Microsoft – Power of the cloud (but don’t tell anyone)

Power of the cloud - Opinion piece on Microsoft's new PR strategy, what they're actually delivering, and whether the 2 align.

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Septic1274d ago

I'm surprised they didn't use the word 'cloud' when describing what they are doing with Halo 5's Warzone mp. Like Titanfall, that's a really good example of them using dedis rather well.

"Every multiplayer game, Warzone or otherwise, takes place on dedicated servers."

So glad that this is becoming the norm now, especially with MS titles. THAT for me is what cloud is all about even if it is simply just more comprehensive use of dedicated servers.

Still waiting on that Crackdown demo using clowd. If that works...boy will there be crow to be swallowed. Similar if not..

StrayaKNT1274d ago

Can't wait for Crackdown man

christocolus1274d ago

We will be seeing gameplay very Gamescom.

1274d ago
Erik73571274d ago

Man there are some salty disagrees on these crackdown comments lol

Khajiit861274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )


I disagree because Crackdown 2 was a HUGE disappointment for me.
Crackdown 1 is one of the greatest games I played but 2 wasnt even half as good. So I am not sure what to expect with 3.

GameNameFame1274d ago

Ahahha. This magic cloud nonsense again.

Let's stop desperately grasp straws. All their games showed that cloud is just all talk.

Dee_911274d ago

What if I told you the Xbone was completely empty on the inside and that in fact it is indeed the cloud doing all the computing...

You didn't hear that from me though

*walks away whistling with hands in pockets.

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Volkama1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

I think they're slowly starting to deliver some benefits on first party games now, but they're massively failing at getting 3rd parties to make use of it.

COD is the measure. Every time COD releases with shoddy peer to peer play on all platforms, Microsoft have failed imo. Even if the blame for the problem lies with Activision that doesn't really make a difference.

ScorpiusX1274d ago

So u want MS to man up to Activision cheapness , if anything MS is doing it right u want the great feature pay up or deal.

Volkama1274d ago

I want MS to work with their major content partners and encourage them to take advantage of the feature set available.

As a user I don't really care how MS and Activision split the bill. I've paid £55 for the game and a have a subscription for the online service.

Or at least that's how I'd feel if I bought COD.

kneon1274d ago

I can't speak for game developers but I know amongst non-game developers the go to cloud platform is Amazon. Microsoft and Google just don't have the reliability.

Baka-akaB1274d ago

I kinda understand what he means ... you have that amazing tech you promised everyone would take advantage of , and we're still far from that .

Even if major props gotta be given to a title like Titan Fall on the matter

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remixx1161274d ago

Why do I get the feeling this comment section is going to catch fire.......regardless I like what MS is doing with the future, hololens and cloudsounds iinteresting.

Not quite sold yet but my attention is definitely caught.

MasterCornholio1274d ago

Just a question.

Did Microsoft change the definition of what the cloud is supposed to do?

I remember that with Mattrick he made the claim that it would boost the XB1 graphical capabilities and now it appears that it's just dedicated servers.

Anyways I'm happy that they are being quite clear with this.

Volkama1274d ago

Even if the servers were boosting the graphics in some unrealistic or impractical way, they could still be termed as dedicated servers. That just means they have a specific purpose and the resource is committed to it really.

I could say I'm dedicated to my wife, it doesn't mean I have to host a 64player deathmatch. I know I'm not technically a server, but you take my meaning :)

Volkama1274d ago

Urgh 3 disagrees, but that is literally what "dedicated server" means. A server dedicated to a specific task, as opposed to a multi-purpose server that shares resource across several functions. It isn't a term created to describe hosting computer games.

Crazay1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

I wouldn't be shocked if the Backwards compatibility was mostly reliant on the cloud services. When I load my game it says connecting to Xbox 360 and was kinda grinding it out. I figure it took as long as it did due to my slower internet. Once it was up it was rock solid.

@Neogamer - I haven't looked in that great a detail but rocking out a VM on a few of the available cores makes sense.

@Bluzone - I'll see what happens the next time I have a game i need to download for Backwards compatibility and will not run the game unless the system is disconnected.

NeoGamer2321274d ago

The 360 connecting is because this is not an emulator.

It is a virtual machine starting up on your console. You will notice a file that is 250 MB for each X360 game you download. It is probably a VM configured for that game to run in.

bluzone1274d ago

@Crazay I'm curious about what your saying. Do you mind checking if what your seeing is true.
Would you mind disconnecting internet access while using the backward compatibility to see if it has any effect?

bluzone1274d ago

@Crazay Thanks
Should prove interesting no matter how it goes.

IamTylerDurden11274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

The cloud is essentially dedicated servers we've been saying this since titanfall. What do you mean if it works with Crackdown? How will we know "it's working", does this mean that Crackdown is going to be the best looking game with the best ai ever? Shaders and ai will be offloaded to the cloud?

