'Sunset Overdrive' matchmaking is 'a great example' of Xbox One's cloud servers

Sunset Overdrive Game Director Drew Murray discussed how the Xbox One's cloud servers will help the multiplayer mode, Chaos Squad, in Sunset Overdrive.

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Septic1347d ago

Apart from the so-called speed of the matchmaking, I don't see anything special here at all to be honest.

Codewow1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

Yeah. They are kinda saying, "We have finally recreated Activision Blizzards World of Warcraft technology for use with our game." Though I do find connection speed to play a big roll in my experience, so I am grateful.

Mr Pumblechook1347d ago

I understand that Microsoft want to promote the, so-far, mythical benefits of their Cloud technology but Insomniac saying it helps match-making seems like they are really scraping the barrel.

Drivatars and matchmaking is all well and good but until MS can demonstrate significant benefits to games that are impossible on other formats, then all this talk of cloud and Azure technology becomes nothing more than PR spiel.


@Mr Pumblechook I think the point of all this PR is to get developers on board to use Azure instead of using peer-to-peer or expensive dedicated servers. Cloud services allows developers to outsource their hardware needs into the cloud. They don't have to maintain the hardware or worry about buying to little or to much hardware because it's all dynamic in the cloud.

4Sh0w1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

"A great example of this is how we used the cloud and dedicated servers forSunset Overdrive to enable fast, reliable matchmaking for Chaos Squad, our epic eight-player open-world co-op experience, by loading the entire city on the server," Murray said.

-I think theres a little bit of PR intertwined with a actually nice feature you dont see in other games that will likely work very well in Sunset Overdrive. I mean every dev "oversells" What they are doing but why does that always seem to upset folks when it pertains to X1 exclusives?, I don't see the same scrutiny in the exaggeration vs actual game/service for ps, but that's OK as long as fans like it I don't care. I'll tell you what the naysayers who btw have never made a game can TALK all they want but Forza5's Driveatar system is pretty goddamm slick, very underrated for what's going on with that game and the experience you get with that type of AI has been very satisfying.

It was a launch game too, so I think Micro should just lead the way despite the detractors; I so wish that X1 was more about being less like ps4, ps4 is great for going with what sony wants to do, I want Xbox to be great for NOT following the status qou or ps, think about micros initial push in the early days for console online gaming and how it has proven to be good for gaming. I hope sony takes off with VR or whatever and I hope micro takes off in a completely different direction with new online gaming tech perhaps, whatever??? I mean what's the harm in continuing to explore new tech and ideas.

donthate1347d ago

I think a lot of the benefits of the cloud will be more apparent over the years, as developers find more ways to use it.

Cloud computing in a gaming environment is still cutting edge research technology. However, we have already seen cloud rendering of light shown by nvidia over a year ago:

rainslacker1346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )


Yep, you're right. You know what NVidia said about that demo? They said it was years away from practical widespread implementation. The server hardware resources alone for that one demo required what is equivalent to about 3 high end graphic cards, not to mention the actual server blade to store it all in. That's a lot of money to support a game that sells for $60.

That's why I'm skeptical about MS claims of the cloud. I have no doubt developers will find uses for it...such as here(despite not really needing the cloud to do this, just need a dedicated server). I just don't see it being as big as MS is making it out to be in this generations lifetime, so I take issue with the way they are marketing it as such to sell their platform.

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Christopher1347d ago

I don't get it since the technology utilized has nothing to do with cloud computing. They're just throwing it there instead of the usual dedicated server(s) for matchmaking.

So much talk about hybrid-dedicated servers and people are using 'the cloud' as way too much of a talking point when it's nothing new and is kind of like trying to say an app runs better on Android vs iOS or something of the like. It's just different hardware/configurations, but the software is what matters and can be utilized elsewhere just as simply.

And response time has nothing to do with the fact it's in the cloud, has to do with Microsoft's general infrastructure. Something they have because A) they have the money to do it and B) it's key to their other business ventures where they rent out servers to a ton of businesses.


Read the article they are not talking about cloud computing but they a just saying they are running dedicated servers in the cloud known as Azure. Cloud is just a marketing term.

