Xbox One to receive ongoing performance enhancements over cloud, says Harrison

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 10:32 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One will receive ongoing performance-enhancing updates over the cloud, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison has stated.

Speaking with MCV, Harrison said, “The way in which you keep the market fresh is keep the technology fresh and keep the development ecosystem growing so that new and exciting experiences are coming out. And with Xbox One using the power of cloud we can add features, we can add functionality, we can have performance increases over time. I think that will keep the platform very fresh over a long period of time.”

On the nature of the cloud and digital content, Harrison continued, “On a macro-global scale, the world is clearly moving in a digital direction. It is, I think, an unstoppable, inexorable momentum. We are going to see the world be truly digital. But with Xbox One we quite correctly give people choice. They can consume and play games on disc, and get all the benefits of that. Or they can consume games digitally. Remember our games will launch day-and-date on both digital and physical, so it’s up to the user to choose which medium they want and have the benefits of either method.”

Xbox One’s cloud tech has been demonstrated in Titanfall and Forza 5 so far, handling AI soldiers and Drivatar racers respectively. Are you sold on the idea? Let us know below.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has just published a video that explains many of the Xbox One’s multiplayer enhancements. Watch it here.

Via OXM.


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  1. Hcw87

    This will be messy.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hamster34

    “But with Xbox One we quite correctly give people choice”

    Eventually. Are these people for real? MS are in a deep, deep hole and this gob shi*e isn’t helping.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheBlackHole


    “MS are in a deep, deep hole”

    Really? With you maybe. I think they’ve done a pretty good job at turning most of the negativity around now.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Hamster34

    Pre order sales (the fact you can still get hold of these day one special bundles) say hi..

    They may have turned it around for you (works both way, chap) but they haven’t managed to convince/kid the majority.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. twisted89

    @3 I don’t really call blurting out a load of PR bullshit talk turning negativity around, they’re just making themselves look even more stupid.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Hamster34

    @ #5 exactly. That’s all they have done – spin PR nonsense. This cloud based rubbish is exactly that! Rubbish. The cloud can’t do the things they claim.

    Facts are the PS4 is more powerful, MS know it. MS are in panic mode.

    People will always fall for it though, as clearly shown here.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Madlink

    @Hamster34 Genuine question here. Do you know of any retailers (online or physical) that still have Day One editions for pre-order? My friend needs one and apart from eBay resellers, I can’t see anywhere that has them (in the UK).

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Hamster34

    Shopto mate – they posted yesterday that today (Im sure it was today they said) was the last day to get one.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    I’d assume what he means if that they plan to try (and i say try because its been shown to be an inachieveable pipe dream by DF) to have the cloud take more and more tasks off of the actual hardware as time passes, either that or they’ve found a way to allow people to download hardware. Of course he isnt going to say that because its vague and pretty meaningless so saying “The XB1 will just get more powerful” sounds better.

    What he’s not saying though is that a game that depends on the cloud to run is an always online game, one that needs a constant connection. Of course, again, he isnt going to just say that fact either, not after all of the back lash when the console was first announced to need online.

    Its funny he should talk about choice at the end there, seeing as for his main point to come about, they have to remove the players choice to play offline.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Hamster34

    #9 the cloud can’t do what MS are suggesting. It’s all PR talk to try and entice the uninformed masses.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. TheBlackHole


    Please enlighten us. What can’t it do exactly? And why are you so angry about it?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Bloodstorm

    Now that it’s pretty clear that there is not as much power as elsewhere IN the box, let’s say to people that the power is where nobody can see it and measure it.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Hamster34

    TheBlackHole – it CAN’T do 90% of what MS have said. Please don’t let me be the one to burst your bubble.

    Digital Foundry have ripped it apart already, I suggest going and having a read. The cloud can’t make the Xbox One more powerful.

    Sorry to have to piddle on your bonfire.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Christopher Jack

    I wonder how fucking cheap their build quality will be this time around- I mean why does it need to be three times the PS4′s size to begin with? On that note my old X360 chewed up my GTA V disc yesterday. To think that Xbox 360 was a replacement for one that chewed up several games itself. I didn’t even have to bump it in any of those cases- the vibrations from it’s jet engine managed to do vibrate enough itself to cause the awkward spinning that made some very deep perfect circular scratches :’(

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Madlink

    Cheers man. :) There was only one option for Day One Editions left, but the bundle was actually okay value!

