Nicaragua (User)

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Cloud computing – let’s cut the crap Microsoft

Nicaragua | 836d ago
User blog

I hate marketing speak with a passion and it’s for one simple reason, it’s bullshit. It’s there to give you the perception that something is better than a competitor product when in reality there is no advantage, and Microsoft’s latest romance with the word “cloud” is a perfect example.

“The power of the cloud”

“Leveraging the power of the cloud”

“Every Xbox One console will be backed by the equivalent power of three more Xbox Ones in the cloud."

It’s vague but yet it sounds amazing. Like some kind of mystical power that Microsoft has managed to harness for the good of mankind but can’t quite put into simple enough words for us gamer's to understand. But know this Microsoft has it, it will make things BETTER and only the Xbox One can channel this awesome force and convert it into pure limitless gaming joy – God Bless You Microsoft!

So what’s my problem? Well like I said I hate marketing speak and while the concept is real the marketing slant Microsoft are putting on it to try and sell you a games console is complete and utter bullshit.

Cloud computing is basically processing that is not done locally. You connect through a piece of hardware (in this case an Xbox One) to an external processer which performs whichever calculation is required of it and then sends it back to the local hardware for you to see. Anyone with a Google account can see this in action by opening a spreadsheet in Google drive and typing a few quick formulas – there is no spreadsheet software on your PC, it’s all happening via Google and “the power of the cloud”.

So this is nothing new, but what about using the power of cloud computing for gaming? Well yeah this is old news too.
Let’s first tackle Microsoft’s claims of “the power of the cloud creating persistent gaming worlds”. I could list numerous examples of MMO’s which have persistent gaming worlds, if for some reason they aren’t a suitable examples then I could also list Planetside, Dust 514, or even MAG as games which have persistent worlds. These are games constantly being changed by the outcomes of the numerous battles occurring within the game. Persistent worlds are nothing new.

How about being able to change games on the fly? Microsoft talk about developers being able to use “The power of the cloud” to be able to tweak multiplayer game settings, adjust weapon stats, enable or disable one off events. Again this is nothing new and was utilised by Uncharted 2 on the PS3, as well as numerous PC games.

OK, so let’s talk about the biggie. Microsoft claims that the Xbox one will be able to use “the power of the cloud” to improve graphics and in-game AI. That’s bullshit pure and simple. It’s as much bullshit as a kid standing in front of Kinect and scanning his real life skateboard into a game for use. Technically it’s feasible on some kind of level but its real world application for a game is total fantasy. There are far more technical articles that have been written on the subject which I will link to below but the summary is that the network lag is too great for the cloud calculation to provide any kind of viable in game benefit to graphics or reactive AI.

But let’s hear from some developers on how they are going to use the awesome “power of the cloud”. Respawn Entertainment are making one of my most eagerly awaited games – TitanFall which is widely promoted as “only possible through the power of the Xbox cloud”, which also goes some way to explain why it’s not going to be available on the PS4. So what are these cloud enabled features that tie the very core of this game to the Xbox One..?

Respawn's Fairfax McCandlish answers this in an interview with Joystiq. To summarise he states that essentially, cloud computing helps matchmaking, allowing dedicated servers to be spun up on a moment's notice to handle multiplayer matches and find you the most local option when searching for a game. So the power of the cloud enables matchmaking...ok, wow consider me completely unimpressed.

In closing (and to quote Public Enemy) – Don’t Believe the Hype. Any internet enabled device is capable of cloud computing, the Xbox One is nothing special in this regard. What you are being sold is vague marketing gibberish – do not fall for it.

Please do not interpret this blog as a criticism of the Xbox One console itself, just the marketing nonsense Microsoft have chosen to surround it with.

Digital Foundry’s excellent analysis of Cloud Computing on the Xbox One -

Chaostar  +   836d ago
I'm right there with you, every time an MS lackey said something like "infinite power of the cloud" or "magic of the cloud" I cringed hard.

There's a fine line between marketing your product positively and outright lying and MS have crossed it in the case of the cloud.

Great blog and thank Glob for Digital Foundry and their truth finding wizards and pixies. Can't wait to see their tech analysis of cloud on vs cloud off, should be pretty entertaining.
dedicatedtogamers  +   835d ago
I don't know why anyone should be surprised that the Xbox One features are vanishing in a puff of smoke now that people are taking a closer look at the PR claims Microsoft has made. MS always does stuff like this: promise you the stars, and then when you buy their product and open the box, you find a gold sticker star with the warning label "stars are not actual size, or actual stars"

Power of the Cloud is the new "Power of the Cell".
Oschino1907  +   835d ago
But hasn't the Cell proven it can produce superior games?

The Cloud is different, MS can promote it but it doesn't mean they have a monopoly on it. Cloud computing can and eventually probably will be used on the PS4 at some level.
HammadTheBeast  +   835d ago
It can, but nowhere near what people said it could, at least not in the current state with its connection to the GPU and with the limited RAM.

