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Xbox’s Phil Spencer Thinks We Will See Games That Fully Run In The Cloud

Phil Spencer:

I think we'll see the full spectrum from games that run 100% in the cloud streamed to any device to high end games that run highly responsive compute locally while offloading heavy latency tolerant workloads to the cloud for incredible local results.

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PhoenixUp98d ago

Keep your head out of the clouds Phil

Games that require the cloud to work will take forever to be developed, as shown with Crackdown 3.

Nitrowolf298d ago (Edited 98d ago )

I think it's just a play on words honestly because if you think about it we already have games that fully run on "the cloud" with services like PlayStation Now and web browser based games. And yes I know that that is still different.

People just have to remember that cloud is just a fancy marketing term for dedicated servers (well more advance since they don't rely on a physical machine to do the Hosting). This statement by Phil really isn't out of the question or Realms of possibility.

I just don't see this as a viable option in the end due to internet limitation.

Also this way of thinking is clearly moving back to the idea that you'll need online always play games. Until the infrastructure of the internet is improved vastly, this idea of always having to be connected online is never going to fly

98d ago
Rude-ro98d ago

Who are you talking to?
Phil?
Pretty much everyone knew it was a play on words with over promising results.

fiveby998d ago (Edited 98d ago )

I think cloud computing and gaming will intersect in substantial ways. That does not mean streaming games over the internet from a cloud provider though. I think internet limitations will continue to be reduced. I am curious what impact 5G wireless will have on internet connectivity. However, that said, I do not think the always online connectivity which improves upon gaming as it is today is right around the corner. I think it'll be quite some years and multiple console generations away before the infrastructure globally is robust and widespread enough to realize such a vision. I do wonder if we could end up with a fragmented console market. Meaning, a cloud type product from one company which people with high-quality internet use and a different product from another company for people with lackluster internet. I prefer that the market is not segmented like that but it is possible.

Godmars29098d ago

Internet infrastructure wont be improving anytime soon because of corporate greed and monopolization. Fiber optics is coming in at a crawl - if at all in many areas - because the likes of ATT and Comcast want ability to throttle access and charge by the MB.

WilliamSheridan98d ago

Eventually the internet will catch up. But hopefully it's not for a very long time. 5G with 5ms latency could make this possible in 10 years, but it'll be the end of console gaming as we currently know it.

mcstorm98d ago

Nitrowolf2 I'm with you on this but I do think over time we will start to see games do what Microsoft 1st said but maybe quite a few years away. Ide love to see more developers look to use some software of cloud AI like turn 10 and Playground do wirh forza though for me this is a game changer when playing single player racing games and keeps them interesting and had to 2nd guess.

pinkcrocodile7598d ago

I suppose you could argue that XBL and PSN are irrelevant as they are reliant on the internet.

The point I'd make is that cloud compute, something fundamentally different to say streaming or virtual servers are all going to experience just like ANY online service or function, bandwidth limitations.

That doesn't mean that the service or functions isn't relevant.

I suppose the problem we have right now is things like uneven bandwitch availabity in certain part of the world. Like the recent FCC net nutrality controversy and the bizard broadband available in Portugal.

Thats said the sharp end of development is slow and sure but once the kinks are ironed out will become the norm across all brands whether that be Green, Red or Blue

Kleptic98d ago

^that...the speed of light is only so fast; and in the form of cloud compute...bandwidth isn't often the bottleneck, it's simply data transfer times (i.e. latency). As in it has little to do with the diameter of the pipe, only how long the pipe is...

If you're pinging a cloud server at even 30ms...that's 30ms ON TOP of any other rendering latency, display latency, etc. inherent with real time interaction...considering the human tolerance for input latency is already pretty low, that is a hurdle that is unlikely to be overcome...

For gaming, it's just fundamentally not ideal. It's great for sorting, mining, compiling, or anything that involves little interaction once running...but constant back and forth communication with remote hardware is limited by physical constants that cannot be beaten...The only way to decrease line time latency is to put the hardware closer to the client...turns out, a physical console or PC doing the rendering locally creates the least amount of line time possible...

DJStotty97d ago

Probably the reason why MS only wanted to launch the xbox one in internet stable territories from the get go.

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98d ago Replies(3)
PrematuaProcrastin8a98d ago

Wake up. So you think it's not possible to use cloud computing for non latency sensitive tasks, yet psnow is already fully running and rendering PS4 games in the cloud? It's streaming yes, but the challenges are the same, latency, and input lag to name but 2. Btw, how do you know that it's the cloud tech that has caused cd3's delay?

denawayne98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

In my opinion, CD was delayed because of the backlash of it's graphics. MS made the wise decision to hold it back, improve the graphics and gameplay, release the X and wait until this holiday to release it. I would bet that there will be a Crackdown bundled with X this holiday season for $399.

The cloud tech had nothing to do with it's delay. I also believe MS is holding back the cloud technology type games until there are more games using it.

Eonjay98d ago

Well honestly there is no way to know that but if you just use a little brainpower, you will notice that even you post listed the two biggest issues with cloud gaming. It is VERY likely that this impacts games like CD3 as well.

PrematuaProcrastin8a98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

@ukmilitia on psnow it's 720p when fully rendering and running the whole game in the cloud. If, as ms are implementing, only non latency sensitive tasks are undertaken by cloud compute, the performance and resolution will only be increased. And btw @eonjay, as @denawayne said, cd3 was only delayed after the negative reaction to the visual quality of the single player section of the game, which doesn't even implement cloud compute, so your point is moot, and amounts to you putting 2+2 together and coming up with 20.

rainslacker97d ago (Edited 97d ago )

Latency is less noticeable when it's all processed in one place, as the only latency introduced is the signal to the server, and the return time back to the client.