Crackdown is typically a very fun but very shallow and somewhat smallish and simplistic sandbox with no cutscenes and virtually no story. I enjoyed both Crackdown games (the 1st a little more) but they aren't technically demanding games when compared to bigger sandbox games with stories and more complexity ie Just Cause, GTA, AC ect. With this in mind i'd expect Crackdown to be visually impressive considering they aren't tethered with the same memory consuming elements that most sandboxgames are. I still do not expect the game to be as visually stunning as Second Son.

So what exactly justifies a victory for Crackdown and the cloud? If it looks amazing and the gameplay is spectacular (like Horizon) in the demo? I fail to see how that would prove the cloud is going to make xbone 3x more powerful.

So if Crackdown simply looks good then crow is on the menu for dinner? I think not.

To everyone who says you need the consoles to be an extremely close race for "excellence" to happen ect, i would offer PS2 as a shining example of this falsehood. PS2 was ridiculously dominant during it's reign selling 150 million units and dwarfing the competition yet we were given a golden age of games and innovation. The God of Wars, ico and SotC, Final Fantasy, MGS and so much more. Ps i'm not saying ff & MGS were created during PS2, but perhaps perfected.

Septic1274d ago


No you don't get it. Crackdown is supposed to use cloud compute to simulate massive destruction. Read the article. MS showed off a tech demo showing how the cloud was being utilised to simulate stuff nigh on impossible with the tech specs of the local machine. Crackdown is purported to use this tech.

Volkama1274d ago

Wait, are you saying that cutscenes and story consume RAM, and therefore compromise visual fidelity?

Like, maybe Witcher 3 would be 1080p on the Xbox One if they only missed chapter 4 of the story or something?

Dragonking0071274d ago

Cloud aint a bad thing either thats how sony backwards compatibility works via cloud through ps now

Baka-akaB1274d ago

Cloud was never really a bad thing and less than an advantage , they just had to tone down the silly hyperboles and claims .

It's current usage is perfect in titles like Forza and Titan Fall , it needs to be more present on most xb1 mp and online titles

_-EDMIX-_1274d ago

?? PS Now isn't BC. Its a streaming service for older PS games that works on many devices. You have to pay for it.

PS Now isn't BC, its merely a streaming service to play older games, you must pay for it regardless if yow own the game or not and its not only for PS4, thus...its not simply for BC of titles prior to PS4. That is like saying a port of Xenogears on PSN on PS3 is a form of "backwards compatibility" when your merely buying it again to have it.

That isn't BC. That is merely buying it again through a different distribution format.

porkChop1274d ago

Dedicated servers aren't "cloud" though. They're just dedicated servers, which are certainly great to have but aren't exclusive to Xbox One.

When Microsoft talks about cloud, they're talking about cloud processing or computing. Totally different thing from dedicated servers. And as far as proper cloud processing goes, Microsoft hasn't really done all that much yet. That's why they're not using the word "cloud" very often anymore.

gosukyomomma1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

Most multiplayer games run on dedicated servers nowadays p2p is very rarely used in online gaming from what ive seen.

All dedicated servers are are computers that have the game stored multiple times in order to 'serve' multiple clients that connect. cloud computing is completely different.

Edit - just saw porkchop beat me to it lol at least someone else knows a tad about networking devices and jargon lol

christian hour1274d ago

Not hyping up the cloud as some sort of magical fairy dust that will improve cpu processing and graphics immensely is another great move by MS; less smoke and mirrors, more honesty and more stuff in action like Hololens.

Complete turn around of the MS we've seen at the last few big gaming events. Between this and BC and some nice new exclusive IPs, they're finally turning things around. Here's hoping they NEVER repeat the crap they pulled on us in 2013 ever again.

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JJShredder1274d ago

Microsoft has really changed their strategies around for the better and hopefully people can feel better about jumping on.

I love my PS4 but I don't want Sony to get so far ahead that they get complacent.

Competition breeds excellence and gamers benefit all around.

christian hour1274d ago

Shocked at the disagrees, what you said was 100% true and extremely level headed and fair.

I too do not want Sony to grow complacent, I even had fears going in to this years e3 that, having dominated the last two years, they might have phoned it in this year.

Instead we got a great show from both MS and Sony.

Personally what impressed me on the MS side was how much they'd changed their strategy and started building bridges with the gaming community, as well as some great games coming to the platform (specifically rares pirate game and that 1930's cartoon style indie game, cuplad? cupman? cuphead? i dont care what its called, I WANT!)

What impressed me on the Sony side was... MY GOD EVERYTHING! Horizon/SHenmue/LasGuardian/DR EAMS!!!/NoMansGWANTHEIRISHSky/F irewatch/UC4/etc etc.

