How the Xbox One Draws More Processing Power from Cloud Computing

While Tuesday's Xbox One presentation answered some questions about Microsoft's upcoming system, it left just as many or more unsettled. Luckily, Ars got a chance to sit down with General Manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms Matt Booty to try to get more answers. While he wasn't able to answer some of the most pressing questions about the system, he was able to dive deep into some of the technical details.

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SlavisH22033d ago

this seems like m$ ace like the cell was this gen. we dont really know how its going to turn out but there is alot of possibilities

majiebeast2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

Read this and it shows how incredibly BS it is, just a pr spin by MS to justify their always online plans.

But ill be right back im gonna download some ram and tera flops from the cloud.

JokesOnYou2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

Your link doesn't negate anything in this article.

On topic, this is a good read:

"Does that mean that Xbox One games will feature graphics that suddenly get much more realistic as complex data finally finishes downloading from the cloud? "Game developers have always had to wrestle with levels of detail... managing where and when you show details is part of the art of games," Booty said. "One of the exciting challenges going forward is a whole new set of techniques to manage what is going to be offloaded to the cloud and what’s going to come back.”

And what about those times when a gamer doesn't have an active Internet connection to make use of the cloud's computational power? Microsoft has confirmed that single-player games don't have to be online to work, but all this talk of cloud computing seems to suggest that these games might not look or perform as well if they don't have access to a high-speed connection.

"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," Booty told Ars. "In the event of a drop out—and we all know that Internet can occasionally drop out, and I do say occasionally because these days it seems we depend on Internet as much as we depend on electricity—the game is going to have to intelligently handle that." Booty urged us to "stay tuned" for more on precisely how that intelligent handling would work, stressing that "it’s new technology and a new frontier for game design, and we’re going to see that evolve the way we’ve seen other technology evolve."

adorie2033d ago

I believe it is BS too, but I'm reserving my final thoughts for E3, I know it's redundant and seemingly futile with all the negative stuff being thrown around, but it's only logical.

We can DISSECT Microsoft's every word and minute of their conference then. They have a couple of weeks to air-tight this mess after containing it.

PLASTICA-MAN2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

In few years, after Sony showcasing great and superior visuals with PS4, just by surprise, Microsoft will show same level of graphics if not better and will claim that they came with great and better visuals than PS4. People will belive it and think that it is the power of X1 while it isn't, it just tricking people to think so while they discretly use cloud computing, this after people getting used to always online (the main purpsoe of this)and forget about its burdensome oath. That is just cheating like magically showing an illegal ace from your sleeve. It reminds me of the combination of Smoke/Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat Deception when you strike with one, the other just holds or attacks your character from behind and the other finishes him off, or the combination Cyd/Bud in Saint Seya Asgard part when Cyd attacks, his brother Bud facilitates the attack for him without even him noticing it. Where is THE HONOUR in the war? And what does make you think Sony won't or can't use it with the full, better and well established service that is Gaikai?

OrangePowerz2033d ago

In the case it's not just PR BS, looks unlikely at the moment, Sony has Gaikai and the could probably match the feature given Gaikai knows a lot more about Cloud gaming.

Nafon2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

It could work in multiplayer. I saw somewhere (which is to say that it may or may not be true) that every multiplayer game would use dedicated servers. In multiplayer games, the server could handle some of the processing power required by the game and send the data to the xbox.

More and more PCs are going completely to the cloud. The client PC sends mouse and keyboard inputs to the server, which handles everything else, and sends a video-feed back to the user's PC, which decodes it and displays it on the monitor.

I don't know how one would go about splitting the processing power between the xbox and the server, but it is a very real concept that is used everywhere, but mostly in schools and businesses.

No matter how they choose to use the cloud (if they do), it will require much more bandwidth than what current consoles are able to use. The link in the OP of the thread you linked said that the Xbox One will use about the same amount of bandwidth that current systems do. Unless they up the bandwidth allotted to multiplayer games, they won't be able to use the cloud.

BattleAxe2033d ago

If you need extra processing power from the cloud for certain games, then I guess you have no choice but to be always online....lame.

darthv722033d ago

did a demo of using cloud servers to assist in raytracing graphics. that was back in 2010 so it can be assumed the power and ability has improved since then.


It seems it will not be first seen or exclusive on X1. Today I installed the new geforce drivers 320.18 and an icon called Geforce Experience poped up on my desktop. Suprisingly, it proposed cloud computing to offload the work of the system. Cloud Computing seems to be the future trend and Ihope it won't face the same fate as Onlive. Anyway, I don't have the sufficient connection to use cloud gaming efficiently and so does 80% of the planet. It is a long way to go to get mainstream just like Ultra HD TVs.

