Xbox One’s cloud framework will update on a regular basis and this could lead to the host system rebooting mid-session, according to Xbox Live lead program manager at Microsoft John Bruno.
Bruno hosted a presentation at GDC Next yesterday entitled “On Demand Compute: Power For Games,” and IGameResponsibly was apparently there to hear what he had to say.
During the session, Bruno said that cloud-based system Xbox Live Compute has been in development for 18 months and is derived from Windows Azure tech. He conceded that the tech initially received criticsm from publishers such as Ubisoft early on, but that Respawn Entertainment was an easier sell.
Now, the studio is using Xbox Live Compute to offload many facets of Titanfall’s online play to the cloud, such as NPC AI, an more.
Touching on the issue of the Xbox One’s cloud-based updates Bruno explained, “Once in a while, rather frequently actually, the host OS will require an update, meaning the physical machine is going to get rebooted, whether your code is running or not. That’s a problematic thing for a game, and is oftentimes is in the middle of a multiplayer session, we’ve worked very hard to overcome that, but that’s not to say it’s going to be a reality in every case.”
This could be very problematic indeed. The site pressed Bruno on this issue and asked how disruptive these updates will be given Titanfall’s status as an online-only release. They also asked him about the worst-case scenario of Microsoft’s cloud servers failing altogether.
He replied, “I can’t answer that. I don’t know what the guys over at Titanfall have built into their game. It’s up to the game developer. If they want to rely more on our XBLC service, we’re happy to support that. We do provide a platform for them to persist data, but that’s up to the developer to utilize that.”
It begs the question of Titanfall’s performance without the cloud. Will it still run without cloud servers?
What do you think?