Xbox One's secret weapon is finally firing live rounds


“Cloud processing.” You're almost certainly dismissive of the term by now because after all the boastful claims of Xbox One's launch, almost nothing came of it. It's supposed to allow your Xbox One to communicate with vastly more powerful computers over the internet, using this remote extra power to make your games better than a $300 console has any right to deliver. Yet what have seen of it so far? Titanfall's AI bots (which don't appear to be particularly special and are currently being enjoyed by about two people) and Forza's 'Drivatar' simulations of real gamers. Which, if I'm brutally honest, behave like normal AI drivers, only with an extra little pang of disappointment.

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playstation4epic1169d ago

I'm here laughing at the line 'Titanfall's AI bots (which don't appear to be particularly special and are currently being enjoyed by about two people)'. Ahh, hysterical

breakpad1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

nah.. i m still seeing blanks being fired just to impress the clueless ...also is nt a secret weapon and all the competitors can have it too

TheGreatGamer1169d ago

The competitors do not have this. Mark Cerny admitted it himself

nX1169d ago

^Everyone has servers that can calculate anything you code them to, where did Mark Cerny say otherwise?

Also lets not forget that all these demonstrations have been done in controlled environments, probably even within the same network while the true viability of this "secret weapon" can only be measured when gamers from around the world have a go at it.

CYCLEGAMER1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Lmao if everyone can do what Ms is doing then why aren't they??? You guys kill me with this notion that other consoles can do whatever the Xbox can. Let it be what it is dude.

Death1169d ago

With money, engineers, and a viable reason to invest, Sony could do the same thing. What makes this possible for Xbox is Microsoft already invested in Azure and it has other uses. Sony can't simply copy the idea since it would be extremely costly and hard to justify for a single platform. Who want's to pay $14.99 a month to subscribe to cloud compute when the competition gives it away anyhow? ;)

Irishguy951169d ago

They could if they had what MS has...which they don't. Sony, nintendo etc...they could do it sure. But it would cost alot of money to set up. MS already had half the tools for it.

n4rc1169d ago

love how everyone will play up a feature like remote play or psnow but suddenly become so skeptical of internet capabilities when its ms.. entire game? no prob! just the physics? lies!!!!

and no.. sony cant do it.. they dont have the infrastructure to do this... could they at some point? of course..

but.. you cant honestly believe MS spent multiple billions of dollars building Azure for xbox to use. its been built for all the big money services that MS provides.. sony would need a similar payoff to consider building anything remotely close..

people will say gaikai but its not even remotely close.. gaikai was worth $180m when sony acquired them, ms spent $500m on the Ireland data center alone

Genuine-User1169d ago

Cloud compute is NOT unique to Microsoft.

DougLord1169d ago

Still in denial. You would rather see gaming held back and technology stop advancing because it's not on Playstation. SAD.

bleedsoe9mm1169d ago

its going to be interesting to see what sony does first , gets ps3 (or pc ports of ps3 games) to run in emulation on the ps4 , or cloud compute . i'm betting neither at least not for a long time .

ABizzel11169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Sony's cloud is not the same as MS, and both have very different uses and advantages.


MS, as shown in Crackdown, can greatly aid physics calculations that the CPU of these consoles simply can't handheld. What they're doing in Crackdown is no doubt impressive and probably the best demonstration of physics in a game and it's worthy of the attention from a technological standpoint (PS trolls, this is big news so stop downplaying with the Red Faction comparisons). How it aids games is yet to be seen (dropping a building on someone doesn't really blow me away personally, but it's cool tech regardless). That being said I have 3 big questions / concerns for this.

Server Questions
1. The Cloud servers are a big thing here, because they control the physics of a group of buildings, so what happens to that section of the game when 1 server lags out or drops. If a server drops does that part of the city implode, does the entire game load until a new server takes it's place, what happens to people who have a bad connection. There are just too many possible problems with so much happening at one time in the online space, and exactly how are they going to make this work with a 4MB connection, when it's a struggle to stream a game with a 6MB connection.

Player Count
2. Crackdown is currently limited to 4 player at this time, which isn't bad, but this type of chaos needs more people in it. The lower the better, because less people cause less destruction, which is less stress on the server, but again this is the kind of game where more players make it that much better.

