Microsoft’s Gaming On The Cloud

by Jeff Cork on May 21, 2013 at 09:26 AM

The Xbox One isn’t Xbox’s first foray into the cloud. If you’ve played an Xbox 360 game long enough to pull up a save screen, you know that you can save your games not only locally on your system, but up into the electronic ether. The Xbox One is expanding that cloud strategy, incorporating full-bore cloud computing as well.

“In a nutshell, what we’re doing with cloud power is we’re allowing every game and application on this system to fully use cloud-compute resources,” says Chad Gibson, Xbox Live’s principal group program manager. “We love in our developer conferences to ask the question to game developers, ‘What would you do with unlimited cloud computing for your game?’ There are a lot of transformative things that we want to do, such as allow large-scale systems to move to the cloud, such as artificial intelligence systems, allow more epic 100-person battles, allow more of this sort of concurrent permanent experience to happen in these games.”

The bottom line is that while Microsoft isn’t making any kind of always-on mandates, developers have access to cloud services that allow for expanded console-gaming experiences. As in Gibson’s example, a game could incorporate larger worlds than possible with current console hardware, featuring elements of persistence that aren’t available, either. It’s certainly nothing new to PC gamers, who have been exploring worlds like these since the early days of MMOs. It’s a relative novelty to console gaming, however, and the fact that it’s baked into the system means that it’s tech that developers can plan for from the outset instead.

Circling back to the current state of Xbox gaming, Microsoft says that saves will be uploaded to the cloud automatically – no memory management required. 


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