    Lets hope they manage to keep their word on launch day delivery!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. TheBlackHole


    “it CAN’T do 90% of what MS have said”

    Well done. Now try again, using actual explanations, rather than (not) linking to a DF article which was very thorough and very interesting, but didn’t debunk “90% of what MS have said”.

    I’m not calling this all fact, I’m simply wondering why you’re pretending to understand how it all works.

    And actually, if the console can receive updates that affect how much of the existing internal hardware is available to developers, then it can indeed make it more powerful. But hey, who likes facts and common sense.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Hamster34

    DF, other system developers have all said the same.. it can’t and won’t make it more powerful.

    You can’t offload the jobs MS are talking about to the cloud to ‘free up’ system capacity.

    I’m not pretending I know how it all works? I DO however work with cloud computing and understand the basic premise of how bits work.

    You continue to believe what you will, if it makes you feel better about spending £450+ on a inferior product

    #17 2 years ago
  18. mark_t50

    I may be wrong here, but isn’t this basically talking about the ability to patch, firmware update, code optimise etc after launch ?

    And if so, then haven’t we already been able to do this since the 360 and PS3 launched ? so how is this suddenly new and brought to us with the power of the cloud ?

    I’d be more willing to buy into this ‘Power of the cloud’ if they would show us something actually new for once.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Gekidami

    Updates to the OS to make it less resource hungry freeing up more power for games doesnt need the cloud though, the PS3 already did that. Theres no reason to believe the PS4 wont have those updates either.


    #19 2 years ago
  20. fengato

    “Genuine question here. Do you know of any retailers (online or physical) that still have Day One editions for pre-order? My friend needs one and apart from eBay resellers, I can’t see anywhere that has them (in the UK).”

    Can’t speak to the UK, though Day One X1s are still available at every major retailer in Australia.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Gekidami

    ^ Same in France whilst PS4′s are on end of January only preorders right now.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Madlink

    @fengato & Gekidami Interesting, most places here in the UK stopped guaranteeing pre-orders for launch day a while back for both PS4 and Xbox One. I sincerely hope that ShopTo order my friend just placed isn’t bullshit…

    Another question, this time to everyone; Anyone thinking of buying both?

    #22 2 years ago
  23. fengato

    ^ I have day one pre-orders for both. Leaning towards PS4 as my main this time around.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Madlink

    Yeah man, I was going to wait until Infamous Second Son came out to pick up a PS4, but the eye candy on display in Killzone is very tempting…

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Erthazus

    Cloud. Such a retarded trend word right now for children. It’s the same thing as BLAST PROCESSING but in 2013.

    Even Sony and Mark Cerny does not exactly know what Cloud can bring to the gaming. He was asked about this question million times but noooo, MS knows how to do it to enchance their console.

    which is bullshit.

    I remember Mark Cerny answered: Well, it is good for matchmaking.. duuuh~~~~ and that’s it.

    Cause cloud thingy is just a retarded idea to begin with. Nvidia announced Nvidia GRID with cloud gaming and where it is? It’s in the trash can right now.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. monkeygourmet

    Imagine the games David Cage could create if he had access to this Cloud…

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Erthazus

    Yeah. He would make games with PS3 textures on the PS4 with infinite POWER OF TEH CLOUD Monkey.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Lv01

    @26 hahahahahaha!

    #28 2 years ago
  29. schnide

    But with Xbox One we quite correctly give people choice..

    ..because we were getting slaughtered in the press and in pre-orders, so we were completely and utterly forced to.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. schnide


    Yes, that’s exactly it. But if you dress it up in PR bullshit then you can apply to be a corporate vice president.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. monkeygourmet

    I’ve found an early tech demo for Cage’s TEH CLOUD game (it uses all the power of 10,000 suns)..:

    #31 2 years ago
  32. ChunkyLover112


    You’re cute. Clearly, you don’t know anything about video games and the industry. Read this

    #32 2 years ago
  33. tezzer1985

    Hmmm I’m torn a bit, because it’s like you guys are saying they are trying to spin the negative PR, but on the other hand, what are they meant to do? They are just trying to position the XB1 to be able to compete and sell against the PS4.