3. Finally to make things flow, the size and scale of the multiplayer city is significantly condensed and smaller than the single player city which is to be expected.

Single-player city

Multiplayer city

Night and Day difference. The Multiplayer City is like a Boom Blox City, compared to the big open world of the single player. Regardless it's still very impressive tech, and an understandable reason as to why the smaller multiplayer city is needed. It's also unfortunate that the single player misses out on this destruction, but again understandable.

Sony could make their own, or even add to Gaikai's (which was the plan all along), but they'll be a few years behind MS in this regard who has had their Computing Cloud well before this generation started since it's original purpose was not for games.

Gaikai has an extreme advantage as well, the problem is Sony can't realize that advantage, because of the average Worldwide internet speed. If Internet speeds were significantly faster and everyone had a 1 GB speed, then Sony could be streaming 4k games running off servers powered by PS4 clusters, which would produce games and game worlds far beyond what the PS4 / XBO, or even PS5 / XB4 could ever make on their hardware alone (possibly PS6 / XB5 as well, depending on the number of clusters), but internet speed is holding them back, and at this time worldwide servers, which is why we have the current streams of 720p - 1080p, at slightly reduced image quality.

XBLSkull1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


Likely neither, PS3 never even added basic cross game chat still to this day. While yes in theory anyone could do cloud compute, in theory almost anything could be done. So lets just stick to facts, Microsoft is obviously leading the cloud compute front, and likely will be the only one using this feature for at least several years if not a decade or more.

ninsigma1169d ago

You're all correct that Sony at this moment in time can't do this because they don't have the servers to do so. But all they need to do is invest in servers for the purpose and the can be coded to do whatever they want.

Crackdown 3 is cool in the sense that it hasn't been done on consoles before but this kinda stuff has been done on pc. It's not crazy technological voodoo. It's called remote processing and was possible and implemented before the term cloud computing ever became a thing. Cloud is a buzz word for remote processing, it does no more or no less. I don't really see this as a xbox feature, because really it's not. The remote servers do all the calculations which has nothing to do with the Console and it's the game that uses the consoles Internet capabilities (which is standard even on the phone I'm writing this on), to send and receive messages to the server. The xbox doesn't actually do anything more than it always has.

It's great the the devs of crackdown have utilised different tech that others haven't to differentiate their game in a market where games are becoming all too similar, but let's not blow this out of proportion anyone. People need to lay off the game, it's doing something that most others don't. We don't have enough AAA games taking risks like that. In that sense it should be applauded. On the flip side, let's not act as if this is some revolutionary advancement or anything like that, or act as if no one else is capable of doing such things. Sony and Nintendo would be well able to implement such tech if they wished, but clearly they don't or we'd have heard something. Each platform maker is focusing on different projects for their fans which is good. Differentiation breeds competition. This is also good for multi platform owners so they don't end up with essential multiple of the same thing just with a different name just to play a handful of games that can't be played on the other.

dcbronco1169d ago

Genuine, no cloud computing is not unique to Microsoft. What is unique is the ability to do 800,000 updates a second making adjustments to a simulation on another machine with no lag using just 4mbs of bandwidth. Netflix using more for HD movies and that is a static stream. Besides infrastructure Microsoft developed a ton of new technology to make this happen. If it was as easy as some imply they would have been doing it at launch. All of the tech needed wasn't ready. Obviously it is now.

And others might do this later. Microsoft seems to be open sourcing the technology. But if they are doing open source like most companies do it, it opens the other companies technology to Microsoft. So if there is anything to the PS4 that Microsoft might find useful next generation it could be available to them. Though given what we've seen so far Phil was right when he said there was no way Xbox One was giving away a 50% power advantage.

Intelligent design is always better.

Volkama1169d ago

Sony can do this too. But in the same kinda way as MS can win the console war. It's theoretically possible, but it isn't actually happening.

GameNameFame1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Sony already has done it.. The whole thing is nothing but server done physics.

I love desperate fans wishing this is some secretsauce.

It is so secret Sony was working on "Cloud physics" 2 years ago.