Cloud computing will probably be used on the PS4, PS+ users can already save game files to cloud servers and things like that.
kayoss  +   832d ago
The difference i believe is that the "cell" does all the computing locally where as the cloud, the computation is being sent off to a server where everything is computed and sent back to the local machine. I might be wrong though the problem with this that the article mention is latency and bandwitdth limitation. What happen if a person who wants to play game that uses cloud computation but dont have internet access how would they play?
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hennessey86  +   836d ago
While I agree
The tec isn't there yet, in the future cloud computing will be possible for graphics etc.
Nicaragua  +   836d ago
I'm sure that in the future nuclear fusion will be possible on a domestic level, but don't try and bullshit me today by telling me that's what's happening inside an Xbox power brick.
#2.1 (Edited 836d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
wtopez  +   835d ago
Pretty sure nobody said that, Nicaragua. What I believe hennessey86 is trying to say is that no technology launches fully developed. It's kinda dumb to call bullshit on a product that isn't even out yet. Just because cloud computing has been around for a while, doesn't mean that in a few years time it can't be used in the way MS is touting. At the end of the day, it's all data.
Nicaragua   835d ago | Bad language | show
HammadTheBeast  +   835d ago
Not for a while. Until a lot of people have very high speed internet, its not happening. Even the slightest ms of latency and lag can have textures floating behind or the game pretty much breaking down.
kayoss  +   832d ago
I mean even with high speed internet its going to be a problem. Internet drop out, internet cap and etc... This will play a big role in how success or how failed this going to be. Relying on the internet is a bad idea.
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Games4M - Rob  +   836d ago
I actually find Microsofts PR speel kinda insulting. They come up with this far fetched nonsense and put it out there with a straight face as though we are going to lap it up like brainless idiots.

Of course there are plenty of brainless idiots lapping it up and regurgitating this cloud computing crap all over the Internet already so i guess Microsoft knows its audience when it writes this garbage.
MysticStrummer  +   835d ago
Yeah there are plenty of people on N4G who apparently believe all the cloud marketing BS.

Maybe they're just pretending to believe, or maybe I'm giving them too much credit.
Why o why  +   835d ago
Ill find Loch Ness and the the Yeti inside the x1 I swear.....I just see it as it is, pr speak. What annoys me is the people who regurgitate it like they have more than zero percent proof. Hope and conjecture wont change reality. Time will tell but I wouldn't hedge my bets on cloud computing doing what the 'speak' implies it does.
RavageX  +   834d ago
I think the type of people who feel they have to be, "loyal" to a company,game system, and/or service are the ones who believe this sorta thing.

They believe because they NEED to. The idea that they are having smoke blown up their asses is unacceptable, it can not be fathomed. They are the same people who LOVED the idea of DRM, simply because MS said it was the future.

It's kinda like that guy/girl who is always being told by (good)friends that their significant other is cheating on them, but they won't believe it.

They start finding texts, emails, and such yet they STILL won't believe it. Then comes the day they actually catch them in the act but instead of accepting it, it somehow ends up an accident.

"They didn't mean to do it, I forgive them..."
generalthadeape  +   835d ago
The only thing I want "in the cloud" is my games saves-- all the rest of this stuff is simply too vague to even register on my gauges.

I highly doubt any of this cloud nonsense will make one iota of a difference when it comes to actually making the games we play any "better" in any sense of that word.
#4 (Edited 835d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
nosferatuzodd  +   835d ago
lol i know its crap from day one but don't tell the Microsoft fanboys that let them live in their delusions
Octo1  +   835d ago
Very nice read sir
edonus   835d ago | Spam
Pillsbury1  +   835d ago
Here's what I don't understand is Microsoft feeds us this "exponential cloud power" bs and thinks that we are idiots and will accept it as fact. If its an offline system no no game will need to use it, end of story.
bobtheimpaler  +   835d ago
Great blog. They really haven't been very clear on how the whole cloud computing works. Because the reality of it isn't as cool as they're making it out to be and more people understand it better than they expected. Also, they've been going out of their way to butcher gaming terminology everyone is familiar with.

Take this for example. When Phil Spencer was on Jimmy Fallon, he said "You can use the power of the cloud to play multiplayer".

It's just so laughable.

There's nothing new with what they're trying to do. It's just Microsoft doing what they've always done. Saying they've innovated when they haven't. All they've done is slap a new funky sounding marketing term on it.

Also the way Phil mentioned it in an interview just made it's implementation sound pointless. For lighting, what it amounts to is just as simple as having the effects pre-canned and rendered locally.
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4kids   835d ago | Spam
Sleet  +   834d ago
This blog is spot on, the very notion that an xbox can be made 4 x more powerful through cloud computing is so ludicrous that i almost pissed in my pants when i heard it.

Then i heard xbox fans lap it and begin to repeat it and my jaw hit the floor at the naivety.

What they are suggesting cannot be done, wake up and smell reality.
denawayne  +   834d ago
What if it does come through with the promises? A of people will be eating crow. I don't necessarily believe in it but I'm not going to call bs on something that is not out yet. That's why I have the wait and see approach.
isarai  +   833d ago
Really don't get how people are believing this BS. It's hard enough to get graphics and AI computed quickly and efficiently through the immediate hardware that is soldered directly to each other, so how is it people think that that same processing power can be accomplished through the internet? there are GIGABYTES of data being transferred and computed constantly through the hardware, how in the hell are you believing that MS can magically allow your internet to transfer those gigabytes of data instantly? hell a 4MB youtube video won't even load instantly, don't believe this BS
pupa  +   833d ago
Wha's new. Microsoft lied before to gain market share and they will do again, usually by using prominent actors.

Where is Milo and the futuristic AI? get the idea?

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