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Titanfall developer explains advantages of Microsoft’s cloud

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 00:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Respawn has explained the advantages of using the cloud to power Titanfall as opposed to the peer-to-peer or dedicated server solutions used in this generation.

In a developer blog, Respawn engineer Jon Shiring discussed the advantages and disadvantages of peer-to-peer and dedicated server hosting solutions, noting that dedicated servers are superior but are extremely expensive. He said he personally spoke to both Sony and Microsoft about the problem.

“Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers are actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea,” he said.

“The Xbox group came back to us with a way for us to run all of these Titanfall dedicated servers and that lets us push games with more server CPU and higher bandwidth, which lets us have a bigger world, more physics, lots of AI, and potentially a lot more than that.”

Comparing it to Amazon’s website storage and Sony’s Gaikai, Shiring said the Microsoft cloud “somehow powers games” – noting that all the cloud is is a “huge amount of servers ready to run whatever you need them to run”.

The cloud Microsoft is referring to in connection to Xbox One is Azure, the same service you can rent from Microsoft. It’s been customised for gaming in that “it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go”. Respawn just has to supply programs, and Microsoft will implement them across PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Shiring acknowledged that this doesn’t sound much different from dedicated servers, but said the cloud solution means Respawn doesn’t need to stimate how many servers it needs on day one; doesn’t need to rent servers from ISPs around the world; and doesn’t have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server.

“And best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter,” he added.

“Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it’s far more affordable than other hosting options – their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers. So because of this, dedicated servers are much more of a realistic option for developers who don’t want to make compromises on their player experience, and it opens up a lot more things that we can do in an online game.”

In summary, Shiring said the cloud allows Respawn to “do things in Titanfall that no player-hosted multiplayer game can do”.

“That has allowed us to push the boundaries in online multiplayer and that’s awesome,” he said.

“We want to try new ideas and let the player do things they’ve never been able to do before. Over time, I expect that we’ll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that’s going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come.”

Titanfall is expected on PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014.

Microsoft has invested $700 million in a new data centre to expand its cloud and Xbox Live reach, and believes this will make Xbox Live the best place to play games in the coming generation.

Thanks, Polygon.

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50 Comments

  1. xxJPRACERxx

    Damn, I’m getting sick about this cloud BS. Dedicated server is nothing new…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. mkotechno

    2013, the year COD discovered teselation, and the year Microsoft discovered autoscalable virtual servers.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. pandulce1

    I am at a complete loss here.

    “Comparing it to Amazon’s website storage and Sony’s Gaikai, Shiring said the Microsoft cloud “somehow powers games”

    How can you possibly praise and make use of something when you don’t even know how it works?

    “all the cloud is is a “huge amount of servers ready to run whatever you need them to run”

    Just like any other server on the planet. What is the big deal? Give the BS a rest.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SlayerGT

    So how fast does Respawn throw MS under the bus when the servers go down?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Fin

    This is such marketing bullshit.

    Anyone with a lick of sense/experience in the games industry knows AWS (amazon web services) powers a vast amount of games.

    http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/mediamolecule/
    http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/naughty-dog/
    http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/ubisoft/
    http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/supercell/

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Aullah

    blablablabla…
    I dont really care as long as I can enjoy mp lag free.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    for fuck sake call it for what it is, dedicated servers…

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    “Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers are actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea,”

    This is probably the only actual benefit of using “The cloud”

    #8 2 years ago
  9. aprotosis

    I am not sure where your guys’ disconnect is. A good way to think of the difference between a server farm like AWS and cloud computing is to think of video cards.

    Older fixed-function pipeline video cards are like the server farm. You have a discrete problem and you design for it.

    Cloud computing is like a programmable pipeline video card. (shaders) The hardware doesn’t need to be deisgned for a specific purpose. You give it a calculation, it chunks it across simultaneous operations, and spits out an answer.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Maabren

    Jon Shiring don’t explain what kind of boudaries they pushed. He really don’t explain anything new about the cloud. “it can make online games better” may be true, but that may only be compared to player-hosted multiplayer.

