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Cloudgine is Microsoft’s secret Xbox One sauce

Microsoft has made a big deal about utilising the Cloud for gaming this generation to differentiate it from the last and open up brand-new opportunities to scale experiences beyond what localised hardware can handle. This is all well and good but beyond a (pretty impressive) demonstration on how the technology can be used in the future – the company hasn’t yet gone into details on how they will help developers implement it into their titles.

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developer-tech.com
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Lawboy21190d ago

Good read...I know ppl may hate this but this pretty much confirms crackdown 3 and also may pro ve that the cloud demo was indeed crackdown 3

christocolus1190d ago (Edited 1190d ago )

Jason jones? Realtime worlds? Great!Jones was the lead guy on the first crackdown, this confirms what that insider(ntkrnl) said

“I can tell you that there is a deal with Microsoft and Cloudgine for the project (codenamed Nimbus) that was struck back last year”..

Man E3 is going to be great. I think crackdown3 and many more will be revealed at the show.

No_Limit1190d ago (Edited 1190d ago )

The demo of the cloud not long ago do remind me of Crackdown with the Skyscraper and such. I think this is one of the thing MS will go into at E3.

I find this bit of info in the article really interesting with regard to MS choice of opting for the esram:
In the technical post available here, the poster writes: “Couple the eSRAM's ultra fast bandwidth with tiled texture streaming middleware tools like Granite, and the eSRAM just became orders of magnitude more important for your next gen gaming. Between software developments such as this and the implications of the data move engines with LZ encode/decode compression capabilities on making cloud gaming practical on common broadband connections, Microsoft's design choice of going with embedded eSRAM for the Xbox One is beginning to make a lot more sense.”

GameNameFame1190d ago

I remember Turn 10 using cloud and how they said they will use it.

Background plants moving
background physics
background crowd.

They set a pretty low bar for themselves. In the end, they couldnt even meet the low bar stuff they implemented.

We got cardboard crowd.
http://i.imgur.com/cssuYeS....

And the so called Drivatar which actually dont even run the AI on the cloud. it just gives you updates of AI personality.

And Titanfall talked about cloud. Thing was what they described actually proved that MS cloud was exactly same as dedicated servers that existed for decades.

I mean AI on server? yup. thats dedicated server.

environment change? yup. thats dedicated server.

small calcs here and there? yup thats dedicated server.

Dedicated server everyone else had including Sony, Activision and EA.

4Sh0w1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

GameName, lol, How fanboyish can you be, you're nitpicking a close up pic of a crowd that looks like a blurr in a game that runs at a locked 60fps @1080p. It's a racing game no less, 99% of the time your attention is on the track, if you're starring at the crowd counting pixels then you're doing it wrong. That said I own the game and I can tell you the enviroments look great, damm even that shot isn't bad if you got to zoom in on the crowd but why would that be the focus for Turn10 anyway? No, the focus was the physics which are spot on, the cloud/server based AI Driveatars are real and its a very nice addition to Forza5, the graphics are amazing, the game runs silky smooth, yet none of the haters are talking about.

You want to see how great Forza 5 looks just check out pics from reviews like this:
http://www.newsarama.com/19...
"The cars are near photo-realistic, even on the road when driving at high speeds. Tracks are accurate down to the appropriate buildings in the distance, and provide a great backdrop if you’re comfortable enough with your racing skills to take a look around."

-nah, but you don't want to do that, you'd rather try to nitpick a great game on X1.

OT

As far as what the cloud/servers can contribute beyond stuff like the AI in Forza5 and Titanfall it's always wise to have a wait and see attitude. I do know it can't hurt to try new tech like this in games, even if its only limited to online then offline it uses standard ingame assets. I'm not saying "OMG 'teh cloud is going to make our game machines into supercomputers", but remember games like Forza5 are a first step in possibly a long journey for better use of the cloud, Rome wasn't built in a day. The (rhetorical) question is why do some sound like they hope it never gets better?

christocolus1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

@4show

Thanks for the reply. Saved me some time and energy having to type a reply to gamenamefame.

Bigpappy1189d ago

I am guessing that what M$ will show at E3, that has never been done before, will have something to do with the cloud.

