What document? Where has Microsoft claimed it will double frame rates, or even improve them that significantly?
The fallback is up to the developer, but what fallback is there available? If the console is capable of doing the calculation in the first place, why would you not just do it on the console? And how much of a sacrifice to graphics, drop in framerate, etc would users put up with when their latency takes a dive? "Oh dear, your network is overloaded have Xbox 360 graphics and play at 15fps instead?" (Extreme example, but you get the point.)
1.5Mbps is never going to give the kind of latency required for processing the time sensitive data that would double frame rates, as you claim.
That kind of offloading isn't going to double frame rates. The only things that could double frame rates would be all the latency sensitive operations such as physics, graphics processing, sound and (some) AI. I'm not saying the cloud won't help at all, but you are limited on what can be offloaded, which does limit how much can be gained. I think you are grossly under-estimating how many things are time sensitive in your average game.
1) True. I believe Sony's plan with Gaikai for now is to use it for getting PS3 games on the PS4 though. Still requires a heck of a lot of power and would need good server optimization to get as many users per server as possible.
3) Yes they can. If anything they could be more dynamic. It would be easier to implement as you wouldn't need to worry about a fallback situation. The whole game is in sync with itself, only bit you need to worry about is the console to server input and the speed the video is streamed back. By the time the Internet is capable of doubling frame rates by doing time sensitive calculations, it would be preferable to put everything on the server itself.
4) If you can double frame rates on 1.5Mbps, you can stream video.
The cloud is great and can do a lot of things. It can even free up resources for the time sensitive calculations, as you say. And that is probably enough to make up the graphics power difference with the PS4 on exclusives, but it won't result in outright better graphics or double frame rates at the same graphics level.
You will see. It's already happening.... See this thread here....
This is just a very, very, very small example and it's not using all of the features, just very minor ones.
This is ONLY the beginning and it's a very small sample to boot. There is a lot more than this. Wait until Halo next year, that will be a game that really breaks things wide open. It can allow for better graphics for sure, no doubt about that and yes offer better frame rates. That is why I said a lot of people that think the PS4 is more powerful are going to get a huge shock.
Sure, the PS4's own local GPU is better, that is a given, but when you add in server processing and Microsoft can expand this over time, the Xbox is going to be better. Can Sony do this as well? Well the answer is yes and no. They are set up for streaming, but not being as dynamic as this. Microsoft also has that dedicated hardware that allows compression/decompression of assets and then injected right into the GPU's memory. Sony doesn't have that feature in hardware and Microsoft is going to have a superior server platform, software stack, and superior method of delivery.
Microsoft's method is going to take a lot less bandwidth to deliver a superior experience. Both ways of doing this are hard, they are not easy, but the method that is easier is the streaming method. This is very innovative for a console because for the first time the console hardware can be augmented in real-time and it keeps the Internet bandwidth down.
This is why it says "Cloud Powered", that document that I provided showed the four different things that can be done with the cloud. It is not just marketing, there is actually good rationality behind it. They are really pushing servers because servers can be a "game" changer (pun intended) for real.
Can everything be done by "server", not unless you do it the way Sony is doing it. Microsoft can offload a lot to the server, but not everything and that is okay, because the Xbox One is powerful. It's a lot more powerful than people think. People think that if the GPU doesn't have as many FLOPS (Floating Point Operations per second) as Sony then it's not very powerful, but it's actually more powerful when you augment it with Servers or distributed computing.
As you said though Sony is going to give the PS4 back compat via the servers and that is going to be a long time before they even can upgrade their servers to be more powerful. I wouldn't count on that for a long long time, probably 4-5 years or so. Because it's going to take enormous server power to run full next-next generation games around the world. That is going to be a ton of servers around the world and Sony isn't currently prepared for it.
Can Sony afford it?