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How would they quantify their infrastructure without any numbers? Infinite power of the cloud? People have problem even with that. Will it be wrong for Sony to use some XX number for Gaikai network performance if consumers can't verify it before launch? Not at all.

 

I don't think 3X computational power is misleading at all. They did use it in the context of spec war which was wrong/misleading but they ####ed up so much during initial reveal that referring to that timeframe is pointless given changes since then. I think if they use that 3X number today, it wouldn't be misleading as long as they can provide tangible benefits like Forza or Titanfall. Forza has a clear visible difference in how people feel the AI whereas for Titanfall it's mostly in the form of dedicated servers and lower ping due to Azure.

As I said, I don't think the numbers are wrong or misleading. Anyone can look at the numbers and verify them if they want to. Its not a made up number.

The problem is that using those numbers in the context of the console wars results in rejection. People take them to mean much more then the words themselves point to. The pr people at MS surely knew this could happen and did nothing to try and tone it down, so its partially their fault that now people are so resistant to the feature being anything more than snake oil. MS took a risk betting that having a feature to push against the competition would outweigh the negative backlash. They lost.

So basically, MS has to change their pr around the cloud. Saying that it offers 3x the computational power is not an option. They must choose a different way of saying it that does not oversell it and yet still points out that it is there and can be a good thing.

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As I said, I don't think the numbers are wrong or misleading. Anyone can look at the numbers and verify them if they want to. Its not a made up number.

The problem is that using those numbers in the context of the console wars results in rejection. People take them to mean much more then the words themselves point to. The pr people at MS surely knew this could happen and did nothing to try and tone it down, so its partially their fault that now people are so resistant to the feature being anything more than snake oil. MS took a risk betting that having a feature to push against the competition would outweigh the negative backlash. They lost.

So basically, MS has to change their pr around the cloud. Saying that it offers 3x the computational power is not an option. They must choose a different way of saying it that does not oversell it and yet still points out that it is there and can be a good thing.

fair point.

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I find it hilarious we're arguing about how allowing developers to tap into much higher quality hardware (that will more actively be upgraded than the hardware in the console) to improve performance is a bad thing. I mean, it's an option Microsoft is giving their devs. Why is this so horrible of them?

 

And seriously, it's a proven method. Many MMO's use it, EVE being one of them. Not to mention games already send tons of data across the network, specifically Peer to Peer games, who are constantly communicating with each other about what each box sees. They aren't sending graphics, or visuals. But real time data. Yet you all act as if this is a myth.

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Can we stop bringing up MMOs? They function the way they do for many reasons, largely due to optimizing play for multiplayer and security. If everything was stored client side, we'd have ridiculous load times, horrid lag/latency, awful syncing issues, and poor security with people being able to access/alter their own character configuration/data set. It's also helps curb piracy (private servers).

 

If we're going to make that comparison though, let's at least acknowledge the fact that it doesn't change anything in regards to needing a decent CPU/GPU to play those games (unless they're dated). It all comes back to what the intended message is here: Do people see it as added computational power? Or are they being led to believe your console can bite off more than it can actually chew because of "the cloud"?

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I find it hilarious we're arguing about how allowing developers to tap into much higher quality hardware (that will more actively be upgraded than the hardware in the console) to improve performance is a bad thing. I mean, it's an option Microsoft is giving their devs. Why is this so horrible of them?

 

And seriously, it's a proven method. Many MMO's use it, EVE being one of them. Not to mention games already send tons of data across the network, specifically Peer to Peer games, who are constantly communicating with each other about what each box sees. They aren't sending graphics, or visuals. But real time data. Yet you all act as if this is a myth.

 

No one is saying offloading processing to a server is a bad thing, its the fact that Microsoft PR teams like to use hype words like 'cloud' to describe a dedicated server and then make vague comments about what it does and by doing so they purposely are trying to make the uninformed public think that this makes up for its inferior specs compared to the PS4. PC games have been using the 'cloud' for years, PS4 uses the cloud' even PS3 and Xbox 360 uses the 'cloud'.

 

But games like EVE(PC), WoW (PC), Elder Scrolls Online (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), Warframe (PC, PS4), Diablo 3 (PC, PS4), Destiny (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), PlanetSide 2 (PC, PS4), or any other title which isn't a Microsoft exclusive doesn't hype up the 'cloud' and make it out as some new thing they invented and are the only ones that have it. All the games I mention above utilize the cloud much more and better than Titanfall and Forza which are supposedly the 'cloud' icons of Microsoft.

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No one is saying offloading processing to a server is a bad thing, its the fact that Microsoft PR teams like to use hype words like 'cloud' to describe a dedicated server and then make vague comments about what it does and by doing so they purposely are trying to make the uninformed public think that this makes up for its inferior specs compared to the PS4. PC games have been using the 'cloud' for years, PS4 uses the cloud' even PS3 and Xbox 360 uses the 'cloud'.

 

But games like EVE(PC), WoW (PC), Elder Scrolls Online (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), Warframe (PC, PS4), Diablo 3 (PC, PS4), Destiny (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), PlanetSide 2 (PC, PS4), or any other title which isn't a Microsoft exclusive doesn't hype up the 'cloud' and make it out as some new thing they invented and are the only ones that have it. All the games I mention above utilize the cloud much more and better than Titanfall and Forza which are supposedly the 'cloud' icons of Microsoft.

