Login | Signup

Microsoft: Xbox One Performance Will Increase Over Time Thanks To Cloud Power

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Cloud gaming, Microsoft, Xbox One

Microsoft: Xbox One Performance Will Increase Over Time Thanks To Cloud Power

"Cloud" is a lovely piece of jargon that makes you look forward-thinking and futuristic when you say it, even though it really doesn't mean anything. However, Microsoft's Phil Harrison claims that they can use Xbox One's server infrastructure to improve the console's performance over the years, and update the hardware's potential.

"The way in which you keep the market fresh is keep the technology fresh and keep the development ecosystem growing so that new and exciting experiences are coming out," the Xbox Division chief told MCV. "And with Xbox One using the power of cloud we can add features, we can add functionality, we can have performance increases over time. I think that will keep the platform very fresh over a long period of time."

We can see Xbox Live being a perfect way of distributing regular driver updates and UI improvements (because it already is), but it's unclear whether Harrison is talking about the holy grail of cloud processing. The idea of outsourcing graphical processing to remote servers and effectively increasing a console's horsepower has been mentioned several times by Microsoft, but in the real world we live in, inconsistent broadband speeds makes it practically impossible at least in the immediate future. It's likely that he's referring to regular user experience updates and extra features to keep the console competitive over a long hardware cycle. Plus, with a more powerful competitor in raw performance terms releasing in the same month, it's probably worth trying to score points when possible.

Speaking of the immediate future, Harrison also believes that Microsoft has laid the groundwork for a digital-only future. "On a macro-global scale, the world is clearly moving in a digital direction. It is, I think, an unstoppable, inexorable momentum. We are going to see the world be truly digital. But with Xbox One we quite correctly give people choice," he continued.

"It really depends on where you live. It's my favourite William Gibson quote: 'The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed.' If you go to South Korea, the market is entirely digital. The infrastructure that they have with broadband is so powerful that there is no physical retail distribution of games. It is going to be a slow evolution, not a revolution."

Most pundits and publishers agree that we're headed inexorably towards a disc-free future, though Microsoft's plans for online check-ins, disc-based DRM and family sharing were arguably moving too fast for the here and now. Either way, we'll find out what the Xbox One is capable of at launch next month.

Add a comment9 comments
Late  Oct. 15, 2013 at 13:39

The boss says I've always got my head in the clouds. I think he means I've got virtually unlimited potential and power.

X10  Oct. 15, 2013 at 14:21

What is this utter bull twaddle?

t4v  Oct. 15, 2013 at 14:29

Translation: the PS4 is more powerful!

JonLester  Oct. 15, 2013 at 14:33

@Late: That's blue sky thinking!

@X10: Cloudy cloud power in the cloud. Sounds futuristic and on trend, doesn't it?

@t4v: There is that. As I said in the post, it's hardly surprising that Microsoft are trying to score a few points at this stage.

Last edited by JonLester, Oct. 15, 2013 at 14:35
X10  Oct. 15, 2013 at 14:40

My partner has a really good BS meter, whenever she asks me "What is...." and after my feeble attempt to explain '....' she says "Yeah, but I still don't get it", I know that it's BS.

"What is Doing things in The Cloud" is one of those times.

chieftex  Oct. 15, 2013 at 15:34

I'm forced to agree - "bull twaddle" is probably the best description. And there we thought MS had learnt lessons from using corporate doublespeak.

Translation: "We are going to pretend our console is upgradeable. However, our console is not upgradeable. Therefore we will sell the emperor new clothes".

socialjeebus  Oct. 15, 2013 at 16:10

He's technically not wrong in the sense that the hugely insignificant boost will become ever so slightly less insignificant as connection speeds improve.

It still won't make a noticeable difference however.

socialjeebus  Oct. 15, 2013 at 16:18

Love Bill Gibbo talking about Korea though. Especially seeing as I live here.

"If you go to South Korea, the market is entirely digital. The infrastructure that they have with broadband is so powerful that there is no physical retail distribution of games. It is going to be a slow evolution, not a revolution."

Now what he should be saying is:

"Consoles are so unpopular that most of the games stores closed down, the only ones left openly sell pirated games and mod consoles (you get a free games from Sony / MS for reporting them - and they still never get closed down). In fact Korea is such an insignificant market for us that we haven't even announced a release date there.

The market is digital because virtually everyone plays PC games (FIFA 14 practically sold nothing here because of the FTP Fifa Online 3) - Korea is a terrible place to use as an example because the market is so unique. Even a lot of the PC games here are either locally produced or geared specifically towards Korea."

Anyway Tesco (Homeplus) still sell games here.

The only time anybody plays console games is at a Multi-bang (essentially a a room full of consoles and big tvs - 60p an hour per person and you can choose whatever game you like) and even they're closing down.

X10  Oct. 15, 2013 at 18:42

Now what he should be saying is:

"Consoles are so unpopular that most of the games stores closed down"....


Heh, maybe that's MS equating 'bricks and mortar' closing into the market becoming digital.

Trackbacks

Leave a Trackback from your own site

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.