    “Amazon has a cloud that powers websites. Sony has a cloud that streams game video so you can play a game that you don’t have on your machine. Now Xbox Live has a cloud that somehow powers games.” Yepp, marketing BS.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @9

    You seem to not understand that cloud computing in the sense of MIcrosoft PR BS can’t do that. It cannot handle anything related to real time in the game. Dedicated servers sure why the hell not? It actually makes me wonder why didn’t MS do that stuff in the first place. It doesn’t need new hardware for that shit.

    BTW cloud computing and what AMazon does is exactly the same thing. You and MS are trying to blow it up to what it can actually do. It can’t make a system that much more superior than what is on the hardware especially with every task it does it only adds more lag to the game.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Sang2

    They should just say they did this for the money and stop with the MS PR, It’s easier no?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. INNOVATION

    Jesus. Most of you guys’ understanding of computer science is just plain baffling. Distributed processing, task computing, and utility computing are all different things. Most of those scenarios would be all considered ‘cloud’. Please do not compare Akai (utility storage with a multitenancy approach) to what Microsoft is trying to do. You only make yourself look like an idiot.

    And no.. these are not ‘dedicated servers’. Please learn the difference between these services before you talk. Just because it’s electronic, turns on, and is connected to the internet does not make it a cloud service. There are multiple algorithms that go into play depending on the need. Being able to comprehend the differences in these algorithms is actually in high demand right now in the engineering field.

    There is a bit of marketing into play here, true, but if anything, they aren’t marketing their approach hard enough. I believe this is because the ball is in the developers’ court mostly, and many developers are still only in their Design cycles of game development. If I recall correctly, Microsoft only recently released interface and architecture kit access to primary developer teams. I believe Respawn was one of the few that were involved in the process before everyone else. They were asked before hand to plan for offload computing in their Specification and Architecture cycles… but were never given access to it.

    As far as real-time latency concerns, yes.. that is always an issue. But if handled correctly.. and runtime calculation is accounted for, this isn’t an issue for what they’re trying to do with the ‘cloud’ services. With an efficient algorithm, even NP complexity problems can be accounted for in this type of service.

    I never understand why people always have issues with companies trying to innovate and expand on something existing, no matter how small. It’s how we progress further in science. You can’t limit your way of thinking. You have to be open.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. G1GAHURTZ

    I never understand why people always have issues with companies trying to innovate and expand on something existing, no matter how small. It’s how we progress further in science. You can’t limit your way of thinking.

    You can if you’re a raging fanboy!

    #14 2 years ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    For those too lazy to click on the link, or confused by Brenna’s interpretation, here is most of the full text:

    Dedicated Servers

    Dedicated servers are when a computer sitting out on the internet handles all of the host duties, leaving every client free to just be a client.

    You can get even more CPU on your dedicated servers to do new things like dozens of AI and giant autopilot titans!
    Suddenly you have no more host advantage!
    Bandwidth for the servers is guaranteed from the hosting provider!
    You can use all of the available CPU and memory on the player machines for awesome visuals and audio!
    Hacked-host cheating isn’t an issue!
    Matchmaking can be lightning fast since it’s guaranteed that everyone can connect to your servers.
    And since the servers aren’t going to go disconnect to watch Netflix, you don’t need to migrate hosts anymore!

    The player experience is so much better. This sounds awesome!

    But it costs a LOT of money.

    This is something I have worked on for years now, since coming to Respawn. A developer like Respawn doesn’t have the kind of weight to get a huge price cut from places like Amazon or Rackspace. And we don’t have the manpower to manage literally hundreds-of-thousands of servers ourselves. We want to focus on making awesome games, not on becoming giant worldwide server hosting providers. The more time I can spend on making our actual game better, the more our players benefit.

    I personally talked to both Microsoft and Sony and explained that we need to find a way to have potentially hundreds-of-thousands of dedicated servers at a price point that you can’t get right now. Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers are actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea.