Thirty3Three2033d ago

They're just trying to make up stupid, fake information, to help them feel better about their fanboyboxone.

"Hey! I'm an Xbox fanboy! I know the PS4 will be a TON better, but I'm too prideful and arrogant to admit it. Maybe if I were to make up some stupid and fake information about the PS4, it'd make my lovely xbox seem better."

Whatever helps you sleep at night, brah.

jimbobwahey2032d ago

Yeah, stating that they will use the Cloud for more processing power is likely complete nonsense, because there's far too many variables at play.

For example, let's say that you're playing a game that relies on extra processing power from the Cloud, right? What happens when your connection goes down or is interrupted, and as such that processing power is no longer available?

Does the game instantly crash? Does the framerate plummet down into the single digits? Does your CPU suddenly overheat and suffer damage thanks to the suddenly increased load it's being burdened with?

It would be the same as if you were playing a game on the PC, and in the middle of gameplay somebody pulls a stick of RAM out of your motherboard. It's not going to have very good results, is it?

NewMonday2032d ago


Sorry but you can't download hardware, the CPU,GPU,RAM are the caps for the XBOne

ma1asiah2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )


You my friend did not read the article.....go read it next time before you look stupid by posting comments Phil Spencer answered already.

I mean its not like MS would not have thought about this, so to answer your question SHOULD your internet crash then NO the game doesn't crash it is thrown back to the GPU using intelligent tech to seamlessly take over.

As for all the people that agreed with you and obviously did not read the article either well they look just as stupid as you do what a bunch of idiots.

Also to all the people who claim this to be complete BS, maybe you should use the internet more effectively, this concept has been around since the hey days of the internet its far from a new and novel approach. Though if they can utilize it effectively well then IMO it is pure genius.....Can't really fault MS for their ingenuity


MS never said anything about downloading more RAM lol it is about taking some of the workload off the GPU


WTF jokesonyou was not stating that you can download hardware and nor is MS go read up on the many capabilities of the cloud.

morganfell2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

"...we’re going to see that evolve the way we’ve seen other technology evolve"

Then it's like Kinect.

So what the guy is saying is that this will actually work somewhat the next, next generation. Not with the Xbone but rather the Xtwo.

Look, anyone that relies on a company telling them something 'could' work this way or that is asking for the disappointment they are going to get. If at this stage MS isn't able to show the actual differences in a huge Multiplayer match, running live, then it isn't going to happen. We are a mere 5 to 6 months from launch. This is known as beta stage where all major components are up and running.

This reminds me of MS talking about the 360 store where you 'could' sell everything from game levels to Tshirts. Look how that worked out.

These same MS defenders responding to this article are holding on to MS with a death clamp. I've climbed with plenty of people that did not have the grip being shown by some posters on this site. These same people swore the Xbone would blow the PS4 out of the water with it's hardware, they would bring the games, and there wouldn't be any of the nonsense MS has announced.

Now look.

MS hugely dissapoints and goes down the completely wrong road and these same people simply draw another line in the sand and keep backstepping to defend them. Time and time again. That article that gaming isn't the future of consoles is an examply of this extremist ...well...I hesitate to call it reasoning.

I thought the actions of MS were bad but watching people with blind allegience defend them at all costs is even worse.

MaxXAttaxX2032d ago

Replace it with "magic".


Saigon2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

I am just throwing this out there. In order to experience this, we must be connected Online. Correct me if I am wrong!

Also I see multiplats/online based games taking more advantage of this than most disk based games.

jetlian2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

I'm not saying it works but it could. People seem to forget onlive back in 2011!! You played games over the internet with no hardware locally!

I think MS aim is to have all the vital stuff done locally and everything else done in the cloud.

With internet speeds rising it and MS placing so many servers it seems true. But unless they get rid of always on kinect im not buying

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georgeenoob2033d ago

Don't forget the 300,000 dedicated servers.

andibandit2033d ago

Planned servers, atm they only have 15k.
Who knows what timeline we are looking at, but 15k should suffice for the 7 xbones they are gonna sell.

MikeMyers2032d ago

"A rule of thumb we like to use is that [for] every Xbox One available in your living room we’ll have three of those devices in the cloud available," he said.

So does that mean they only plan to sell 100,000 of them? Sorry, bad joke.

