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The power of the Cloud has been touted by Microsoft as a game changer for the Xbox One, but despite much talk we're yet to really see how this pie in the sky concept will translate to the games we play.

A demonstration given at Microsoft's annual Build developer conference running on PC hardware finally shows off a tangible reason to be slightly excited by cloud computing.

What you see are two systems running a destruction simulation, one running on local hardware only and the other making use of cloud computing. Simply put, the system with the cloud could maintain a steady 30 frames per second with lots of destruction going on, whilst the other system slowed to around two frames per second.

It remains to be seen if this kind of performance could be achieved on Xbox One.

Source: Arekkz Gaming via Kotaku

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Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

I agree the spin is misleading on this, the Azure team at MS would sell capacity to Apple, Samsung, Sony or Satan himself if it increased their utilisation numbers. If a 3rd party finds the technology useful the Azure team would be only too delighted for them to leverage the tech on any platform including PS4.

Technically there are much greater challenges though I'll quote here from the Beyond3D forum thread on 'Server Based Game Augmentations' in it 'Shifty Geezer' addresses the key weaknesses of this demo Quote:
It's a great, optimistic demo, but sadly not all that useful until we know the specifics. I suppose the data details can be kept secret if part of the development is finding ways to pack massive amounts of particulate data (Vec3 position + rotation for each block, assuming each particle piece is premodelled and not computed realtime requiring mesh data to be included) and this software solution will be part of MS's cloud advantage. 30,000 particles, 32 bit floats per value, would be 192 bits * 30k = 5.5 MB of data per frame, or needing a 170 Mbps connection. MS would need a way to condense that data into less than 1/10th to be viable for real users.

Two problems with this demo and understanding its application in real scenarios are the data connection in use (where these computers over the internet or in another room connected via Ethernet?), and that it wasn't a like for like comparison. Stationary particles won't need to be sent over the connection so the BW requirement is much reduced. They should have kept it a fair test.
Posted 13:52 on 04 April 2014
watur123's Avatar

watur123

But can it run Zelda?
Posted 13:36 on 04 April 2014
skidoosh's Avatar

skidoosh

This is massively misleading. Not the article coverage but Microsoft peddling this tech as proprietary.

Lots of companies are using cloud systems just like this, take Playstation Now (was Gaikai) for instance. When you rent a game to play remotely, a virtualisation of the specific playstation OS with that game installed will be instantiated and you effectively remote desktop play that game over the internet.

That's just what we saw there. A virtualised windows OS backed by a distributed compute system streaming the graphical output to the demo machine. Amazing and exciting? Yes! Only people doing it? No!

Do you want to remote play all your Xbone games with the telecommunications infrastructure we have in this country? We will do one day, but not yet!

I won't be all negative, this is great news for computing in general and great news for consumers having both MS and PS pushing in the same direction. I just don't agree with Microsoft pushing it as a USP, because it's not unique!

If you have a website, you should look at the Microsoft Azure platform this sim is running on! It's brilliant and ANYONE can use it!
Posted 12:29 on 04 April 2014
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