    The Xbox group came back to us with a way for us to run all of these Titanfall dedicated servers and that lets us push games with more server CPU and higher bandwidth, which lets us have a bigger world, more physics, lots of AI, and potentially a lot more than that!

    What is the Cloud?

    Amazon has a cloud that powers websites. Sony has a cloud that streams game video so you can play a game that you don’t have on your machine. Now Xbox Live has a cloud that somehow powers games. Cloud doesn’t seem to actually mean anything anymore, or it has so many meanings that it’s useless as a marketing word.

    Let me explain this simply: when companies talk about their cloud, all they are saying is that they have a huge amount of servers ready to run whatever you need them to run. That’s all.

    So what is this Xbox Live Cloud stuff then?

    Microsoft has a cloud service called Azure (it’s a real thing – you can go on their website right now and pay for servers and use them to run whatever you want). Microsoft realized that they could use that technology to solve our problem.

    So they built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go. We can upload new programs for them to run and they handle the deployment for us. And they’ll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

    But it’s not just for dedicated servers – Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers aren’t going to just want dedicated servers – they’ll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better. Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. That’s totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and it’s really cool! So it’s not accurate to say that the Xbox Live Cloud is simply a system for running dedicated servers – it can do a lot more than that.

    How is this different from other dedicated servers?

    With the Xbox Live Cloud, we don’t have to worry about estimating how many servers we’ll need on launch day. We don’t have to find ISPs all over the globe and rent servers from each one. We don’t have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server. That lets us focus on things that make our game more fun. And best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter.

    Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it’s far more affordable than other hosting options – their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers. So because of this, dedicated servers are much more of a realistic option for developers who don’t want to make compromises on their player experience, and it opens up a lot more things that we can do in an online game.

    Wrapping up…

    This is a really big deal, and it can make online games better. This is something that we are really excited about. The Xbox Live Cloud lets us to do things in Titanfall that no player-hosted multiplayer game can do. That has allowed us to push the boundaries in online multiplayer and that’s awesome. We want to try new ideas and let the player do things they’ve never been able to do before! Over time, I expect that we’ll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that’s going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come.

    I know this got pretty technical and long-winded, so I thank you for reading this far. Hopefully I’ve cleared some things up, and you can see why I’m so excited about what Microsoft has done here and how it is letting us do awesome new things for our game. I’ll see you online in the spring to play some Titanfall on our dedicated servers!”

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ps4fanboy

    they are trying to hype us about the “cloud” because of the fact that xbox one is not technically more powerfull than PS4

    #16 2 years ago
  17. The_Red

    Come on. He is basically saying MS’ cloud “is better” than Sony’s. Seriously, there is NOTHING cloud can do for a fast paced shooter like this and all the talk about servers is something we already have and it has NOTHING to do with stupid “cloud POWAH” comments.

    In other words, dumb buzzwords are still dumb. Saying “cloud this and cloud that” only makes both you, your game and your company look dumber and dumber.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. polygem

    @13: i love innovation but it should always be ethics first in science. Unfortunately that’s not how it is though. Ms fucked up in that department and people lost trust in them. Only fair. It’s not that people don’t want innovation, they just don’t like getting screwed.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. machy

    -_-

    #19 2 years ago
  20. INNOVATION

    @18 In an ideal world yes, but that’s not how the real world works. At least where I’m at.

    We force students to take an ethics course where I used to be.. because frankly there isn’t much of it when you get higher up in the ladder. One of Einstin’s struggles was ethics itself. He worried so much about his own work. But we wouldn’t be where we were today if he had stopped then. That doesn’t mean we should stop.

    And yes. Sadly, I’m one of those people who didn’t initially like the restrictions. They are one of the few companies that have the ability to change society. I understood their logistics of what they were trying to do, but the chance of setting a bad precedent for future technology is just troublesome.