Except most gamers were rational about it than X1 fans who think it is so special because it has word "cloud" in it.


Millions of players > 20 player
Entire World > a city.
2 years ago > few days

PistolsAtDawn1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Actually the competitors don't have it...true MS doesn't legally have it on lock down, but neither Nintendo nor PS have EVEN CLOSE to the necessary resources to do something like this. PSN tied up nearly all their dedicated servers in PS Now...the ones that are left are just enough to monitor Log Ins and some minor matchmaking servers.

The next question....if the competitors have this tech...and now it's been proven to be a real and amazing tech....why aren't they doing it? Why don't any games on PSN have dedicated servers? ...are you saying that Sony just loves screwing their customers? (it's like when people say that PS4 can upclock their CPUs at anytime.....uh, so then why don't they?)

This is also why even Cloud saving on X1 is unlimited, while on PS it's like 2 Gbs or something. The defense force is strong on this thread. Constantly fighting the future cause it has the wrong Label on it....well done guys well done.

FITgamer1169d ago

Wasn't this talked about a few ago in this article, ot sure if it's the same process.

Septic1169d ago


Ahahaha! Are you being serious? I GENUINELY thought it was a sarcastic post at first! No way can you be serious.

"Millions of players > 20 player
Entire World > a city.
2 years ago > few days"

What on earth is this logic?!

GameNameFame1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


I just love watching some people desperately wanting this to be a some secret sauce. When Sony did it 2 years ago. None of it is special.

There is your proof of "cloud" physics destruction in entire MMO world.

You can dig a freaking tunnel to your boss. You can bulldoze a mountain.

Best part? it was done 2 year ago. I didn't see anyone yellow "SUPER SECRET SAUZZZ for PS4" People were more reasonable then.

X1 fans are getting pretty desperate now days.

BG115791169d ago

If this ends up working for Microsoft, other will certainly follow. It is the law of the market.

Hell, at this point, even Nintendo may be taking notes right now for their NX or the following console.

Docknoss1169d ago

The Xbox was built around the cloud. The PS4 was built to be powerful from the start, it may be able to use a cloud type system but not as well as the Xbox.

joeorc1169d ago


"The competitors do not have this. Mark Cerny admitted it himself"

Quit pulling stuff out of your rear end..he did nothing of the freaking sort.

As a matter of fact Sony continued the evolution of a Grid Distribution Network of consoles to do Cloud Compute.

Remember these.

Well instead this time , the PS4 is a grid compute GpGPU cloud compute cluster.

Sony is not talking about it , because there is no need to, because the developers and publishers already know its there to use.

You would know this if you even bothered to do proper research. For one calling out people to do proper research on Microsoft's developments, maybe you would be best served to do the same when talking about Sony. Unless you do not care about being accurate and just wantvto spread wrong informstionvabout a product.

Lennoxb631169d ago

MS were only shooting blanks to the people who knew nothing about the technology in the first place.

freshslicepizza1169d ago

amazon, google and microsoft have one thing in common, tons of investment into their online infrastructure. sony so far does not.

ninsigma1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


You clearly don't know how cloud works if you think ps4 couldn't utilise it as well as xb. The wii u could do it just as well. All it does is contact a server with the relevant info and the server calculates. Your phone could utilise such tech. There is no designing hardware around the cloud. If it has Internet connection, it can do it. Simple as that.

Edit: got your name wrong.

Spotie1169d ago

I thought the whole argument was about improving the overall power of the console, graphics and all. Which is something Cerny talked about as being (currently, at least) not possible. Crackdown hasn't shown this to have changed in the slightest.

tolis19811169d ago

The competitors have serious network problems. Fix PSN first and then talk. PSN service is a piece of crap, it's only does offline.

SonofGod1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Just like I knew was inevitably going to happen, It has now officially gone from "cloud power is just marketing BS from Microsoft" to "anyone can do it, not just MS".

Called it.


