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The Power of the Cloud is a Game Changer

"After over two years of ridiculing Microsoft’s tagline and dismissing it as mere marketing fluff, lies and technical impossibilities, the naysayers have either shut their mouths or decided to change the goalposts employed in their arguments to somewhat ridiculous tangents."

Gaz from Gameondaily discusses the power of the cloud and why it could be a big game changer in the industry.

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TheGreatGamer1168d ago

I know Microsoft's orignial vision for the Xbox One was a real crappy one but one thing that really excited me was cloud computing. Now that we're finally seeing it come to fruition, I'm glad we can finally put a stop to the idiocy of all those 'power of teh cloudz' people who didn't believe it was a real thing even though Microsoft has been investing billions upon billions of $s in it for years now. They've said cloud computing can be used for npcs, matchmaking, environments, destruction and I'm positive we are just scratching the surface here. Consoles won't catch up to PC hardware wise but with cloud computing on Xbox One and surely the next Xbox, consoles might finally be on par with PC once again. I cannot wait to see more of this tech in the times to come

4Sh0w1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

For the record it was a piss poor mixed message of their vision at the initial reveal, but I understood the benefits from the beginning. I imagine its very hard to explain such a vision because #1 it's difficult to show without having a actual tangible game doing it, at such an early stage you know what you want to do but reality is its in its infancy. #2 Some people especially those anti-Microsoft media types and the naysayers are going to resist change no matter what you say, and unfortunately those who lack knowledge are easily influenced by misinformation and fear tactics. Look back at all the conspiracy plots surrounding X1 prior to launch and you see how laughable they are today. I got no regrets buying the X1 as it was at launch but I always wanted them to do things different than sony. The fear mongering never phased me, I think the better product was and still would be a always connected device, devs have much more freedom going forward if they KNOW everyone is connected. I love the static games we have now but a game built from the ground up to take advantage of cloud connectivity can have worlds that change constantly/randomly. Aaahhh anyway its water under the bridge now.

I'm glad to see they are moving forward at least with parts of their vision.

I also suggest before we get ahead of ourselves with over the top statements about Crackdown 3 we wait and see more, YES the demo does prove the Cloud is real and can do amazing things for future games, however we have to see HOW well it performs in the real world WITHOUT any major technical hiccups or issues. No doubt it works and the praise is justified but I'm just saying let the game speak for itself in terms of how well its going to work.

christocolus1168d ago

@4show

Well said, I agree that we all need to take the wait and see aproach but if this turns out to be as good as the demos,then i hope MS uses it in not only in crackdown 3 but in more 1st party titles (multiplayer and campaign)and if possible I'd love MS to include the middleware into xbox one dev kits and make it cost effective and easy for 3rd party devs to use the tech in their xbox one games. We know Third and first person shooters will be awesome with the tech but just imagine an rts using this tech,open world adventure game or a game like sea of thieves even Gears 4/ Perfect dark. Mmorpgs would also benefit greatly from this cos I know I'd love to see a 16 player mp open arena party game like fuzion frenzy, or powerstone using this tech.imagine how much fun it would be. What MS is doing with cloud compute looks truly impressive and I can't wait to try it out for myself.

Phoenix761168d ago

Well said mate. A demo will always showcase anything in the best possible way to make it a sell to consumers. But we shouldn't get to far ahead of ourselves until full release.

n4rc1168d ago

@4show

well said... i knew exactly what i was getting and i was pumped! ran out and got my preorder one day after the e3 reveal..

the idea of the always connected device was enticing to me..

Grown Folks Talk1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Agreed. I reserved as soon as E3 was over based on their initial vision. I actually listened to what was said, & understood the points on their website. They'd be well ahead of where they are feature wise had they stuck to their guns. Family share, digital trades/gifting, cloud based options in more games, ect.