NextGen24Gamer2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

AI pathfinding is typically computed at 10HZ or less. Pushing pathfinding to the cloud could allow for a significant increase in AI for a scene.

It's very interesting how lighting and animation were used as an example of what the cloud computing can be used for. This could definately give xbox one the edge in first party games that utilize this feature! Sure you need an internet connection, but seriously...internet is like electricity in peoples homes at this point. Are you telling me there are people who have a 1080p tv but no internet? LOL...that sounds weird to me. It's forward thinking by Microsoft and I LIKE IT! Sony fanboys won't like it because it's great news for games.

- Snazzier explosions. Making particle effects collide every frame quickly becomes expensive. Computing at the start of the explosion where the collision points are is also very expensive. But offload the full computation the cloud while running the particles without collision, when you get the results you can now bounce the parts around without bogging down the consumer's game.

-setting up a cloud machine to be the host for networked games will allow for several benefits, you should see decreased lag (assuming that MS cloud services have better network services than the average consumer), increased number of players in a single game (though this doesn't always lead to better gameplay at least it is an option), no problems with a host quitting in the middle of a game.

- Lots of off line work for sports games (simulating other games, analyzing data to feed into the play-by-play, etc)

Will every game use cloud, no, But it is an additional service that is interesting, and even if we only see 2-3 games use it the option for better games is a good option.

fonger082032d ago

Jesus, finally someone with a brain on this site. Of course it can be done, companies outsource to cloud resources everyday for more computing power. I should know I sell it. That being said, a reliable connection would be essential with this to work. I can imagine Microsoft is going to come out and say you'll need a standard 10-20mbps connection? But again it is completely plausable that this could work... how well though depends on if your planning to pay for internet with real money and not food stamps.

MikeMyers2032d ago

It does sound very interesting. It's like using the cloud to buffer your game and to offload some of the demands.

People used to take advantage of some games that could be installed to the hard drive, this seems to take it quite a few steps further.

It's obvious most people on this site don't care and would rather center around the restrictions instead like always on and the used games but it is interesting to see why perhaps they wanted to go this route and not all of it being about control. If they can show us some benefits then I'd like to see it.

fonger082032d ago

@mikemyers I agree, I don't want to be negative on here either but a lot of people both Sony and Microsoft followers want to harp on each systems negatives and not be excited for each others positives. Both systems will in some way try to emulate one another, especially on each others succesful functions like the previous gens cross-over of motion controls, virtual consoles, huge push in media integration, and indie development. Both systems obviously have their negatives... but seriously every launch system does, the point is these two systems will be a lot alike in the end. It just depend on how much capital you have and which systems' exclusive games you like more.

torchic2032d ago

I agree that cloud gaming could help X1 in IMO minor processing in the near future, but

why do you automatically think Sony don't have their own tech like this in development?
they are after all, the business who primarily make hardware, and, bought what is thought as the company with best cloud gaming solution.

Sony explored all avenues with the PS4, even considered Microsoft's ESRAM + DDR3 RAM solution at one point.

I personally don't think this tech is the bees knees that you and Microsoft are trying to champion, but don't make the assumption that Sony aren't pushing this tech as well.

ma1asiah2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

Finally thank you people some intelligent people who actually get it.

You know what I wouldn't care if SONY went this route either.

Yet due to MS ingenuity I have now decided to stick with them.....Its funny everywhere I go on here I see the same copy and pasted article flaming MS Xbox One reveal for not showing more game related content. Yet MS made it very public that all things gaming would be shown off at E3...The reveal was never targeted towards gamers and to be honest I am really glad that they got all that stuff out of the way now. As I want E3 to be all about the games

soniqstylz2032d ago

For the record there are 48 million Live accounts (that's total, not just Gold), and 77 million 360's shipped.

Meaning 30 million 360's not connected to the internet.

It's not like electricity in people's homes.

Dmagic2032d ago

@soniqstylz oh they're connected thats just what happens when you have so many rebuys everyone i know has had 2 different xboxs fact.

NextGen24Gamer2032d ago

Also, there isn't anything wrong with Microsoft leading the way for the next 10 years. Who really believes that being connected won't be normal 5 years from now?

Stop resisting change and understand that this is the way of the future.

I live in Seattle and It's actually strange to hear that there are people not connected online!

Welcome to a new age! Kudo's for Microsoft for pushing the industry forward!

It may affect sales at first, but it will improve the quality of the games & services. If developers know that everyone who owns xbox one has internet, they will all take advantage of what can be done with the cloud and the graphics will leap frog ps4 easily! Sony doesn't have the amount of servers that MS has dedicated to this. It's not even close! And if PS4 doesn't require an online connection, developers won't spend the resources to use their weaker cloud service!