    Anyways, you got this off topic -_-. There’s no harm in giving this info out. They SHOULD promote it. A lot more can be accomplished using the right approach. When I’m hired to go in and help consult with projects, I’m amazed that even senior level engineers lack the ability to program a decent AI. Now that technology is at the trough in the Moore’s law belief, the only thing efficient to do now is to optimize programming, come up with more efficient ways of processing, and maximize algorithm approaches. What they’re trying to do is a step in the right direction. I’m all for the advancement of technology.

    ps4fanboy… how old are you? Do you have any credentials or a portfolio? Or are you just a little inexperienced kid who doesn’t have much going for yourself? Our world would be doomed if everyone had a child’s mindset like you.

    Power is relative.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Joe Musashi

    “Our cloud is better than their cloud!”

    Has there ever been a more banal argument?

    Anyone arguing the fanboy angle here: If you’re preaching the gospel before any of it has been proved by one company or another, you may want to be careful with who you fire fanboy accusations at. Blind faith is no more credible than blind disbelief.

    JM

    #21 2 years ago
  22. MFBB

    Oh man the PC version of this game must suck so hard…it has no cloud.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. polygem

    @20: i am with you there.

    in ms´s case it was just a non ethical approach from a business side of view though. they tried to dominate and controll. they kind of abused their own innovative ideas and tried to force a monopoly on the market through them. it´s great that it didn´t work out for them because that market strategy wasn´t tolerable and in fact NOT innovative. it was very backwards thinking actually and way too aggresive. they pay the price for it. i hope.

    in other fields of science things go way too far though imho. sure we need to advance, sure we need to innovate but at the same time we´ve established some universal rules, that we all agreed upon, that too often just do not get respected and that´s a sad shame. the way animal testing still takes place in military and medical science eventhough there are alternatives to it, is just not tolerable. lots of insane stuff behind closed doors. greed is the motor of science much more often than innovation is and that´s worrying. sure i want a cure to cancer just like the next guy but not if i have to throw ethics out of the window for the result. people should learn and accept: we all die and it´s better to die with a clear conSCIENCE.
    again, not against science just thinking: ethics first, then do the research from there. better results in the long run imo.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    People still seem to be either not seeing, or outright refusing to acknowledge, the point.

    He’s simply saying that MS provide the better service.

    They worked with Respawn to provide a low cost, flexible, game changing solution that others did not.

    The two key takeaways here:

    1. Huge, regional, dedicated server power for a low cost.

    2. A bespoke solution that allows them to provide a level of online experience that their direct competitors (ie CoD) are unable to offer at this stage.

    With the Xbox Live Cloud, we don’t have to worry about estimating how many servers we’ll need on launch day. We don’t have to find ISPs all over the globe and rent servers from each one. We don’t have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server. That lets us focus on things that make our game more fun. And best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter.

    Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it’s far more affordable than other hosting options – their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers. So because of this, dedicated servers are much more of a realistic option for developers who don’t want to make compromises on their player experience, and it opens up a lot more things that we can do in an online game.

    It’s not about ‘Our cloud can do what no one else can!’ so I have no idea why people are reading that into his words.

    It’s about MS offering them a service that others were either not ready to provide at this stage or simply chose not to.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Phoenixblight

    @24

    I was able to understand that. WHich is good news especially those that play lots of MP games.

    “their direct competitors (ie CoD) are unable to offer at this stage.”

    THere is nothing stopping COD or activision from building something similar to this. Nothing. If anything that will sell more Xbox One if they can utilise this Xbox cloud for COD. They already have timed exclusive DLC for the series. Why not do something like this for the series? I am sure MS would love it.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ Well, theoretically , there is nothing stopping Acti from going down this road, which is why I said “at this stage”.

    However, in practice, we know that Acti are petrified of changing a single thing about the basic CoD mechanics. And that includes the net code.

    I agree with you, if they go down this road, it should certainly be better for CoD, and better for the X1, as you say, but I’m not expecting Acti to want to change a single thing about CoD’s underlying engine any time soon.

    I think they’d rather let it ‘go Guitar Hero’, than make any changes that could jeopardise the annual release schedule.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Phoenixblight

    @26

    I guess that is true. Afraid of changes in all. I see this as a great boon for MP games on Xbox One which that is where the 360 shined to. MS could technically sell this outside the Xbox One network though that could be another pipedream.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Ireland Michael

    “Shiring acknowledged that this doesn’t sound much different from dedicated servers,”

    That’s because it isn’t.