    Inregards to the cloud, it’s a bunch of PR bullshit in my eyes. What they are talking about, would not be a reality for even 20% of there user base, some ppl have caps on their Internet connection. So why would someone buy a game, then need the Internet to get better graphics or AI that’s a joke in my eyes.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Joe Musashi

    My expression upon reading this latest bit of PR.


    #34 2 years ago
  35. poisonfart

    Simple as that, obviously it doesn´t make any sense to promote the weaker harware specs. So, let´s promote our server farm a.k.a. “Teh mighty cloud”. In addition, make sure to use “performance increase”, “adding functionality/features” and “exciting experience” in the same setence.
    You can´t see it, you can´t touch it (especially with a pretty shitty internet connection) but you can believe us, because hey, we´re Microsoft and we care about our customers.
    Reminds me of the allmighty Cell.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Panthro

    I didn’t read the title properly and thought Harrison Ford was somehow involved, oh well. Disappointed.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Legendaryboss

    Oh boy, that time again, teh cloud puppets come out and play.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Ilovesony

    heres my question… for all you xbox lovers out there… if all of this is gonna be in the cloud.. what does that mean for those who dont have internet connections.. or those countries that have slow internet… does that mean the soldiers in their games will be dumber or the drivatars as they call them wont be as smart? since microsoft has to do so many “performance enhancements” via the cloud does that mean those with no internet will not be able to take advantage of these enhancements?…. glad I got my PS4 reserved… WE dont have to deal with this “Blast Processing” crap….

    #38 2 years ago
  39. DaVeduRg

    I Pre-Ordered an Xbox one for the Controller, the exclusives ,Xbox live and Kinect V2. I don’t own Kinect V1 but i’m really interested in using Kinect V2 for everything except playing games as i’m under no illusion that it will be completely useless for gaming 99% of the time.

    I did not Pre-order for the “power of the cloud” and don’t believe for one second that it will work as well as Microsoft claims.

    I am an extreme hardware enthusiast and hardware specs mean a lot to me. Its really easy to see that PS4 has won the hardware battle but Microsoft is a software company and I trust them to optimize the hell out of what they have (DX11.2 + tiled resources and the potential of ESRAM for a start).

    The main reasons I did not get a ps4 is because of the controller, the UI, the exclusives and PSN. I also didn’t like the way in which they sneaked in the fact that you will now have to pay for PSN.

    Also worried about all that power inside that little box, hope all those PS4′s dont melt before christmas lol.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Legendaryboss

    I wonder whats up with all the parody names all of a sudden?

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Legendaryboss

    And i also wonder whats up with creepy statements like @39.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Panthro

    lol remember project Milo, Microsoft never ever exaggerates!

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Ireland Michael

    Oh wow. You can deliver patches and update things server side. Well done Microsoft.

    This is a big deal, why? It’s like boasting about achieving nothing.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Lv01

    @39 when did u preorder? im just guessing that u hadnt actually held the controllers or seen the UI’s of either system (seeing as they were only just teased recently really by both companies) let alone experienced them before u made that decision. cos if u only preordered after such events (and im assuming you were lucky enough to be at one of the games expos to get a feel for both controllers) im sorry to say that you probably arent getting your xbox one at launch…
    and moaning about having to pay for PSN, yet being happy to pay for Live is a lil hypocritical too…
    just saying.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Legendaryboss

    +100 Was going to point it out, but i’m in a good mood so it might depress me.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. DaVeduRg

    I was not moaning, im more than happy to pay, just didn’t like the fact that Sony just sneaked it in without a big announcement. Every single person that I new that had pre-ordered a PS4 had no idea that they would have to start paying until I told them.

    I pre-ordered my console at the end of August whenever Game announced they had a second batch of Day one editions, so long after all the expos, videos, articles went on the internet.

    I don’t need to feel both controllers in my hand in order to have an OPINION that the Xbox one controller will be better as I have never liked the layout of the Dualshock or how it sat in my hands.

    Nit picking at my post so you can find an argument is fine by me. I suspect from your tone that you have pre-ordered a PS4, I hope you enjoy it.