Christopher1347d ago

@KRUSSIDULL: I didn't say anything about cloud computing. What I'm saying is that the fact that the dedicated servers are in the cloud has nothing to do with the potential of this technology. So, saying that the matchmaking is a great example of xbox one's cloud servers is not a true statement. It's just as easily done on dedicated servers or similar solutions. Cloud servers or not, it's primarily a factor of the infrastructure, not the type of servers (virtual or otherwise) you are utilizing.

KRUSSIDULL1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

You said "I don't get it since the technology utilized has nothing to do with cloud computing."

Also using the cloud for games services such as dedicated servers or matchmaking are a great example. The point of Azure is that developers don't have to buy their own expensive hardware or maintain it because that all falls down to Microsofts Azure team.

Edit: I just saw further down that you at least know the importance of cloud yet you don't seem to appreciate that Azure will bring more dedicated server and work-offloads for Xbox One.

Christopher1347d ago

***The point of Azure is that developers don't have to buy their own expensive hardware or maintain it because that all falls down to Microsofts Azure team.***

Or any of the other tons of companies that manage cloud servers/services.

Again, how does the fact that it's being handled in the cloud make it that matchmaking is a great example when you could achieve the same results elsewhere.

You are getting exactly at what I'm saying, but not realizing it. If they want to claim 'the cloud is awesome because it's more affordable' then that's fine. But, everyone wants to make every change as if it's due to the cloud. It isn't.

The problem is, if you say just the fact that the cloud is more affordable, then you have to realize that this applies to everyone and not just Xbox One. So, people keep looking for ways to make Microsoft's cloud services look unique when in reality it has nothing to do with that since you can do it on a ton of other cloud services not owned by MS.

KRUSSIDULL1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

Ok then I think we are on the same page. I have also not said anyone else can't use it or get the same services from somewhere else. The point is that it can be done with cloud services so that's a good example of what can be done in "The Cloud" no matter how insignificant it is.

fr0sty1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

So, at first the MS was praising live's dedicated servers like they were the second coming of Christ. Then, when it was revealed that other systems use dedicated servers also, Microsoft shifted gears and now they're spitting out "CLOUD servers!", which are essentially non-dedicated servers running on a different network infrastructure.

Also, his line in the article doesn't make sense. What the hell does loading an entire level on the server have to do with matchmaking, which is finding other players of a similar skill level?



Cloud = Marketing term for dedicated servers
Azure = Name/brand of MS dedicated servers

Get it???

No game company has the amount of dedicated servers that MS has available for gaming. Which is what sets its servers apart from anything else.

Side note: I do not think that they would be saying that its servers can do things that they cant, especially in this day and age where you can baically be sued for anything....I.E. the Killzone situation....just think about it for a sec.

donthate1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )


The definition of "cloud" is used as a term to indicate computing as a service, rather than a product (as in hardware).

A lot of this talk about cloud then is the per-existing service available to developers as almost infinite computational power as well as time testes API to aid in extracting this power.

This is similar to how scalable web technology is today. It's like saying, well I can render that scene on my dedicated server or I can render it on a server farm spread across the world. Obviously it is possible with a few dedicated servers, but it sure as hell going to take a lot longer!

Which also is consistent with dedicated server being more "product", whereas "cloud" is more "service" that implies:

* Massive amount of performance
* Availability (around the world)
* Reliability
* Scalability
* Security
* API to easily access all of the above.

Which is quite different from having "dedicated" servers that may have some of the above.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1347d ago
truefan11347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

So playing in single player, then hopping into a booth to play multiplayer isn't a big deal? In the past we had to exit all the way to the main menu, then start matchmaking for multiplayer. It's not the biggest deal in the world, but I think it is definitely an improvement.

Seamless singleplayer/multiplayer is where we are headed, FH2 uses this feature as well. Either way, I'm really looking forward to Sunset Overdrive.

@cgoodno, then tell me another console game that is doing that (with seamless singleplayer/multiplayer)?
"why a console game" Because Sunset Overdrive is a console game.

@Septic, No Gears had a menu, you had to select what you wanted to do, whether it be singleplayer, multiplayer or horde.

Septic1347d ago

I swear Gears of War had a seamless SP/MP component where players could just drop in to a game?

This does not seem like a big deal at all. At least not worth warranting the use of the term 'cloud' to denote any sort of 'next-gen' capability that wasn't possible before.