The real issue was they did a terrible job of explaining the benefits. All those complaining about a 24 hr check-in which you could do with your cellphone if needed. All of a sudden everyone lived in isolated caves or submarines w/o internet.

n4rc1168d ago

i personally feel the reveal was ruined by fanboys.. loudest voice gets heard.. everything would have been explained (people tried) but were drowned out by all the console wars bs propaganda..

people started believing all the crap like you couldnt trade your games anymore etc... i always loved the keyboard warriors defending those hypothetical people without a basic internet connection that are also in the market for a $500 console lol

my takes on it anyways

JasonKCK1168d ago

Good comment 4Sh0w I agree. The crow has been fed to the disbeliever's, so time to move on. Continuous digging is no different than what the naysayers did over the past 2 years.

It is amazing tech, and I think "game changer" is appropriate. I want to see it in more hands though. Star Wars, Hulk, Superman, RTS games with actual resources. So many ways here to improve on gaming.

donthate1168d ago

Even if only a fraction of Crackdown 3 works as shown it would be a gigantic leap forward. Xbox One would leap ahead of PC, let alone the PS4 in terms of what it can do.

Sure other systems can do it too, but by the time they catch up we are already at a new console cycle.

So far it has taken MS at least 2-years to get what we have today, and it will take at least another year to push this to market. That is 3-years that others would be behind.

I think all the naysayers and the media can no longer ignore the power of the cloud! It is real, it is here, and it is staying.

Ironically, we are now getting "always on" games anyhow, but without any of the Xbox One original DRM policy benefits.

This is how developers/publishers will keep you "always on".

AngelicIceDiamond1168d ago

To set the record straight this has nothing to do X1 being better than PS4 or having some sorta of edge. But everything to do with the fans and fanboys who come in and disagree to death, the fans.

I understand MS showed nothing how cloud could go beyond Drivetars and DS. I understand journalist, and mostly everyone including certain dedicated Xbox sites were starting to question it. That's the reality of it and I get it.

But to claim what MS was saying was absolute fake because MS didn't show it when it was convenient to fanboys is the problem. Corporate giants don't work on fanboy time. or on the time of fans or journalist's alike. They work on their time and when they feel its ready not when fanboys say it is period.

MS did the smart thing and quit talkin about cloud this year because they knew CC3 demo was gonna impress and finally prove ppl wrong. So its fanboys attacking AGAIN when they're proven wrong and this is the problem.

If the majority of Xbox fanboys were spitting it was gonna somehow be be better than PS or its games (though I don't get how) then you guys have the right to attack. BUT, I have not seen one Xbox fan compare the power of 20 X1's in the cloud to PS4. So to me PS fanboys attacked all the way up till its reveal and YET are STILL attacking after it, despite being proven wrong.

Granted its only a handful of yall the rest are simply disagreeing spree but I have to ask? What is your guys problem? What's the deal? Why? Why do fanboys here like to fight so much? Why attack constantly? Xbox fans aren't comparing this to the competition. They're simply happy its real and looking stronger than ever.

You can't compare this to the competition anyway. PS4 has been playing its strengths since the beginning. Graphically nothing beats, Killzone: Shadowfall, Infamous, The Order, Driveclub, Bloodborne, Horizon, and Uncharted 4. X1 has Quantum Break but that doesn't mean much against all those PS4 exclusives graphically, and doesn't take anything away from Xbox as a console. Doesn't make the console worse its just that's PS4 strength plain and simple.

Same argument with cloud. CC3 is exclusive to X1 with tremendous cloud capabilities but next to nothing when comparing it to PlayStation. There's nothing to compare to, they're exclusives. MS is finally playing its strength the same way Sony has been playing its strength, simple.

With that said I don't understand why you guys are disagreeing or attacking a SECOND time. because nobody claimed this to be a game changer when compared to PS4. But a game changer to X1 exclusives again simple. So these barrage of attacks just show the near psychedelic mentality of fanboys.