    Regardless all of these stupid arguments are mute, anyone defending the PS4 has obviously pre-ordered one and vice versa. The differences between the two will be marginal at best for the first 2+ years.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Arcnail

    They really do need to market this ‘cloud’ better, cause I think there are still a lot of people who don’t understand it.

    Maybe show us something like how much memory or CPU is saved by having the AI done on external servers (the cloud) rather then the actual console. Some should note that this doesn’t make it more powerful, it frees up resources to do other things.

    Either way, I think the idea is great, dedicated servers for multiplayer for example is huge, yet they just keep fumbling around with this cloud topic.

    They should really try and get cross next gen games using it for multiplayer. When people can have say double the amount of players in their game on the Xbone, then they can on the PS4, THEN people will take notice.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Hcw87

    You speak the truth.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Legendaryboss

    Why do I suddenly have a feeling that two gifs are going to be linked?

    #49 2 years ago
  50. Lv01

    @46 i completely agree that the differences will be marginal, and i was neither defending the PS4 or bashing the Xbox one in my post.
    for the record i do have a PS4 preordered, but only because im a PS3 gamer, and already have an existing online presence with it (PS+, friends lists, etc.) and can only afford one or tother!

    the arguments i was trying to nit-pick tho were only made due to the intangibles in your reasoning.
    and i found that interesting.

    each to their own of course, as i disagree with the feel of the traditional dualshock in the hand compared to the traditional xbox controller (for me, the fact that the analogue sticks are askew on the xbox controller messes with my sense of balance. but obviously that isnt the case for you. which is fine!) but that is an opinion. which of course is personal.

    on the PSN side, i dont believe Sony did sneak it in. they made it abundantly clear during E3, which was a pretty big announcement…

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Rockin a Jack D

    Console gaming =

    #51 2 years ago
  52. Panthro

    @46 well shame on them for not looking into something before throwing money at it.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. fearmonkey

    Ugh…This cloud this and cloud that…..As Erth mentioned its the power of the Cell and Blast Processing all over again. I am sure the Cloud can be utilized for more and more things, maybe one day everything will be streamed (I doubt it), but It’s not going to greatly enhance performance.
    The bandwith required for that would kill people that have caps, and even if they get the latency down, most people have families with multiple people using the internet, and that’s going to lag things down.

    The cloud definitely has great possibilities, and I have mentioned a few before in previous posts. One thing I would love to see is if a game like mass effect could use it for background stuff. If you don’t have the bandwith or internet is off, then it uses in game assets, but if you do, it could stream a movie as a background or a cloud rendered animation that allows for greater immersion. Those type of situations wouldn’t be latency affected, and it would give movie like immersion.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. Panthro

    If ‘the cloud’ was really as good as they are trying to make it out to be, developers of PC games would have already been using it.

    I cant wait to see all of the ‘cloud-fanboys’ disappointment once they realize MS was just trying to get some good PR with something that is arguably false… look at all the kinect ‘demonstrations’ before that came out, MS love spinning a web of lies about there tech.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. derpachu

    @46 +1

    #55 2 years ago
  56. lookingglass

    If you doubt the power of the cloud, you simply don’t understand modern computing.

    The goal is to have a seamless experience across all devices you use. Play a game on your TV, toss it to your smartphone and play, then walk to your room and pick up playing on your laptop.

    Computing power is different across all platforms but bandwidth is not. The cloud is the great equalizer.

    If in 5 years, the average broadband speed is around 20Mb/s in major cities, Xbox One will see some crazy improvements via the cloud.

    You can stream everything that doesn’t require low latency in a video game. Trees, grass, weather effects, and eventually structures, lighting and shadows, and more.

    Yes, PS4 users are going to come out of the gate looking much better than XBO. But it’s PC architecture and games will not improve over time like older consoles. XBO on the other hand will have the cloud behind it and will continually improve over the years. It may eventually pass the PS4 and go well beyond it once devs and MS figure out the best way to use cloud computing.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. Phoenixblight


    SOny can do the exact same thing that is why they bought Gaikai. There is nothing stopping MS to do what SOny has Gaikai for and vice versa.