I_am_Batman1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

Burnout Paradise (2008).

Edit: I'm pretty sure it had no loading screen and you could jump in the MP at any moment. Could be wrong though.

Even so it's still a cool feature anyway.

jahcure1347d ago

burnout paradise absolutely did this. you could join and leave games without stopping your paint job.

when did you actually start playing games if you don't even know about this. This wan't even a big deal or talking point back then..why is it one now SIX YEARS later? Is it because SO is an exclusive?

Master-H1347d ago

As long as you're not the one invading, the Souls games have seamless singleplayer/multiplayer as well.

TheSaint1346d ago

Dead Island had seamless MP too.

rainslacker1346d ago (Edited 1346d ago )

Didn't watch dogs have something like this? Also there was an RPG where you could do stuff like this, either kill or help the other player(can't remember the of the Soul's games maybe???). Journey did this. The crew is said to have this feature, heck it was even demo'ed at last year years E3 to have this feature. Drive Club is said to have this feature, although I think it's a bit different than what you're describing. Isn't there a big deal about this being avaiable in the Division? Destiny...yep it has seamless MP/SP.

Some other titles

Dead Space 3
One of the Burnout games(Don't remember which one)
Assassin's Creed Unity
Diablo III
Day Z(not sure the specifics though, so could be wrong). light of the above examples...what were you saying?

Is it a big deal? Sure it's a cool feature. But it's hardly new, nor is MS Azure the only way to make it happen.

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Christopher1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

@truefan: No, it isn't. It's an intermediary, that's all. It's like how in the old days we had to press start to save from a menu, now you can do it automatically or at save points in game. It's just a design change, not a concept change. Save files are saved in the same manner with the same info (though, more now since we utilize more data), but it's not new technology since you're writing the data to a flat file the same as you used to do in the same manner.

***@cgoodno, then tell me another console game that is doing that?***

First, why console game? Second, most MMOs. Walk through a door to go from single or multiplayer instance almost immediately. Even more, they also have group finders and PvP instance creators that are all done in game while you play and then load you right into a game instance as soon as it's formed.

You're turning a concept that's been utilized in other games but not some solely because that's how it was commonly done into a mountain when it's really an ant hill. As I said, this is just like how old saves were done in menus. Now that other methods are more common, it's been less utilized. This is just taking a design concept used in MMOs and similar games and using it in a TPS.

Dewitt1347d ago

MMOs are completely different then jumping from a fully single player experience, to an online experience just from entering a point on a map instantly.

Christopher1347d ago

***MMOs are completely different then jumping from a fully single player experience, to an online experience just from entering a point on a map instantly.***

No, actually, they're not.

In both cases you are going from a single player experience/instance to one where the system takes you data and places it into a multiplayer instance of various designs.

Volkama1347d ago

I think he understates the tech when he refers to matchmaking. Every xbox game uses cloud servers for matchmaking (and true skill and whatever other systems you associate with Live).

Hosting the city on a server is not so normal, and the benefits to that surely extend beyond match-making. Either that or insomniac came up with a crazy-inefficient solution to a non-existent problem.

Charybdis1347d ago

Wonder what kind of advantage the following quote has.
-"By loading the entire city on the server,"
Wonder if they have implemented some advantages in the 8 player online chaos squad mode, which otherwise wouldn 't be possible.

Volkama1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

That's what I was getting at just above. In theory it should mean the whole city can be loaded up, with AI doing it's thing regardless of what areas are populated by players.

It should enable the 8 players to roam the whole city independently if they want too, which would be a fairly steep burden for an host machine if there were no server to take that load.

I strongly suspect this was the design intent for the single player as well (if they even wanted a single player mode), back when every xbox was supposed to be connected 24/7. I think Insomniac were forced to make the city work offline, and I hope it wasn't overly detrimental to their ambitions!

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Chrisgamerguy1347d ago

The cloud based xbox one servers will be needed for sunset overdrives hectic and fast paced multiplayer modes to run without lag

Christopher1347d ago

I have sub 20s response times on PC w/o the cloud. The cloud isn't necessary, it's just the tool they're using and it's a marketing point for them when in reality it has nothing to do with the cloud and everything to do with infrastructure.