Smart thinking Microsoft! The future is bright!

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Christopher2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

All I'm hearing is that there's a new bottleneck in town and its name is Your Internet Connection.

Honestly, you should only use cloud concept design for online game elements. Everything else should be the same across the board and on the disc. What are we going to create here, an elite society of people with Internet connections and those without who pay the same price for the game and hardware?

In the end, why design something for the cloud when you have to design for its use outside of the cloud and have it on the same disc? Why waste development time on this option? Why even waste cloud processing on this option? It's either cloud based or it isn't.

KISS - keep it simple stupid

forcefullpower2032d ago

I can't believe people a grabbing onto this like they will suddenly have magical processing in the cloud

The "Cloud" is a joke in the IT industry. It just a buzz word to sell shit to ceo's.

To do processing like this would take huge systems and I can guarantee would cost more in hundred of thousands mark to create for one person.

DeadlyFire2032d ago

You do know Sony actually owns a Cloud platform.

Microsoft is only partnering with Agawi.

So Sony could be doing the same thing on top of what already runs on the hardware.

The things in the article sound legit and could happen with help from the Cloud, but it wouldn't change much and it would likely mean we could see a similar issue like texture pop in like in Mass Effect 1 or 2 on X360 at times when connection goes up and down. The thing about this Cloud assistance is that it would only really work in Single-player game mode. Both PS4 and XB1 could both utilize this tech though. So I don't really see how Microsoft thinks this is an ace up their sleeve.

As in Multiplayer latency is far to sensitive to tamper with I believe. Some will claim on it will work fine, but then when its implemented we get 20 fps multiplayer games. So that is not really working that is failure to me.

co_ray2032d ago (Edited 2032d ago )

Microsoft owns a cloud service, it's called Microsoft Azure, and it recently surpassed the 1 billion dollar mark in terms of income from it. Read up on it.


DeadlyFire2031d ago (Edited 2031d ago )

Azure is a storage based cloud service. Nothing more. Microsoft has partnered with Agawi to develop a cloud gaming platform for its Xbox products. << Here is their site. Read.

Blaze9292032d ago

so Microsoft says something. And you all "don't believe" them....ok

nosferatuzodd2032d ago

so can gaikai when youre on on a cloud network the system is streaming so every new system that built to stream can do it nothing special microsoft is just fulling ppl heads with crap

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FrigidDARKNESS2033d ago ShowReplies(4)
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Unicron2033d ago

Cool idea... But too early. No game can 100% rely on it unless its always online. Hopefully simcity taught everyone a lesson.

Software_Lover2033d ago

Sim City was online DRM. Just as Steam is online DRM, but with an offline mode atleast. Different from cloud computing.

Everyone used Cloud Computing with the ps3 and [email protected] Works kind of in the same way. Not 100% identical.

Godmars2902033d ago

[email protected] was nothing might be trying to do. One was passive, what's being talked about is direct and active.

ExDexteraDomini2033d ago

That's the thing, no one ever said any games would be 100% reliant on it. If it's a function that only works when the console is connected to the internet, then it would make sense for it to be a necessity only in the sections of the game which require a connection in the first place, such as multiplayer. Considering that, I think some pretty interesting multiplayer experiences could be created with these techniques.

Single-player sections of games would surely not be reliant on the cloud processing, but perhaps if a player did have a connection, their solo experience could be enhanced by the cloud.

Jek_Porkins2033d ago

This is very forward thinking, and although it's not something they can use much right now, in 3 or so years it might very well be something we see on a regular basis.

If the internet can improve the experience of a game, why not? I mean Destiny is online only, Watch Dogs is said to be greatly gimped offline, so this is kind of big news.

There is some nice future proofing going on with Xbox One from what I can see. I still remember people complaining (myself included) when the original Xbox launched with only a broadband modem and no dial up, which is what kind of internet I had. It was forward thinking and when I switched I was blown away.

AngelicIceDiamond2032d ago

I don't know why people are pretending this is a bad thing. Or its fake and can't be real or something.

If Sony was doing this it would be just as epic as the invention of the internet.

Jek_Porkins2032d ago

Agreed, I think some of it stems from the developers who have said this feature actually means the Xbox One can become more powerful over time.

It's huge, but the good points about the Xbox One are being ignored, like dedicated servers for every game on Xbox aren't hearing much about this game changing feature.