    Microsoft has one of the best networking setup in the world, I won’t deny them that. But I’m not going to pretend a mouse is an elephant. Unless you can show a game actually “harnessing the infinite power of the cloud” to provide this supposed infinitely powered technology, its nothing but hyperbole.

    With this system, they will at least get the benefit of reliability, but it stills amounts to little more than being forced to go through Microsoft for things developers have otherwise been able to do themselves for years on the PS3 and PC.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ Actually, that quote from Brenna is inaccurate.

    Read the article for what he actually said about the difference between the two. I pasted most of the text into comment #15 for your convenience.

    I don’t know how Brenna came to the understanding that she did. If anyone can provide the quote that she used to come to that conclusion, I’d be grateful.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Ireland Michael

    Inaccurately appropriated or not, it’s still an accurate description.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. G1GAHURTZ

    Not according to the people actually using it, though. He gives a pretty convincing argument, IYAM.

    So they built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go. We can upload new programs for them to run and they handle the deployment for us. And they’ll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

    But it’s not just for dedicated servers – Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers aren’t going to just want dedicated servers – they’ll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better. Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. That’s totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and it’s really cool! So it’s not accurate to say that the Xbox Live Cloud is simply a system for running dedicated servers – it can do a lot more than that.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. DrDamn

    Am I reading it the wrong way or does it sound like this was something MS did for Titanfall and then when “Hold on …”. I.e. it was a consequence of what they wanted to do, not something MS were doing directly already?

    MS already had Azure … “Microsoft realized that they could use that technology to solve our problem”.

    Not that it matters much if it works nicely, just that it’s interesting that this X1 feature came about that way.

    Also why didn’t they go to EA? EA love to use their own servers, in fact they insist on it normally don’t they?

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Ireland Michael

    @31 Thats great.

    Talk is cheap. show me an actual game on the system that does half of what Microsoft claims it to be capable of (infinite power my ass) and hasn’t been done for over a decade on PC.

    Yeah, I know it not just a dedicated server. I’ve said so in the past. Its still incredibly basic technology though, and much of what Titanfall is doing *isn’t* much different to the use of dedicated servers.

    “Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do.”

    Virtua Fighter 4 was doing this… in 2001. It kept a detailed record of the diversity of moves you used, and created AI opponents with your data that could emulate your play style.

    It’s incredibly simplistic stuff, and isn’t even remotely original. It sure as hell doesn’t need Microsoft’s patented technology to do.

    @32 “Also why didn’t they go to EA? EA love to use their own servers, in fact they insist on it normally don’t they?”

    They need *something* to hype up the technology. Money talks. Microsoft gives EA cash, EA hypes up the tech. It’s just the Cell processor all over again.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Fin

    Right, so as a guy on the EG comments said, this entire thing comes down to “MS give X1 devs a discount on Azure, making it cheaper than AWS etc”.

    That’s basically it, isn’t it? That’s the “infinite power of the cloud”, exclusive to X1?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. SplatteredHouse

    over-overcomplication. do not want. push button. push “start”. play on a console? ENTERTAINMENT at LEISURE?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlulSyBI2aY
    http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/322/453/3a0.gif

    13: “Jesus. Most of you guys’ understanding of computer science is just plain baffling.” ….right. see above statement for the most part. I’ve READ that article through, and it just seems to me that developer with nudging from publisher wants to sell me on his new-fangled set, which is better than his neighbour’s set, and his new game is being set up as the poster-boy for all of it.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. DrDamn

    @Michael O’Connor
    “Virtua Fighter 4 was doing this… in 2001.”

    To be fair so was Forza in 2005 … http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/drivatar/forza.aspx

    #36 2 years ago
  37. bitsnark

    @33

    Unlike the Cell processor though, this has been around since 2001, so the learning curve shouldn’t be quite so steep eh? :)

    #37 2 years ago
  38. G1GAHURTZ

    @36:

    That’s one, single example. An example that’s nothing like the original Drivatar, because the original dictated how you drove, but the new one dictates how your opponents drive.