That is the dumbest comparison I have ever seen. Are you serious??? The scale of Crackdown 3's destruction can't be done locally on consoles. Period.

wellard1169d ago

I can't believe that there are people here claiming to be informed yet denying that other platforms can make use of cloud processing. Of course they can use cloud computing. They may not have the servers for it yet but it doesn't mean that they can't use them. There's nothing more infuriating than being told 'facts' by people who are clueless. Being a fanboy does not make you right, it makes you biased and uninformed.

donthate1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

I remember how PS Now is the greatest feature ever, the price isn't an issue and I played it all night last night without a hitch.

Yet, Xbox Live Compute remains to be seen!

The funny thing about Xbox Live Compute is that there is less demand from your internet in all metrics than PS Now!

Yup, PS Now requires as close to frame, by frame data input, because you might be pushing buttons or move the analog stick. It also needs to send a large amount of data to try and get a good quality video feed (despite it being pretty poor and can't keep up if there is a lot happening on the screen).

In contrast, Xbox Live Compute picks computations that aren't as frame dependent like physics, AI, light and so on. So latency isn't as big of an issue, and MS is aiming for a 2-4 Mbps connection.

So in all cases, Xbox Live Compute is going to work better:

* latency: XBL Compute tolerates higher latencies
* bandwidth: XBL Compute requires less
* stability of connection: XBL Compute do not deal with frame sensitive calculations so if you get a lag spike, you will most likely not notice it, because nothing will happen


Let me take a crack at your questions:

1. It is clear to me that you should not be an armchair network specialist discussing this. The amount of data required to stream a game is larger because the stream embedds the video itself. Whereas XBL Compute only sends the physics calculations which is considerably smaller data. Think about how little data your multiplayer games send and receive?

On the topic of multiplayer games and loss of server, what happens in a multiplayer game? All the clients get updated when it is back online. In XBL compute notice that the servers take over each others load, so the game state just moves over to the next server instance.

I answered your other questions above about the fact that PS Now works (albeit laggy) and how XBL Compute will work better than that.

2. The player count is probably based on game design decisions, and not a technical one. Co-op seem to always have limited to 4-people, but that might change if it is more fun to have more people. Bottom line, there is no technical limitation, because the game is on dedicated servers.

3. Again Gakai as it stands need huge investments to turn a PS3 farm into a Server farm, but that a server farm doesn't make a cloud. It needs the scalable service (i.e. the software) on top of it to make it happen. Part of being a cloud requires for instance that maintenaince happens without taking down the whole service down like on PSN. That is over a decade old way of doing it. Cloud was created to avoid those very issues!

A PS4 cluster hasn't even happened yet, and it doesn't make sense to even do it on a PS4 in the first place. It would be a PC if Sony did something like that, and graphics is one of those things where it isn't as well researched/used in distributed computing with time sensitivity.

Also you are saying if everyone had 1 GB speed, but that doesn't solve the problem at all. The horrid experience is due lag/latency which is orthogonal to bandwidth.

Professor_K1169d ago

Blanks? are you sure about that?
because these sure dont look like blanks lol

grumpygamr1169d ago Show
freshslicepizza1169d ago

"I thought the whole argument was about improving the overall power of the console, graphics and all. Which is something Cerny talked about as being (currently, at least) not possible. Crackdown hasn't shown this to have changed in the slightest."

clearly you don't know how demanding creating a physical world is. most visually stunning graphic games on consoles are just pretty scenery. you do not interact with every object nor can you destroy those objects and change the whole landscape like crackdown 3 is doing. this is on a whole new level.

GameNameFame1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


LOL. did you see the graphics of Crackdown? It looks last gen.

Server compute has been around. MS didnt invent it nor they found a new use for it. It still remains limited.

All crackdown has done is doing server physics that has been done before and something anyone can do.
Sony has done this before too on their own server 2 years ago.

Btw, Everquest Next and Everquest Landmark are not same game. LOL that was just desperate attempt.

freshslicepizza1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


what exactly are you trying to show us with that video you keep spamming everywhere? sure the big robot destroys the trees but those trees have no physics at all. they disappear as well, lol. you talk about crackdown looking last gen, those physics in that video look like they were on the ps2. we've seen a lot more of crackdown 3 and a full demo than we have of that game as well. maybe when it comes out we can compare but as of now there really isn't much to show of that game.

by the way, sony sold s.o.e.

