
It seems that the Xbox One has a lot to make up for in terms of games, and while Microsoft has already secured a number of exclusives, timed or otherwise, which will hopefully revealed at the E3 2013, there is one other feature that it can tout: cloud computing.
Videogamer reports that this is the one area that Xbox One has over the PS4, an insight that was divulged by chief technology officer Linus Blomberg of Avalanche Studios.
“It’s perfect for open-world games like ours as it enables techniques to make the game worlds more alive and social, such as persistence and asynchronous multiplayer features.
“We are already using server-side computations in our PC hunting game the Hunter, so that’s nothing new for us as a concept. But Microsoft’s solution may allow us to do this more efficiently and to a greater [extent].”
Putting a picture on the cloud power
Just how powerful is Xbox One’s cloud capability? VG 24/7 gives a picture, and that includes the CPU and storage power that can be found in three more consoles.
“We’re doing that flat out so that any game developer can assume that there’s roughly three times the resources immediately available to their game, so they can build bigger, persistent levels that are more inclusive for players,” said Microsoft’s Jeff Henshaw to VG 24/7.
This gives developers an easier time in building games, as Ars Technica reports that cloud computation no longer requires developers to update and sync every frame of game data.
Limits of Xbox One’s cloud
However, there are still limitations, such as management of time and flow of computation, so that the overall quality of the game is not affected. Another limitation that may highly affect players is that it may be a different experience for multiplayer and single player modes.
The report continues that single-player games do not require an Internet connection. But this also means cutting off access to the cloud, which could boost areas such as graphics.
“If there’s a fast connection, and if the cloud is available and if the scene allows it, you’re obviously going to capitalize on that,” said Matt Booty, GM of Redmond Games Studios and Platforms, to Ars Technica. “In the event of a drop out… the game is going to have to intelligently handle that.”
From the looks of it, it seems that Microsoft is gearing up its cloud capabilities to give the gaming aspect of the Xbox One a boost, something that gamers who have been turned off by an all-in Xbox One may come to appreciate when more details and demos of games arrive.