Chill, ok just chill.

grumpygamr1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Oh I hope I have a front seat when again it turns out to be a much bigger promise then what it is in actual reality. Yum yum yum eat it up.

Pretty sure at this point we can conclude the xbox one fanbase's inability to identify an actual game changer.

grumpygamr1167d ago

The desire to believe only the most biased thoughts are strong with these fanboys. Luckily it looks like Microsoft never has to prove a concept. They only need to market a concept and yum yum yum eat it up they will.

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UKmilitia1168d ago

i think there are a few things to consider here.

1st it looks awesome.
2nd its never ran in real world enviroment
3rd its only been tech demo style so far.

now im not saying cloud isnt real because its stupid to say that because its been around for a while in limited format,but the real world factors are totally different to what they have shown imo.

I hope when crackdown is played its ground breaking and lives upto whats shown and it runs perfect but as usual with MS we wont hear the caveats/down points until launch.

it doesnt give every xbox the power of 4(at last quote?) xb1 consoles ,it is also limited to online connected consoles only which immediately faces a huge single player issue.
! last thing the person who made the tech for crackdown isnt MS are they? so i think they could go to any company and if tied to MS i doubt they're the only people doing cloud tech.

n4rc1168d ago

its a two sided argument..

1.. nope... this tech is not exclusive to MS.. nvidia and a bunch of others all work on similar tech..

2.. the big one... having the code to make it happen is part of it, having the hardware to actually bring it to the people is very rare.. thats where Azure comes into it.. if anyone could make it work, it will be MS with azure..

UKmilitia1168d ago

@N4RC certainly if anyone can bring cloud forward its MS because Azure is already an established network but my issues isnt if they can get it out of there end,its if the player end is capable.

n4rc1168d ago

designed to run on 2-4mb lines... hard to imagine that many people with a current gen console that dont have that covered..

and latency is where azure will shine being worldwide.. my closest datacenter isnt even in my country but comes in under 25ms

it wont work great for some id imagine.. but we cant all be held back waiting for everyone to catch up..

UKmilitia1168d ago

@n4rc,not sure hwy i cant just reply to you.

but anyway have a bubble for each comment,its rare a inteligent response is made on here .

freshslicepizza1168d ago

@UKmilitia
"it doesnt give every xbox the power of 4(at last quote?)"

actually it's more than 4.

"xb1 consoles ,it is also limited to online connected consoles only which immediately faces a huge single player issue."

well that's what the cloud is. it's also not a huge challenge considering how many millions of people play online.

"last thing the person who made the tech for crackdown isnt MS are they? so i think they could go to any company and if tied to MS i doubt they're the only people doing cloud tech."

you're right, even sony could access the technology but the question is will they? doubtful. will third party? hope so.

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Clunkyd1168d ago

If this is a success, it will make dedicated hardware obsolete depending on ISPs.

n4rc1168d ago

Psnow is already an example of hardware disappearing.. Think it can run on almost anything.. Think its still a long way of before it becomes the norm tho

medman1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Wow...these people sure are desperate to try to justify their purchase. First it was kinect. It was supposed to be a game changer. Nope. Next it was Titanfall. It was supposed to be a game changer. Nope. Then it was drivatars. Yes, you heard me correctly...drivatars. LOL. Now it's dx12 mumbo jumbo and some lego like simple blocky destruction of a limited multiplayer map and the sheep are going crazy for it again. Will these sheep never learn??

richie007bond1167d ago

It's really sad to see all the disagree's you have, if this was PlayStation 4 there would be no debate. Just goes to show that theses people have no interest in true gaming and the advantages the cloud brings next generation gaming, this is an amazing time to be a gamer and I wouldn't care if it was PS4 ,Xbox or nintendo who pioneered this fantastic tech. It's a game changer and thank you Microsoft for the advancement's your bringing to gaming.

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BlackPanther1168d ago

The tone has changed so quickly since Gamescom. The power of the cloud is no longer a joke, it is simply the reality.

