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Microsoft: Xbox One Has "Infinite Additional Processing Power"

Jonathan Lester
Cloud, Hmmm, Microsoft, Xbox One

Microsoft: Xbox One Has "Infinite Additional Processing Power"

Thanks To “Virtualized Cloud Resources"

Microsoft's engineers claim that the Xbox One will pack the power of ten Xbox 360s, but better yet, has access to a "limitless" amount of cloud-based processing power.

There's a big difference between the theory and practical applications, mind. Check out the quotes below.

"Microsoft has hundreds of thousands of servers and dozens of data centers geographically distributed all around the planet," Xbox One engineering manager Jeff Henshaw explained at an E3 panel [attended by GI.biz], "and Xbox One has the ability to instantly tap in to that limitless computational horsepower."

Using a tech demo from NASA as an example, which tracks asteroid positions in real time, Henshaw boasted that Xbox One can "take the number of asteroids from 40,000 to 330,000, and any device doing the computational math to realistically in real-time chart the orbital velocity of 330,000 asteroids would melt a hole in the ground, but Xbox One is able to do it without even breaking a sweat because it's pulling in virtualized cloud computing resources."

"Game developers are building games that have bigger levels than ever before. In fact, game developers can now create persistent worlds that encompass tens or hundreds of thousands of players without taxing any individual console, and those worlds that they built can be lusher and more vibrant than ever before because the cloud persists and is always there, always computing," Henshaw continued.

"Those worlds can live on in between game sessions. If one player drops out, that world will continue on and can experience the effects of time, like wear from weather damage, so that when a player comes back into the universe it's actually a slightly evolved place in the same way that our real world evolves a little bit from the time we go to sleep to the time we wake up. Game developers have given us incredibly positive feedback on the crazy different ways that they can use this incredible new cloud power resource."

The Xbox One's massive cloud-based server infrastructure will probably be useless for graphics processing, especially considering the rampant latency issues. That said, Henshaw has described a perfect platform for complex MMOs. As some of our readers have suggested, all this talk of cloud power could well be an attempt to compete with the more powerful PS4 on hardware terms - at least in theory.

Add a comment4 comments
sits69  Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:11

Perhaps in a persistent environment, the cloud will be able to serve characters and systems with complex AI routines, but that's about it really. Graphics, physics and most other computations need to be served with ultra-low latency which can't be handled over your copper wire telephone connection.

Most of this PR speak about XOne's cloud processing is just that: an attempt to fill the computational gap between it and the PS4, with lip service.

For a greater, technical breakdown of the limitations of XOne's cloud processing, read Digital Foundry's analysis article. (Dealspwn won't let me link it, so Google it.)

JonLester  Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:17

"the cloud will be able to serve characters and systems with complex AI routines, but that's about it really. "

Agreed, since that's what pretty much every MMO does these days anyway. ;) However, by the looks of the tech demo, we could get the Asteroids reboot of our wildest dreams.

The article you mentioned is here.

Once again, though, at least all Titanfall players will be guaranteed dedicated servers. That's the sort of practical benefit we like to see, rather than theoretical applications.

Kopite211  Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:33

Well I dint really see any games pushing this technology at E3 so it can't be that great.

Breadster  Jun. 14, 2013 at 16:33

I find it hard to believe that this will be put into practice in any way other than basically providing dedicated servers for games, which while nice, is way less exciting than they make it sound.

I think saying it has infinite additional computational power, as though you could have like millions of AI in a single player game or something is total ****. If they have say 300,000 servers, and 300,000 players, how exactly would they each be experiencing "infinite power"?

Forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm not exactly sure of the specifics of cloud computing but it sounds like bull to me. Maybe I should have read that DF article before commenting. :P


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