    It’s an attempted step towards getting rid of stuff like stupidly pathetic, rubber band AI.

    But hey, if people would prefer for racers to have rubber band AI for the next 7-8 years, then what can you say?

    Besides, I repeat, this is one single example.

    So they built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go. We can upload new programs for them to run and they handle the deployment for us. And they’ll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

    But it’s not just for dedicated servers – Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers aren’t going to just want dedicated servers – they’ll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better. Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. That’s totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and it’s really cool! So it’s not accurate to say that the Xbox Live Cloud is simply a system for running dedicated servers – it can do a lot more than that.

    There are many other potential uses for this that may or may not have been done before.

    It’s silly to downplay the possibility of doing new things to solve old problems, like MS are trying here, then complain about a lack of innovation in gaming!

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Fin

    @38

    So it’s a cheaper, exclusive, easier to use version of AWS?

    #39 2 years ago
  40. manamana

    we will see about the *MAGIC* :-D

    #40 2 years ago
  41. G1GAHURTZ

    @39:

    What is AWS?

    #41 2 years ago
  42. DrDamn

    @38
    “but the new one dictates how your opponents drive.”

    So did the old one, you could race against drivatars in head to head races. Race against yourself, other drivatars you’ve created, ones created by other players on your Xbox or ones copied to the Xbox.

    This is an old idea shoehorned into cloud not enabled by it.

    I do agree there could be a lot more to come from this, Drivatar isn’t a good example though.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. G1GAHURTZ

    I don’t think that anyone ever argued that none of this stuff is possible without the cloud.

    If you think about it logically, every single thing that you can do using cloud tech can be done in one form or other without it, purely because all that cloud tech is, is a PC in another location.

    However, what it does, is enable a more powerful way to deliver stuff.

    It may not be different, but it can possibly be better.

    For example, the old drivatar, needed you to get a memory card, take it to your buddies house and load your profile, if you wanted to race against each other that way.

    Which, IYAM, is pretty pointless, anyhow.

    And racing against your own Drivatar just seems like going against a ‘ghost car’, as well.

    The new one can apparently control all of your AI opponents from the cloud from day one.

    That means better, more realistic, instantly updated AI from people on your friends list, who might match your skill level perfectly, but that you may not even know very well, or have spoken to in the last 3 years. It also handles their actual cars and liveries, and if you’re good, your own drivatar can earn you in-game money when your X1 isn’t even on.

    So sure, it’s the same idea in general, but the cloud application makes the new one a very, very different feature than the old version.

    Anyway, yeah, there are loads of possible ways that this stuff can do new things.

    I read David Rutter from FIFA talking about possibly making individual AI for every single FIFA player in the database, the other day.

    Again, it’s based on a simple, well used idea of making specific AI do things in specific ways, but done on that scale, it’s a whole different animal.

    You might have every single FIFA registered player on the could, with instant updates and adjustments to personalities and playing styles, based on current events, that would be impossible to do on a disc.

    It’s forward thinking stuff like this that people need to stop being so afraid of, and downplaying all the time.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. super3001

    sony are not forward thinking. ms pioneers and sony makes bad copies always

    sonybots cant see future of gaming because for sony progress is the same machine gen after gen with no innovation

    ps4 = ps3.5 no innovation with keep it all the same stupid mentality

    stupid sony fanboys complain about xone features and get reversal because jealous that ps4 = ps3 again and want to dumb down xone to match

    stupid sony fans slow progress fir old outdated ideas. now digital future is slowed

    #44 2 years ago
  45. DrDamn

    @G1GA
    “I don’t think that anyone ever argued that none of this stuff is possible without the cloud.”

    Well that’s the point isn’t it? The vast majority of what is being touted isn’t new, but it’s being presented that way. If they said we’ve got a load of dedicated servers which will help things run nicer instead of making it out to be special sauce then the reaction would be different too.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. G1GAHURTZ

    Who cares how they present it, though?

