The lights are on
In a new video, Respawn talks about how the studio took advantage of Microsoft's cloud in creating its blockbuster shooter Titanfall.
In the video, producer Drew McCoy and other Titanfall developers wax enthusiastic about the ability Xbox One games have to use dedicated cloud servers for multiplayer - as well as the ability to off-load some core game calculations on to the cloud, effectively increasing the Xbox One's processing power.
Titanfall uses the cloud for a variety of game functions, but the most important is to make sure that multiplayer is an even, smooth experience for all players. This is made possible by the ability to scale cloud power on the fly among all players, which eliminates the advantage that the host player could sometimes have in previous console generations.
Our Take:When I went to Respawn for our cover story on the game, this was something they spent a lot of time talking about. It's a great resource for developers. However, it is ironic, as this was one of the reasons that Microsoft made the unpopular decision to make the console "always on." Obviously, it reversed that decision due to concerns from users, which is the right move. Still, I wonder if the cloud could have made an even greater impact on this upcoming generation of console games if it Xbox One did have a mandatory online connection. That said, it was the right call to err on the side of not excluding a potentially large part of the audience, especially gamers in rural areas or areas without great broadband penetration. Hopefully by the time the next round of consoles arrives, that won't be a concern.