The cloud has already proven its worth with online only games like PvZ and TF.

UltraNova1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

@ 4show

You said it "...it's always wise to have a wait and see attitude."

Do you see many MS fans or even MS doing that?

AlL I see is everyone believing in the cloud with practically no proof whatsoever of its capabilities and degree of application this gen. We have MS to blame for this.

Develop it, test it rigorously,make sure it works as intended/will be advertised then announce it in a modest fashion if you like then boom hit the customers with the final product and prove you did it! (See Sony's attitude on Morpheus as an example and yes the wait and see part still applies)

That's how you gain trust and customers.

As of now I do not blame a single person who sees MS's cloud as secret sauce and neither should you, especially after bailing on the Kinect like that (please dont even try denying this one).

Dont get me wrong, I do want MS to succeed with all those cloud promises because then Sony will do the same thing with Gaikai which will benefit all of us, practically giving the one and ps4 a leg up mid to end cycle.

Just a friendly pointer.

Tiqila1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

@4show
I think GameNameFame wanted to point out that all those cloud BS MS is trying to make you xbots believe in is not real, yet. He even put it more polite and gave an actual example with Forza 5. They promised they would use the cloud to improve their game but didn't. At least not in a way that was not doable with dedicated servers.
GameNameFame did not criticise Forza 5 as a whole but the fact that the developers promised some features that did not make it into the game and all of them are related to MS cloud.

Normally I don't have an issue with all these cloud talk at all. But naive fanboyism tends to annoy me these days. Believe in MS cloud talk as much as you want, I will wait for prove and until then talk is all it is.

fr0sty1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

You're talking about that cloud demo that was forced to run at 720p at 30 frames per second even though the servers were in the next room? Yeah, that's some impressive tech right there, especially when the internet connection has a hiccup and the game slows to a 1fps crawl because of it.

TF was supposed to have cloud AI, what we got were bots that were no smarter than bots in previous fps games. Literally just cannon fodder.

Forza... same crap. Nothing special.

All that remains are empty promises of a tech that never seem to materialize.

IcarusOne1189d ago

I don't understand the people who claim that Forza's drivatars are nothing special. It's some of the best AI I've ever seen in a racing sim. Cloud or dedicated server? I don't really care. All I care about are the results.

ALLWRONG1189d ago

Only on N4G does "trolling" get a well said.

4Sh0w1189d ago

"BS MS is trying to make you xbots believe in is not real"

It is real, they only debate here is how far can they actually take it this gen.

Yes cloud is a bunch of dedicated servers, so what, sure dedicated servers have been around for ages but using them for potentially controlling in game assets based on info stored on the "cloud" hasn't been done really on a large scale gaming platform. You guys always use the cop out "its been around" but what we are talking about is actually trying to do more with servers.

The AI in Forza5 is a huge step in that direction whether the haters want to give micro/Turn 10 credit or not. Again tech doesn't start in a finished state, do you see me bashing Oculus or Sony's early VR experimentation? No, because I'm the sort who doesn't swear new unproven ideas are neither a godsend OR something that should be discredited before it's given a fair chance to get off the ground.

fr0sty1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

The difference between this and Oculus/Morpheus is both Oculus and Morpheus have given real time demonstrations of what they claim is possible, and these demos weren't just on-stage presentations, people actually have experienced both for themselves and have been able to give their own opinions which have matched the hype generated by the manufacturers. Not the case with MS' cloud tech, which so far we've only seen one demo of a PC running a game at 720p and 30fps, with the servers running in the next room. Nobody has seen their supposed cloud tech advances in real life... not in any way that has proven to be beyond the capabilities of the current consoles. Not running on real world internet connections with real world bandwidths and latencies. If even their staged demonstration wasn't able to do 1080p at 60fps, what makes you think they'll be able to do anything remotely impressive at 1080p60 on real world networks? Or even 720p30, since that's all they could provide in their optimized closed network environment... on a PC that was likely many times more powerful than Xbox One is.

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AngelicIceDiamond1190d ago

"I know ppl may hate this but this"

Its usually the fanboys that hate this.

