Microsoft has always attributed many aspects of the Xbox One’s core functionality to the console’s dynamic cloud-based network. To prepare for the launch of the next-gen Xbox One, the company is preparing a vast sum of server banks that will power the cloud as well as host the newly re-vamped Xbox LIVE experience and the Xbox Games Store.
In the past the Redmond-based tech giant has touted an array of impressive features that they are planning to implement with the cloud, and at a recent Eurogamer Expo, Corporate Vice President Phil Harrison revealed that the cloud’s “dedicated CPUs” will be used to boost visual performance:
“It’s also about cloud processing and AI. This is where some of the computational effort of a game can be offloaded to the dedicated CPUs on the cloud, to make your game experience even better, better graphics, better lighting, better physics.
“This is an example of where we think the the cloud is going to push the next generation of game development in new and creative ways, that will make the experience even more better.”
The prospect is certainly appealing, and if Microsoft can indeed maintain this kind of performance in practice with millions of gamers across the world it might give the company the edge it needs in the next-gen war. Interestingly enough, in a past interview with IGN, Sony’s Mark Cerny has lamented that certain things “don’t work” with cloud computing–listing the improvement of graphics as one of the main tenants.
“It’s possible to do computing in the Cloud, PlayStation 4 can do computing in the Cloud. “We do something today: Matchmaking is done in the Cloud and it works very well. If we think about things that don’t work well… Trying to boost the quality of the graphics, that won’t work well in the Cloud.”
Speculation arises as to the validity of Harrison’s claims, as they might just be Microsoft’s patented blend of PR-speech with the actual practical results varying quite widely. In any case, the console’s cloud network is quite impressive enough with its purported infinite storage space and multi-CPU capacities–which fits in line with Harrison’s dedicated CPU claim.
Whether or not the Xbox One’s cloud can indeed be used in such a way that improves noticeable visual fidelity remains to be seen, and we’ll likely have to wait until the console is released on Nov. 22 before we can tell for sure.