And it probably gets better after 2016 when MS adds this to games like Halo, Gears, etc.

Number_91168d ago

Dude I am waiting for just that! Can you imagine destructible environments on a giant Halo map? Or more intelligent AI in villages in Fable?

beans1168d ago

Good times ahead indeed!

Number_91168d ago

Woah what did I say wrong?

Riddler891168d ago

You said nothing wrong.. Just buthurt sony fanboys who can't come to grips with what the xbox can do now.... Its really quite sad

BiggerBoss1168d ago

@riddler
I don't disagree that it was probably Sony fans who disagreed, but what do you mean by "what the Xbox can do now"? It can't do that right now. Crackdown 3 is still over a year from release, what games are you playing right NOW that using this tech to the extent of crackdown. None. At all. Forza has Drivatars which are awesome, but not really comparable to the incredible level of destruction in Crackdown. You act like overnight the Xbox One transformed into a supercomputer and now all your games have fully destructible environments, which just isn't the case.
/rant

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Fro_xoxo1168d ago

I remember when fanboys would make fun of MS about the Cloud compute.

Now it's, "but others can do it too" to make themselves feel better.

Sonyslave31168d ago

I know right it the Mister me too syndrome

343_Guilty_Spark1168d ago

But others can't do it. Only other company that could possibly do it is Amazon.

b1nary_B0SS1168d ago

@343_Guilty_Spark:

b1nary_B0SS: "Only other company that could possibly do it is Amazon."...and SCE. The custom PS3 servers housed in Gaikai datacenters are not only for cloud streaming, but also cloud computing. In 2006, Ken Kutaragi gave an example of how CELL servers could be used to create a virtual world:

5/13/2005 - Bruce D’Amora:
https://www.research.ibm.co...
*Slide 2 – Introduction - This demo is an example of a prototypical online game application running on a Cell based server… Our proposed solution leverages the Cell processor’s SPEs to perform some of the more computationally intensive processing required for a game server. We use the SPEs to perform a hybrid integration calculation required to compete rigid-body displacements in a multi-body game scene.

*Slide 3 – Performance - We were focusing on how a Cell Processor Based Blade Servers could be used to accelerate gameplay for MMOG… By streaming small integration workloads to all 8 SPEs and vectorizing the code we were able to achieve an overall integration speedup that was more than 8x that of a single processor solution. Since integration and collision detection accounted for the largest percentage of server side computational load, we concluded that Cell Processor Based Blade Servers could potentially be used to provide significant performance increase for online games that heavily relied on physical simulation.

6/19/2007 - Bruce D’Amora: http://sti.cc.gatech.edu/Sl...
*Slide 1 - Cell Based Servers for Next-Gen Games - Cell BE Online Game Prototype

*Slide 3 - Motivation: Server-side Physically Based Modeling - Enable the next generation MMOGs & virtual environments - Current online video games perform limited amount of physical simulation - Not enough client CPU resources - Bandwidth & Latency between processing nodes prohibitive to achieving real time performance

*Slide 7 - Collision Detection - All collision detection being moved to SPEs

*Slide 8 - Server Side Physics Loop - Runtime steps: 1 – 6

*Slide 24- Conclusions & Next Steps - SPEs are very fast and can provide significant speedup - Ultimately grouping, de-coupling and network scene management should be moved to SPEs - Add more destructible-body and soft-body dynamics

b1nary_B0SS1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Continue...

6/13/2006 – Ken kutaragi: http://e-mpire.com/showthre...
… Users will be able to connect to Polyphony Digital's server. So I want it to be a Cell server, with the number of Cells at a thousand to several thousand. This would allow us to maintain an entire cyberworld, as long as our power supply holds up.