It all sounds nice but I'm a wait and see basis.

Arkardo1190d ago

So, let's keep our expectations low then, if you think they're going to show something amazing like an X1 running the Witcher 3 on ultra settings because of the cloud, then you're in for a big disappointment

AngelicIceDiamond1190d ago

@Arkardo That's why I said I'm on a wait and see basis.

Not over hyping and not downplaying it either.

Sounds great I'm just on a wait and see lvl right now.

choujij1189d ago

Well it also sounded nice when they said Titanfall's AI would be processed in the cloud. Not only did it not seem to do much in the way of freeing up resources for the engine and visuals, but it also produced some of the worst AI I've ever seen in a game.

So until latency and connection issues around the globe drastically improve, I'll take this with a big ol bag of salt. And if I may add, I think generalizing realists as fanboys is a fanboyish thing to do. Sorry, it just is.

gigoran1189d ago

Fanboys? Not all of them. There are people out there that believe that having to use a separate service for additional costs in order to make a console that has the lowest performance specs this generation to function a bit faster is really stupid. That's not a fanboy. That's someone with a brain and an opinion. Are you saying that all people speaking their opinions are fanboys if their opinion is different than yours?

Clown_Syndr0me1189d ago

Damn people are so quick to put you down!

I say fair comment, wait and see. That's exactly what I do and Im rarely disappointed as I don't let my expectations rise much.

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sinspirit1190d ago (Edited 1190d ago )

They are not going to dedicate multiple servers to one system just to calculate physics. Servers are limited and there are millions of XBox One users that they can't provide for. It's very likely something else entirely.

Even if these new servers are made up of GPU's, suitable for physics and graphics, then it still won't suffice for a whole population of XBox One users. It's far too difficult to serve all of those people, unless you guys don't mind staying in a waiting line just to play a game in your own home because it requires these servers and they are full.

air11190d ago

We'll there you have it folks... I'm sure this guy knows exactly what he is talking about.. /s

sinspirit1190d ago (Edited 1190d ago )

@air1

I'm sure you know all about it. Why don't you explain how any of what I said isn't true.

Do you really think they are going to build a whole new expensive server system that will only be good for a generation of consoles and has absolutely no way to make profit if it were to be used for cloud computing standard games for XBox One? This is likely their own PSNow kind of service or an extension of Azure that is actually realistically capable of graphics processing, but likely won't be used for computing graphics in general games, maybe MMO's where it can compute for a mass of players in one world rather than computing thousands of worlds for thousands of players.

mhunterjr1190d ago

If i had to guess, it wouldn't work like that. Your thinking if it like a dedicated server model. That wouldn't be sustainable. If that's what cloudgine was proposing, MS wouldn't have signed a deal with.

Instead you'd probably have a network of servers ready to handle computations from a large number of users simultaneously. The local machine would send the raw data to the cloud for processing whenever it needs more horse power, and the server most prepared to respond at that time will answer the request. You wouldn't have a server or set of servers dedicated to one user.

Another scenario, is that you'd have multiple users using the same cloud processed data simultaneously. For example if you had the cloud doing the processing for a dynamic weather system in an open world game, it would be perfectly ok for all users in a particular region be experiencing the exact same weather system. A large number of people could be benefiting from a relatively small amount of cloud processing resources.

DarthZoolu1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

Microsoft's Azure network is the largest in the world. They spent 16 Billion on the network alone. They also have the ability to increase their virtual servers size without touching server hardware. They have the network to run 100,000,000 Xbox Ones, and sell hosting just like Amazon does.

sinspirit1189d ago

@DarthZoolu

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Run 100 million consoles? Host a server for them to connect to for standard server functions or do you really think that 300,000 average servers with almost no graphical computation power whatsoever could render parts of video games for users?