AN unforgettable e3, one for the history books. Kudos to MS and Sony, and kudos to Bethesda for their first big e3 event!

And I guess, fair play to EA for letting an honest, compassionate and very nervous man come on stage and show us Unravel, was a nice break from all the shark smiles in suits that came before and after :P

JJShredder1274d ago

Unfortunately, trying to take a level-headed approach and trying to recognize flaws on all sides only results in the crazies on both sides spamming the disagree button.

With that said, Cuphead looks simply stunning and fun as hell. Doesn't look like it will make it this year tho....*sadness*

Spid3r61274d ago

Phil has been distancing him self from Don Matrix....You have to know that they are taking advantage of all these technologies. Take Forza againts Driveclub hell even Project there is a big difference in experience between them thanks to the X factor the driveatars. I like the fact that we will play Halo Warzone with multiple factions while fighting human enemy fighters. I would have like to see No Mans Sky starting with Microsoft and adding a proper multiplayer system.

christian hour1274d ago

Did you really just use the term "x factor"? Please, no marketing buzzword bullcrap when discussing videogames unless you are a soulless marketer, in which case, leave us humans alone.

No Mans Sky does have a "proper" multiplayer system. The game started without a platform, whoever they went with first, it would still be the same game we're getting. Every aspect of that game wasnt designed with paltform in mind, but with the lead designers specific vision in mind. Unless, by "proper multiplayer" you mean PVP arenas and K/D ratios? In which case, you fail to understand waht No Mans Sky is supposed to be.

The coding behind driveatars is nothing new, and didnt need cloud computing to be pulled off, they just chose to do it that way and then market it that way.

I'm not dissing MS here, just, you seem to live in a strange world where you confuse things or misunderstand them.

Spid3r61273d ago

I would like for you to explain to me the driveatar system and how it works because it seems that you have some insight on the mechanics. All I know is that the Drivetars do simulate how my friends drive down to the T. At first while I was playing my friend Avatar I thought it was a little off since my friends Driveatar kept crashing into me very aggressively. We were hanging out his house having a beer and wanted to see who would have a better lap on a circuit. I found out that he crashes into cars at full speed on purpose to go around corners. I knew know why his driveatar was so aggressive while I was playing single player this is were Xbox has an edge. Driveclub cant do that. Its simple static coding. And yes in regards to No Mans Sky yes I would like to meet up with friends and explorer and claim new territories together.

christian hour1271d ago (Edited 1271d ago )

It works similar to ghost drivers in older games, but it analyses the playstyles of various ghost runs and then just emulates the most common repetitions among the various ghosts, updating as it gains more data.

It's a pretty simple "self learning" algorithm that easily could be done console side and then uploaded to a server. In actuality, that is whats happening, its compiling your playthroughs through an algorithm, uploading them to a server, then when a friend connects to the network the server feeds them the info of their friends. It's not being calculated in real time as some people seem to expect (though the info is being sent to you and stored in real time, as with any data you are recieving from the internet), the "cloud" doesnt really work like that.

THe cloud is just a netwrok infrastructure, the technology has been around since the 70's, just its become more feasible for more people to connect simultaneously to a vast network of servers, and marketers just revived a term coined in the 70's to repackage it as something new and exciting, aka "The Cloud".

Thats a real laymen way of putting it, theres a little more to it than that on the technical side but thats basically the jist of what "the cloud" is.

If you've been on the internet most your life, then you've been on "the cloud" most your life.

It's also prefectly feasible for games like project cars and drive club to do the same thing, but the problem there is that the forza team have patented the feature so nobody else can until the patent runs out (patenting game mechanics is actually a common practice in the industry, so if youve ever wondered why one fps doesnt have that cool new fps mechanic another game has, or whatever genre you can think of, thats usually the reason why)

pandehz1274d ago

Ms has been furthering the tech world for gamers benefits.

Not saying that we have to buy into everything they do but appreciate and citizen normally not hate everything for the sake of it

dcbronco1274d ago

I think the only thing that has changed is the way Phil handles the public. He is a lot more patient and calm under scrutiny. Don didn't have the patience for 12 year olds that have no understanding of the direction technology is moving. If you read gaming websites or comment sections you will mostly see people questioning the possibility that the cloud computing could ever add to gaming. But if you read the business section or watch Bloomberg you will see the exact opposite.

The largest, richest companies in the world are all moving to cloud computing. Storage and compute. All of the major technology companies are building devices for it or building a cloud of their own to sell to others. Look at Microsoft's cloud division on their financial reports. It has grown immensely and will quickly become it's most profitable sections.

Phil is going to let the games do the talking. Halo will have more than large maps. It will have destruction. We will get more of the cloud this year. Gamers need to learn if you aiming for success, it's a moving target. You have to lead it. Just doing what everyone else is doing doesn't guarantee anything.

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