    Of course they’re going to PR spin everything all over the place. They probably pay people six figure salaries to do that exact thing.

    And if they came out and said, ‘Hey, our stuff is a little bit better than last time’, they’d have to be pretty stupid.

    But just because they’re presenting it in a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s a useless feature, or doesn’t provide anything new. They are doing something new, with a whole lot of potential, and IMHO, people are repeatedly and relentlessly dismissing it because of who’s saying it, and not because of what they’re saying.

    Which is an emotional, rather than a realistic approach…

    #46 2 years ago
  47. DrDamn

    Oh it provides potential, but it is something which devs have been using for some time already. I’d say key new thing is the price. Something a bit more tangible to attribute to the Live Gold subs.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Fin

    AWS is Amazon Web Services, it’s a “cloud” computing system that lots of games currently use (lots of websites too).

    It’s no different to Azure, best I can tell.

    I don’t like MS’s approach of jumping up and down saying how fucking awesome the cloud is, as if it’s exclusive to X1 and as if it’ll revolutionize gaming (it isn’t and it won’t).
    Distributed computations, while they can be useful in certain cases, aren’t a reason to choose a console – especially as MS hasn’t given any concrete use cases of where it’s necessary to use it (Drivatar’s nice, but the computation involve hard require The Cloud).

    #48 2 years ago
  49. G1GAHURTZ

    So you just don’t like the fact that MS are hyping their own product?

    I’d say that’s pretty irrational.

    Of course they’re going to hype their own product.

    It’s a bit sad that it makes you feel so upset…

    #49 2 years ago
  50. Fin

    @49

    I don’t like that they’re trying to deflect attention from other issues (lack of tech parity, the DRM stuff before it was pulled) by essentially inventing reasons (mainly bullshit PR of “your games will be better!”) to care about The Cloud. It’s disingenuous, constantly parroting on about a technology that already exists and is not exclusive to X1.

    It doesn’t make me upset, but it irritates me, as I don’t think they’re being honest. They’re trying to sell the X1 on the expectation that The Cloud will make everything better, and it will make up for the performance gap with the PS4.
    SPOILER: It won’t.

    Normally I don’t mind PR bullshit, but in this case, they’re (I feel) trying to deliberately mislead the consumer into believing The Cloud will make their Xbox into an infinitely powerful machine.
    MOAR SPOILERZ: It won’t.

    #50 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]

  • Closed beta for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts tomorrow

    The private beta period for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts on January 29. Those who pre-order the game via Steam, will automatically be included in the beta, enabling them to provide feedback on the first campaign in single-player mode. An additional beta period will be announced in the weeks leading up to launch. The […]

  • Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL available once more on UK store

    UK residents who want to get their hands on the shiny Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL can once again pre-purchase it through the Nintendo UK Store. If you want one, you better hurry because units will likely go rather fast. Only one per customer is allowed, and once you drop £209.99 on it, […]

  • Nintendo Q3: 1.9M New 3DS models sold, Wii U lifetime sales hit 9.2M

    New 3DS XL has sold 1.3 million units as of December 31, 2014, Nintendo announced in its Q3 financial results today. New 3DS moved 580,000 units by the end of the same period. Lifetime sales of both systems combined total a little under 1.9 million. Combined global sales for current 3DS models available in Europe […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s exo zombies reanimate a familiar format

    Advanced Warfare’s exo suits manage to bring an undead format back to life. Dave Cook welcomes zombies back to Call of Duty. “The challenges start to spike early so seasoned zombie slayers needn’t worry about being coddled.” Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s first DLC went live this week, dropping four very solid maps for multiplayer […]

  • YouTube app and Maps will be removed from PS Vita

    Sony said that it will end support for the YouTube and Maps apps, as well as remove the “near” feature in an upcoming firmware update. Sony has revealed that a system update releasing in March will remove the Maps app and prevent the “near” feature from obtaining location address or display maps, making it redundant. […]