Azure isn't made up of high end components. It's a mass cluster of average servers, with mixed variations and tiers of hardware, non of which are capable of smooth physics or lighting alone. Thousands of servers are dedicated to games, PC, and businesses. This leaves less to dedicate to games. If they show a demo that requires dozens of servers to run how many do you think are needed to run calculations that coincide with players personal games, that actually have good graphics? They need a server built around graphical-oriented hardware, which could be cloudgine, but even so to process millions of users worlds on a server is a bit ridiculous. Like I was saying with MMO's and what mhunterjr was saying, it would likely only work if they made all the worlds rendered the same and that could be the same data sent to millions in singleplayer worlds or on one world of millions of players like a MMO. But, there isn't really any big benefits to this. Why spend millions upon millions when you could just make more games that are good without a risky and gimmicky system that won't last in a world where the hardware will outdate it in a few years and be capable of all of that itself, and most people don't have internet to make this a consistent and worthwhile experience.

Virtual servers are good if the hardware is up for it, but it's not, in the case of computing physics, lighting, graphics, etc. in video games.

Volkama1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

Interestingly in a recent interview one indie developer said that the cloud offering MS give every dev for free is "one server per game session". That server includes a 64bit CPU (no word on cores or speed) and a variable amount of RAM. The downside being no persistance, anything on the server is gone as soon as said session ends.

If the indie dev is accurate then you do essentially get 1 dedicated server per person online. And that's just the free offering.

People jumped on that interview with the usual "hur hur cloud is just servers rubbish rubbish", when in truth they should have been questioning the legitamacy of it because it sounds too good to be true....

BallsEye1189d ago

You have no idea how it works.

Only 1 server/server farm is needed to calculate stuff for thousands or even million of xboxes connected to it. It works similar to MMO's. You have thousands of people playing in the same "world" that is ran on the servers where all the calculation happens. XBOXes themselves will not host any game worlds, they're clients connected to host (server farm)

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truefan11190d ago (Edited 1190d ago )

Man the FEAR in strong in this comments section. This just illustrates the insecurity of some ps4 fans on this site. The closer we get to a demonstration the more fear and desperation we see from people trying to downplay the effect cloud processing may have. I have also seen the goal post getting pushed farther and farther away.

On Topic: It's looking more and more like Crackdown will be the showcase game for cloud processing, can't wait. We have already seen the orbital icon during a MSFT presentation. I remember only buying Crackdown 1 for the Halo beta, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Can't wait for E3, XB1 just keeps getting better and better.

Section8uk1189d ago

Fear and scepticism are not one and the same

DigitalRaptor1189d ago (Edited 1189d ago )

Everything about your comments when it comes to PS4 vs. Xbone reeks of insecurity so I wouldn't go there mate.

Still, any of these comments would be fear-based if anything Microsoft has touted as a "game changer" has actually come to fruition in recent years. We heard it all in regards to Kinect - we've heard it ALL before: "you're just jealous and bitter that Kinect will make games better and blah, blah". We had to listen to your drivel day in day out, and your clinging on to Microsoft'S PR buzzwords about "the future of gaming".

We all know it wasn't. we saw Microsoft's PR spin for exactly what it was, and we have been observing the same stuff from their spokespeople for years. No-one is doubting cloud processing at its core (much as that's what you believe you are seeing), especially since Sony has demonstrated more with the cloud on a last-gen console than MS has on their new one. But what you're seeing is an overwhelming number of people being cautious and reserved about what is reasonable.

People here are being skeptical, whilst pointing at Microsoft's track record for honesty. You are the one holding lofty expectations with practically nothing to back it up. We are the ones dragging you back to reality where cloud processing won't give the Xbone advantages over stronger hardware, and Sony has also been working in areas of cloud computing for many years too.

rainslacker1189d ago

As a PS fan I've been saying to MS for quite a while to "Bring it".

I'm not afraid that they may manage to pull it off. I'm just not convinced they can, and I'm even less sure that if they can, that they can make it into something worthwhile for a majority of their user base.

This article doesn't offer anything new that hasn't already been said by MS and many of it's partners in relation to the cloud. So far, MS and it's partners have under-delivered on what they say cloud can and would be.

I'll give MS props when, and if, they manage to do what you and many others who cling to this cloud gaming phenomenon claim it can do.

mike_honcho1189d ago

dude cloud or no cloud ps4 is winning and will continue to win.. look at the sales figs and move on.. ohh and don't forget that ps4 is capable of cloud computing.. as well as any device with any type of data connection..