* CELL server - 10/28/2005 - Nikkei Electronics: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.j...
Kutaragi proposed a cluster server using the Cell as a future server environment. A rack design combining 16 units, each of which consists of eight 2.5 GHz Cell microprocessors…

* PlayStation Network/Gaikai - 1/17/2014 - Eurogamer: http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...
Sources who have been briefed on the project suggest that the new PlayStation 3 consists of eight custom console units built into a single rack server… Sony's engineers were able to mitigate both issues by shrinking the equivalent of eight PS3s onto a single motherboard, housed in a slimline server cabinet.

5/26/2012 - Eurogamer: http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...
…what many people forget is that PlayStation 3 already streams gameplay over IP and, in some respects, cloud is a natural extension of that… the fundamental technology is already there… A single SPU is capable of encoding 720p at 30FPS at 5mbps… So, custom PS3 datacenter servers need not be that expensive…

9/17/2014 - David Perry: http://www.gameinformer.com...
To be sitting on top of a real data center is fantastic for development. We can go downstairs and do anything we want to the servers and put new servers in…Just to be very clear, we only do two things for Sony…Remote play…and then of course the cloud stuff, which was all network based.

4/27/2007 - Ken Kutaragi: http://www.eetimes.com/docu...
The design concept of the Cell processor is the network processor.

Grap1168d ago

We are going back to the "power of teh cellz" now.

JasonKCK1168d ago

b1nary_B0SS you really should just stop.

XabiDaChosenOne1167d ago

@JasonKCK Im sure he will stop when you can prove his cited and source backed information wrong.

JasonKCK1167d ago

XabiDaChosenOne there is no need to. Maybe you should stop as well, or continue to embarrass yourselves, I don't care.

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Unreal011168d ago

I still have yet to see this cloud performing in a decent released title. And why didn't they use it in Halo 5, if they can use it in Crackdown? Plus no third party game is going to utilise it.

Septic1168d ago

What? You do realise it has to start somewhere and with Crackdown 3, that's where the tech is starting to be used. A game has to cater for this from the ground up, you can't just click an 'enable cloud destruction ' field and expect it to work magically.

This shouldn't be so hard for you to understand.

Rookie_Monster1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Get real with reality unreal1,

Here is the truth about other developers able to use the same technology found on Crackdown on XB1. Hope you had learn something today, Unreal1. ;)

http://www.gamesindustry.bi...

"Now, says Bruno, lead program manager of Xbox live, that might all be about to change with advent of Xbox Live Compute, a service which "is specifically designed to enable game creators to utilize the scalable computing resources that Microsoft deploys within our regional datacenters, to enhance their game experiences beyond what is generally possible with the finite resources of a console."

What that means is not just convenience or multi-device access to content, but a significant extension of the power and scope which the Xbox One can offer developers and players. It means persistent worlds, improved AI, better rendering and dedicated servers for every multiplayer game on the platform. AND IT's ALL BEING OFFERED TO DEVELOPERS FOR FREE.

"Essentially what we did, about a year and a half ago, was sit down with a big group of game devs, some of whom have talked about their development on the platform," Bruno explains to me."

That was like 2 years ago with that interview so who knows, maybe third party has projects already in the works and make their multiplat games stand out on XB1 from the rest with truly destructible environment. Imagine GTA6 using it on the XB1 version of the game.

NeoGamer2321168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

Forza Motorsports 5, Forza Horizon 2, and Killer Instinct already use the cloud for AI models.

I don't know why people are focusing on Crackdown 3. The only difference is that the cloud is being used for things you can see visually.

In Forza Motorsports 5, Forza Horizon 2, and Killer Instinct the cloud is being used to model your opponents which completely changes gameplay in those games.

The cloud has been used since launch. drivatars completely change racing games. And now the shadow fighter feature in killer instinct completely changes fighting games.

Volkama1168d ago

Neogamer, it's because Crackdown's use of the resource is realtime and far more technically impressive.

In Forza you upload some racing stats, the server crunches the numbers and sets some parameters for the established AI, and that profile is sent back to your (and your friends) Xbox One. The Xbox runs the AI, the cloud just sets up a profile based on your behaviour.