Everything people are citing as 'power of the cloud' is really just 'money to afford a top tier infrastructure.' You don't need to run servers in the cloud to get these things, it's just a cheaper solution for MS to do since the scalability keeps costs down on their end.

pinkcrocodile751347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

Sorry man, but you have your head up your bottom on this one.

Virtualisation is not about "Cheap" its about resources and centralised management of those resources.


I do this for a living and a virtual infrastructure is solid... unless you're running Oracle RDBMS then you have to fiddle. Also don't forget MS built this from the ground up. They didn't get a bunch of licenses from vmware, they built their own hypervisor technology and built the software around their own infrastructure.

You comment was black and white, where as it is a shed load of grey.

rorytmeadows1347d ago

Cloud is where the entire industry is heading.

Christopher1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

***Virtualisation is not about "Cheap" its about resources and centralised management of those resources. ***

Sorry, but you're wrong.

The reason for cloud computing came along was scalability that resulted in being a lot more affordable in comparison to having dedicated hardware available at all times.

Cloud computing made it so that small businesses could afford the same stuff as the big companies.

@rorytmeadows: Correct, but it's not because of the cloud that what MS is doing is possible. It's just a better infrastructure solution. It has nothing to do with this not being possible anywhere else. Furthermore, it's something pretty much everyone is using, including 3rd parties and Sony. Most dedicated servers are actually in the cloud, making them more akin to hybrid-dedicated servers but serving the exact same purpose with very little drawback.

Volkama1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

It has nothing to do with the cloud and everything to do with the infrastructure? That doesn't make a whole lot if sense, as the defining charactaristic of the infrastructure is that it is a cloud. That is precisely how they are able to provide well-located servers on demand.

Christopher1347d ago

***That doesn't make a whole lot if sense, as the defining charactaristic of the infrastructure is that it is a cloud.***

I can connect a dedicated server or a virtualized server (aka the cloud) to the same infrastructure and get the same result, Volkama.

It has nothing to do with the cloud, it has to do with their infrastructure that allows for faster response times and the like. Not the cloud or a dedicated server. And, MS has a top tier infrastructure because it's what they do.

Sony likely rents out portions of their infrastructure from MS or a similar company to achieve the same goals. Though, I'd say that Sony suffers from poor localization in more areas than MS.

rorytmeadows1347d ago

@cgoodno Absolutely. I was an IT director for a few years. Once you get exposed to that market, you can clearly see the entire technological industry is headed in that direction. It's just more feasible to pay for hosted services than staff a department to service local hardware.

Volkama1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

cgoodno I don't know how you are disconnecting the terms "cloud" and "infrastructure", when you clearly do understand the concept of what you are talking about.

You would never see a technical overview on any level detailing Microsoft's infrastructure without referencing Cloud, or the technologies that make up that term.

Yes, Microsoft have datacentres all over the place. But the thing that makes it feasible and cost effective to provide servers for a project like Sunset is "the cloud". The fact that they can scale up the number of servers in any location to meet demand, with no unnecessary overhead.

So yes, it is Microsoft's infrastructure that makes it possible. But it is fundamental that said infrastructure is a set up as a cloud. That's the enabler that makes hosting practical in terms of cost.

We're basically agreeing with each other, but I think you don't like the word "cloud" (which is fair enough after various PR types have butchered it into a fluffy buzzword). :)

Christopher1347d ago (Edited 1347d ago )

@Volkama: I'll just leave this here for you

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OH_u_DEAD1347d ago

some PlayStation games also do matchmaking in the cloud.

Christopher1347d ago

Most MMOs do matchmaking in the cloud for queued PvP and instance generation/population.

SmielmaN1347d ago

Exactly. This is nothing new. It's just that without this mystical cloud talk what else would MS have to spin for the xbone? Nothing. Don't buy their magic beans everyone.

pinkcrocodile751347d ago

@Septic - Interesting opinion. Though in contract this game is one of the resons I bought and xbox one in the first place. I cannot wait to get my mits on it. Also fast matchmake (which is great on X1 will most certainly makepeople keep coming back for more.

Flamingweazel1347d ago

There is nothing there that cannot be done on Ps3, ps4, pc or any other system...Ms with more BS.

rorytmeadows1347d ago

Perhaps try reading the article first.

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