Microsoft teaming up with NASA for new XBone space tech demo
Despite all the negative attention the Xbox One is getting, the console will still be an reasonably powerful machine. NASA will be creating a tech demo to push, what Microsoft’s Jeff Henshaw calls, the Xbox One’s “pure horsepower.”
The demo, created by programmer Frank Savage, will have the XBone look through massive sets of data. The goal for the searches were to see what is possible for the new console.
Henshaw tells the story of going to NASA and using their databases to test the “horsepower” of the console. “It has every celestial body in the inner solar system, including planets, moons, asteroids, comets.” The test came about after talking with NASA while the console was in development, but everything had to remain hush hush. The result of the database query came up with a simulation of space based on 35 thousand light years of data. It can even track the position, velocity and orbital trajectory of every single cluster of asteroids between Mars and Pluto.
Over 40,000 asteroids were “calculated and rendered” and was able to show “its time and place to a high degree of accuracy,” Henshaw claims. He equated the intergalactic computational power of rendering “10,000 to 100,000 enemies in-game” all at once, while maintaining a high level of realism and movement fluidity. This would all be rendered using the Xbox One’s graphical input as well as offloading some of the computational power to Microsoft’s cloud servers. ”This is how the cloud will change the gaming experience,” Jeff explains, “If a developer wants to do really crazy stuff we can see how he can map and compute 330,000 asteroids in real-time via global cloud computing. There are 500,000 updates per second from the cloud to Xbox One. Developers tell us this is a miracle for them. Even the highest of highest PCs could not do all of this at once, it really takes global cloud computing resources.”
At launch, Microsoft’s Xbox One will have 100,000 servers available and dozens of data centres for developers to use, which Henshaw states will grow as support grows stronger for the console. “We’re just scratching the surface of what can be done.”