    #57 2 years ago
  58. Joe Musashi

    There’s some real corporate PR-speak in the comments here. Very telling.


    #58 2 years ago
  59. Riseer

    If MS wants to give everyone Google Fiber running at 1gbps sure ok maybe then the cloud could do some rendering.In a perfect world cloud might actually be awesome,helping out on certain rendering tasks.This isn’t a perfect world,all the internal development MS has done with the cloud means nothing when people are using DSL or low speed cable.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. Riseer

    @56…You have no idea what you are talking about.Their are no games on Xbone that use the cloud for rending.I doubt you will ever see it used for that type of work.Simply because of what I wrote.MS has to grasp on to this ”hope” that the cloud will bail them out of this hardware jam.This kind of PR happens every gen,also you have to worry about bandwidth limits not just the speed of the connection.I only see MS using the cloud for servers and streaming services.Also,it’s not like Sony can’t use a cloud solution to help render their games.This gen may last 10 years, but I will bet we will see new hardware by year 5-6.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. Hyperx64

    PS4 may have “Moar Power” but I bet ya Xbox One has more performance.

    And don’t even bother trying to pretend anyone other than the Hardware engineers know exactly what tech is inside the Xbox One or the PS4.

    Basic cpu/gpu/ram info doesn’t tell you jack all about the design of any system. Until we see teardowns of both systems after release, then the tech-nerds will be able to see how each system is actually architected.

    Until then, all you wankas trying to act like you know what you are talking about, are just spewing nonsense from you malfunctioning brains.

    The age of “MOAR POWER” ended a few years ago.

    #61 2 years ago
  62. Hyperx64

    And if you think cloud-compute is a pipe dream you are an idiot. With 1 Gigabit connections becoming the standard over the next 10 years, cloud-compute is real as real.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. Hyperx64

    @ Panthro

    Microsoft is the only company to do PR?! Everything Sony has released is also PR.

    Stop Navel Gazing for 5 minutes.

    #63 2 years ago
  64. Hyperx64

    @ Riseer

    Geez you’re up yourself, you must think the sun shines out your ass. You are obviously anti-everything that doesn’t come from your own mouth. Hahahaha.

    #64 2 years ago
  65. Panthro


    You read my full comment?

    ‘MS was just trying to get some good PR with something that is arguably false’

    I don’t know about you but PR that is making something out to be amazing which is not and PR that is true to the item of advertisement is very different to me…

    MS is grasping at straws trying to promote something SONY can also do, because they know they are currently failing with trying to get people to want there console, sure the pre order numbers are high, but i bet 80% of those are people who dont know all about what MS has done and all the 180s they have pulled, and the other 20% will be die hard fanboys who love anything with the xbox name on it.

    All your comments are spoken like a true fanboy mad at the success of the PS4 so far…

    ‘PS4 may have “Moar Power” but I bet ya Xbox One has more performance.’ I shouldn’t have to say anything more about that… idiot.

    and before you say im a Sony fanboy… im not, I have no in either system thus far, sure the software coming out looks pretty good but the consoles as a whole… meh… and it just so happens I dislike what MS has been doing so I have more to tear into than I do with sony who has been keeping quiet, pleasing there fans and not fucking up quite as much.

    #65 2 years ago
  66. bootsycollins13

    Why do I always see ps4 fanboys trolling on every link that is ONLY about xbone. Why are you guys wasting your time on our console? I haven’t spent one minute reading about slavestation and don’t plan on it. This article was all about the potential for microsofts cloud and servers so why do you care? They didn’t mention it being better or worse than ps4, or even mention that shitty console. Are ps fanboys that butt hurt from the 360 kicking the shit out of ps3 that they have to go on every xbone one thread and post their nonsense? Just because 360 was the better system and their online was leaps and bounds and light years ahead of psn doesn’t mean you have to be salty. I feel like ps fanboys are so insecure about this system losing…..again, that they try and infiltrate all of us xbox fans and talk their stupidity. We don’t care we made our choice and went with the proven winner. Last time around all you guys said was oh ps3 better internal workings blah blah how did that turn out? Second place? Ok just making sure. Have fun getting your network hacked and playing with your mouse on your controller and stupid indi games I’ll take my proven winner Microsoft.

    #66 2 years ago

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