ABizzel11169d ago

Note to self smash the completely waste if a response from dothae / whatever his/her name is when I get home.

1169d ago
grumpygamr1168d ago


They could. All it is, whether you give it a fancy name or not, is a Server that can calculate physics. So it would be simple to set up. It's online only cause to do this a dedicated server is required. Your just calculating the physics above the normal calculations of what a dedicated server usually does (which is not that different) so anybody including nintendo could set up a Server farm tomorrow and then make a game that requires a dedicated server and have it calculate the physics and communicate that to the console in small enough packets above what a normal online packet usually holds. You are eating up Microsofts marketting. I have worked on many cloud systems and Microsoft just loves to pretend stuff is way more then it is. This won't improve graphics at all. It will only make stuff break in a cool way and it really is just hype right now as in the real world it doesn't even exist. But absolutely anyone could set it up but making it work with a bunch of online gamers may be trouble. Don't be surprised if it ends up being a small group of people at a time. Cause those packets are gonna cost bandwidth.

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s8anicslayer1169d ago

The author seems to end his opinion on the notion that the successor to the Xbox one will be the game changer to console gaming. Azure no doubt will be amazing when it's full potential is realized in console gaming but I reckon that it might be to late this gem to make a major impact determining the Xbox ones place in the console war against the PS4.

1169d ago
MasterCornholio1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


"It's only 10 million behind, can we all stop acting like that's a impossible number to overcome or match ?"

The XB1 will have to start to outsell the PS4 first. And since launch that never happened on a global basis.

Sure it's possible but its so improbable that it isn't even worth considering.

Anyways even if that doesn't happen the XB1 is still a great console.

1169d ago Replies(1)
PistolsAtDawn1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

You're only proving you have no idea what you're talking about...I recently jumped back into Titanfall, and it's reminding me why it's the best MP I've ever played. The AI bots do their job perfectly...if you think the goal of the bots is to be extremely smart and deadly, you're COMPLETELY missing the point, it's to add the aspect of a massive warzone...which it does in spades. If the AI was smarter, the game would be a nightmare....however, for creating a solid gameplay experience it works perfectly. If you're looking for smart cloud-based UI, play either Forza and put it on the hardest difficulty....then, good luck.

You just sound scared and salty because the tech you've been trying to fight turned out to be a real thing...and not only a real thing, but something that makes the power gap between PS4 and X1 an utter joke. You don't like when the jokes don't favor you :(

nX1169d ago

Funny, the warzones I heard of didn't seem to consist of idiots that run into any bullet you shoot. But hey, it's better than having human players on the battlefield to make it a truly massive warzone, right...? Also I'm pretty sure Counter Strike or Unreal Tournament had these kind of bots more than a decade ago without any form of "cloud computing".

VforVideogames1169d ago

On topic: great article non the less.

trywizardo1169d ago

actually I'm still waiting for titanfall on PS4 ...

Professor_K1169d ago

Whats hilarious is you hidding your saltynes with "laughter"

jb2271169d ago

It's funny to me that people actually try to downplay the 2-4 Mbps connection & lag potential by saying that the calculations aren't taxing on a connection while MS is saying that the game is utilizing the power of 20 boxes.

In any event, the destructibility is cool but I don't think people should be putting the cart before the horse in this situation because this game & it's cloud features are still untested by a large audience. I know my connection wouldn't be able to pull it off, I pay for 15 Mbps from Time Warner but I'm typically lucky to get 1.5, so 2-4 is a no go for me & I'd assume many small towns across the States.

Necr0philiac1168d ago

One on my friends has a shit internet connection and Titanfall is the only multiplayer game he could play without lag. Not sure if that is because of the Cloud or not. TitanFall ran buttery smooth for me 99% of the time.

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TheGreatGamer1169d ago

The destruction in crackdown is only possible on XB1 and if they do continue to use the cloud in more games, well, it can be nothing but good news for consumers and MS alike

Irishguy951169d ago

It'd be possible on PC too if MS let it

TheGreatGamer1169d ago

Yeah but this article is based on the consoles but yes, you're right

Genuine-User1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )


A word of advice, do not make absolute statements.

Cloud compute is not confined to a single platform.