Crackdown 3 is a whole different thing.

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bleedsoe9mm1168d ago (Edited 1168d ago )

those fanboys don't have a very good record predicting ms , 1- the xb1 will not get win10 and dx12 = wrong , 2-these system aren't strong enough for hardware run backward compatibility = wrong , 3-the cloud is ms marketing BS and will never work = wrong .

UKmilitia1168d ago

it wasn't the fact it wasnt real as didnt exist,its the real world implementation of it and real world factors that people had the joke with.

"Microsoft Says The Cloud Can Make The Xbox One 13 Times More Powerful"

see a statement like this just isnt true,because it still has the real console which is the limiter in the group.
even though cloud is doing many things it still has to get to the player and the console run it and keep FPS up.millions of people playing it at once and real world factors will surely play its role in crippling the power? especially peoples internet connections which are nowhere near good enough imo.

b1nary_B0SS1168d ago

@ theFro

b1nary_B0SS: "Others" can do it and have been since 2005:

5/13/2005 - Bruce D’Amora:
https://www.research.ibm.co...
*Slide 2 – Introduction - This demo is an example of a prototypical online game application running on a Cell based server… Our proposed solution leverages the Cell processor’s SPEs to perform some of the more computationally intensive processing required for a game server. We use the SPEs to perform a hybrid integration calculation required to compete rigid-body displacements in a multi-body game scene.

*Slide 3 – Performance - We were focusing on how a Cell Processor Based Blade Servers could be used to accelerate gameplay for MMOG… By streaming small integration workloads to all 8 SPEs and vectorizing the code we were able to achieve an overall integration speedup that was more than 8x that of a single processor solution. Since integration and collision detection accounted for the largest percentage of server side computational load, we concluded that Cell Processor Based Blade Servers could potentially be used to provide significant performance increase for online games that heavily relied on physical simulation.

6/19/2007 - Bruce D’Amora: http://sti.cc.gatech.edu/Sl...
*Slide 1 - Cell Based Servers for Next-Gen Games - Cell BE Online Game Prototype

*Slide 3 - Motivation: Server-side Physically Based Modeling - Enable the next generation MMOGs & virtual environments - Current online video games perform limited amount of physical simulation - Not enough client CPU resources - Bandwidth & Latency between processing nodes prohibitive to achieving real time performance

*Slide 7 - Collision Detection - All collision detection being moved to SPEs

*Slide 8 - Server Side Physics Loop - Runtime steps: 1 – 6

*Slide 24- Conclusions & Next Steps - SPEs are very fast and can provide significant speedup - Ultimately grouping, de-coupling and network scene management should be moved to SPEs - Add more destructible-body and soft-body dynamics

8/2007 - Page 1 - Joe Clabby: http://venturebeat.com/wp-c...
Introduction - … And by using Cell based servers, Hoplon can rapidly update the state of a player’s movements through virtual space by performing mathematically-intensive calculations rapidly.

Page 2 - The Hoplon Visit - ... Its graphics and artwork are stunning and its performance rivals what can be had on a stand-alone PlayStation 3 or xBox 360.

4/2008 – Svend Erik Bach: ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/softw are/emea/se/lsu/LSU_-_zAtlas_Sy stem_z_Roadmap_October-November _2007-3-handout.pdf
*Slide35 - IBM and Hoplon: ‘Gameframe’ Project

*Slide 36 - Why Taikodom on Cell - HPC for Motion and Collision Detection - Physics Simulation - Realist Animation - Artificial Intelligence

10/20/2008 - MasterShake: https://www.youtube.com/wat...
Taikodom Novo Gameplay 1/3

4/27/2009 - Tarquinio Teles: https://www.youtube.com/wat...
Hoplon Infotainment, Brazil startup and maker of Taikodom online video game.
@1:10 - …this game here you are seeing, very colorful, 3D, real physics runs from a mainframe…

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