When a game on a client requires data to do what it does on screen, then it can actually cause more noticeable latency.

This is why things like PSNow don't often have problems with perceptible delay. But if you look at things like MMO's, you can notice hiccups a lot of times if your latency spikes, or your internet is slow, because the client does some level or prediction.

MMO's have been doing cloud compute in the way MS is talking about for quite some time. It's not really a new thing. Anyone that has played them will know what to expect from it. Anyone who has played PSNow on a decent connection will know what to expect if everything is on the server side except the display and input registers.

Everything can be judged based on what we already know and have. Just people choose to ignore what already exists.

@720 talk below

That is due to the bandwidth involved in transferring a 1080 resolution. It's fine when you can buffer, but for something like a game, you can't do that, and for the most part, internet speeds aren't up to 1080 in real time.

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fr0sty98d ago

Games that run fully in the cloud.... you mean... like... PlayStation Now? lol

trooper_98d ago

Again, they need to fire this guy.

rainslacker98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

Psnow does this already.

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Septic98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

I think the cloud is the future. Either 100% running on cloud or games off-loading heavy duty stuff to the cloud really does make sense. Crackdown will just be the beginning of the more obvious examples of it...assuming it ever comes out.

Also; so much for Xbox X console being the last one going by his comment regarding their plans for local consoles being key.

jlove4life98d ago

Nice try septic but I don't count empty shells as consoles no different I don't look at a firestick as a cable box OnLive wasn't a console and Elvis didn't do no drugs

Septic98d ago

"Nice try septic but I don't count empty shells as consoles "

What? What console is an empty shell?

TheUndertaker8598d ago (Edited 98d ago )

Elvis did plenty of drugs. Even leading up to his death.

“Among his so-called duties were keeping up with Elvis’ medications – a combination of drugs that were crafted into what Stanley dubbed “attack packs.” Each “pack” included a variety of six to 11 pills, along with a shot or three of Demorol, an opioid pain medication.”

http://people.com/celebrity...

Those shells aren’t empty either considering they have functionality. A plastic shell is not performing tasks or offerering functions.

jlove4life98d ago

@septic like onlive personally i dont cont a streambox as a console

jlove4life98d ago

@theundertaker85 that is my fave wrestler him warrior and bret but Elvis didnt do no drugs is a saying penn and teller say on bullsh*+ so i was doing a play on words with septic and xbox con soul less future

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98d ago Replies(8)
fiveby998d ago

I think Phil is probably right that cloud computing will be impactful and build for many years to come. Like many people here on n4g, I work in the cloud computing world. Nearly all development and resources are being made in "cloud". Granted cloud is a nebulous term and means many different things. As a malleable computing resource which can scale both up and down automatically, it provides tremendous opportunities for gaming. Part of Phil's job is to examine technology and plan for the future. He has knowledge and access to tech which is being developed and theorized which many here have not seen yet.. So I'll have to take his word for it. A hybrid solution of local and cloud processing is likely the next step. But we're a ways off from cloud only gaming.

98d ago
rainslacker98d ago

Games tend to be built to a set of hardware. So long as a significant portion of the market wants that, then that's where the games will be built. It's not to say some won't work through cloud, but it's going to be a while before it becomes the norm, and by then, I feel the power of local machines.will likely hit a point where the gains from cloud are negligible....the so called diminishing returns. On top of that, while the cloud can scale, having millions of instances running of games running designed around 12-20 tflops, and you'll quickly find that it's going to cost a lot to run those games indefinitely.

More is working against cloud becoming a norm than is making it look like a good thing to look forward to.

denawayne98d ago

I think a lot of people on this site will be eating crow come this E3.

98d ago
denawayne98d ago

How will people be eating crow? Um, if cloud technology works....

rainslacker98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

It's ok. I'd think Xbox fan boys are used to being wrong after e3 after all these years. They'll get by by changing the narrative again, or just be happy with their exclusices, even if 9 out of 10 are indie games no one really cares or talks about

Cloud technology already works. It worked before.ms.started marketing it. I guess.its nice that almost 5 years later, they.may actually show.it running the way they marketed it to sell their console. Maybe in another 5 we can get another game which uses it.

MatrixxGT98d ago

When did they ever say Xbox X was the last console?

I’ve always heard the opposite from him.

Care to share a link?

ShottyatLaw98d ago

We are probably a long time away from fully-cloud based gaming, but hybrid applications are coming. Onlive and PSNow were/are not the most interesting use of "the cloud."

Offloading "heavy" computations makes perfect sense in the mobile-first world. Look for cloud compute to really explode in the mobile space in the next 5-10 years. People who complain about always-on devices rarely think to look in their own pocket to find a piece of tech that can be greatly enhanced through cloud offloading.

As for gaming, Epic wasn't looking into a streaming service when they purchased Cloudgine. Just saying...

MS needs a proof of concept game to show the benefits to end users and devs alike. Hopefully they're finally ready to do that.

Honestly, the easiest way to shut up those people feigning ignorance on the benefits would be to release something that runs at 30fps offline, but can run 60fps when online when cpu intensive computations are offloaded. That was the basis for early demos from 2014, and would instantly communicate the benefits.

Ciporta198098d ago

So much for the cloud making the Xbox one 10 times more powerful too. Why does the x1x even exist if what ms claimed was true? Why would hey waste their time on that? And why isn't the x1 10 times more powerful now using the cloud? That would really be a beast.

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XiNatsuDragnel98d ago

Phil delusional cloud talk at it again

bluefox75598d ago ShowReplies(1)
98d ago