Sureshot1169d ago

Sony doesn't have, nor will have in the near future, the infrastructure to execute cloud compute as Microsoft does. I'm sorry but Playstation just isn't bringing enough revenue to Sony for that to be viable.

Genuine-User1169d ago

To clarify, do not make absolute statements when it comes to networking.

Volkama1169d ago

Possible on PS4 too, if MS let it. Less likely obviously, but hey... Commercial deals happen and Sony's money counts as much as anyone else's.

Professor_K1169d ago

Currentluy As it stands, its only possible on XB1

Volkama1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Also interesting to note, afaik Cloudgine are completely independent of Microsoft. For all we know their tech could work just as well on Amazon's cloud, and they could be willing to work with anyone that approaches them with the right proposition.

What I do know is I'd love to have a frank discussion with them about the tech and how they see it evolving.

1169d ago
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Death1169d ago

The hard part is going to get third parties to use it since most make multiplatform games. With Sony having much more marketshare, what devs will spend the resources to use it? This is one area where Sony will be the lowest common denominator holding development back.

Genuine-User1169d ago

I'm sorry but this is just beyond desperate now. Almost all of you are evidently ignorant when it comes to network infrastructures and cloud compute.

Unreal011169d ago

Yeah, unfortunately Microsoft is forcing parity by struggling to reach certain resolutions/framerates that are reachable on PS4, and this not being not utilised by the PS4 will limit what Microsoft can do with 90%+ of the games on its console.

n4rc1169d ago

how do you figure thats desperate? wanna share your expertise in networking that confirms this desperation?

pretty easy to make a baseless claim like that without offering a shred of proof to back it up

Death1169d ago


I suggest you watch the demos, game play and technical discussions we've all been watching from Gamescom. Maybe then you could be less ignorant.


Which games on the PS4 aren't in native 1080p due to developers holding back due to Xbox One? It's fun to say things like that, but it's even more fun to be able to back them up.

ninsigma1169d ago

I think what unreal is saying is that xbox wants parity but that parity may be coming from using the azure servers, but if Sony is utilising such tech then the devs would effectively have to code the games a lot more differently than originally without the cloud. Are they going to do this??

BG115791169d ago

We can also say thanks to the competition, we could managed to choose the non obligatory internet connection.
To a certain point this may be a blessing or a curse. We still do not know the conditions to make this work, economical or technical.

JasonKCK1169d ago

Genuine-User you're losing this battle, badly losing.

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Aceman181169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Yes but its only for the online portion of a game, the single player portion of said game doesn't see the benefit of it.

Both the other two companies can do it also, but they have other plans for their systems. Its nice that its finally being put to some use, but its not a world changing feature.

Also this feature isnt all of a sudden gonna make those who dont want the system go out and buy it.

Personally i never cared for the online mode of crackdown i just want it for the main campaign and im glad they went back to original look instead of crappy part two look.

Kribwalker1169d ago

It will be there in the co-op portion of the campaign. And I'm sure they would have put it into the single player portion of the game, but the Internet would have lit them on fire because it would have been an online only game

gfk3421169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

The cloud has a very very limited purpose as it is used ONLY for multiplayer part and ONLY for phisics calculations (NOT GRAPHICS).

As long as the cloud cannot bring the resolution to 1080p, it cannot count as a weapon.

PR statements like 20x the power of X1 in conjunction with building destruction (while the graphics and animation look so bad) could be seen as just a PR gimmick.

Edit: How can be a secret weapon when theoretically (and possible practically) anyone can do it, servers being the only "secret" ingredient.

Sony already confirmed that they have the infrastructure and the capacity.

pandehz1169d ago

''As long as the cloud cannot bring the resolution to 1080p, it cannot count as a weapon.''

So you're telling me if my fists dont shoot bullets then its not a weapon?

Cloud is a tool to enhance the game. Its not going to render the entire game for you. Nor is it going to bump up the res.

Know before commenting bs.

Just remember, you are not stupid.

TheGreatGamer1169d ago

But the developers and MS themselves have said 20x the COMPUTATIONAL power of X1, they're not misleading anyone as we all know it's used for offloading computational tasks e.g. physics