 

But those games are not really using the cloud in the truest sense of the word, since if for example Blizzard were using it fully for WoW, we wouldn't have been seeing login queues. The true implementation of cloud computing offers "infinite" scalability and reliability, yet all games you mentioned have problems with servers being full. (yes, now I am contradicting what I said previously, but I didn't think of all the server issues that Blizzard's games have back then, my bad)

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But those games are not really using the cloud in the truest sense of the word, since if for example Blizzard were using it fully for WoW, we wouldn't have been seeing login queues. The true implementation of cloud computing offers "infinite" scalability and reliability, yet all games you mentioned have problems with servers being full. (yes, now I am contradicting what I said previously, but I didn't think of all the server issues that Blizzard's games have back then, my bad)

 

Bold claims to make for someone not sitting at the top of development team for any large scale MMO. Sorry, but nothing can exist without a scalability roof, and the potential for reliability issues, whilst it's man made and reliant on an imperfect world.

 

I think you need to distance yourself from the MS magic sprinkle dust, you're buying into the marketing way too much if you truly believe what you've just said in your post.

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Bold claims to make for someone not sitting at the top of development team for any large scale MMO. Sorry, but nothing can exist without a scalability roof, and the potential for reliability issues, whilst it's man made and reliant on an imperfect world.

 

I think you need to distance yourself from the MS magic sprinkle dust, you're buying into the marketing way too much if you truly believe what you've just said in your post.

 

Perhaps I should add a disclaimer that I do not own a XO nor 360 nor PS3/4 or that I will never ever buy a console. Thus MS / Sony magic sprinkle dust does not apply here, as I personally don't care at all about console gaming, never have, and never will. Better? :p

 

Of course I am speaking from my own view, but then, if I can from my own lappy spawn instances on Azure for the sake of testing crap, pretty sure a team of few hundred developers, all with many years of experience behind them can do a much better job than me in spawning their own instances. :laugh:

 

EDIT: If they are using the cloud and still having their customers wait in line just to be able to log in to the servers, with the servers returning messages that they're busy (which just by itself says that that the devs are not using the cloud properly since one won't have such silly issues when one could just spawn another login server instance by pressing a few buttons on Azure's portal), then I have no comment, other than to /facepalm and /sigh.

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But those games are not really using the cloud in the truest sense of the word, since if for example Blizzard were using it fully for WoW, we wouldn't have been seeing login queues. The true implementation of cloud computing offers "infinite" scalability and reliability, yet all games you mentioned have problems with servers being full. (yes, now I am contradicting what I said previously, but I didn't think of all the server issues that Blizzard's games have back then, my bad)

 

Its impossible to have infinite scalability, you need hardware to run these servers/cloud and no one can have an infinite amount of hardware. WoW hit 12 million subscribers at its peak and had login queues to some popular realms because their server clusters weren't enough to handle that much people. Titanfall players were getting connection issues with 'Server Not Found' messages with less than 1 million players. WoW now nor any of the other games I've mentioned have problems with server being full (One of those games isn't even released yet to public).

 

But I think you were trying to highlight the scalability features of the Azure servers again this isn't Microsoft specific. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of scalable cloud server hosts these days the biggest ones being AWS, RackSpace, Azure and Google Compute. Microsoft Azure actually has the smallest customer base compared to the others, Amazon AWS is the biggest, followed by RackSpace, then Google Compute and lastly Microsoft Azure.

 

Sony/PS4 are partnered with RackSpace the #2 'cloud' services provider, while the Xbox One is on Azure the #4 'cloud' services provider.

 

Regardless of who uses who the 'cloud' is still just a glorified word for a dedicated server.

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Its impossible to have infinite scalability, you need hardware to run these servers/cloud and no one can have an infinite amount of hardware.

 

Of course you can. You just need to throw a bit more $. Now that is another issue, but meh. That doesn't mean it is impossible. And yes this goes for all cloud computing platforms, not just Azure, of course.

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Of course you can. You just need to throw a bit more $. Now that is another issue, but meh. That doesn't mean it is impossible. And yes this goes for all cloud computing platforms, not just Azure, of course.

 

No. Nothing is 'infinite'. You spend more money, add more hardware, you still only have as much 'tin' on the ground as you've bought, ergo a limit.

 

Nothing in computing terms is 'infinite'

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No. Nothing is 'infinite'. You spend more money, add more hardware, you still only have as much 'tin' on the ground as you've bought, ergo a limit.

 

Nothing in computing terms is 'infinite'

 

Sigh. It is infinitive relative to the requirements of the game in question. Don't take things so literally. :laugh:

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I find it hilarious we're arguing about how allowing developers to tap into much higher quality hardware (that will more actively be upgraded than the hardware in the console) to improve performance is a bad thing.

That's simply not true. People are criticising the way Microsoft is representing the cloud functionality, as it has virtually no impact upon the gaming experience. We wouldn't be having this conversation if games on the XB1 were using the cloud to creative innovative new experiences simply not attainable on the PS4. As it stands even the most fervent advocates are unable to illustrate how cloud computing improves the gaming experience.

 

It's all hype, no substance.

 

But those games are not really using the cloud in the truest sense of the word, since if for example Blizzard were using it fully for WoW, we wouldn't have been seeing login queues. The true implementation of cloud computing offers "infinite" scalability and reliability, yet all games you mentioned have problems with servers being full.

Titanfall has had issues with server reliability too and it isn't available in some countries due to the lack of server infrastructure, so what we've seen is the cloud functionality actually limiting the gaming experience.

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Sigh. It is infinitive relative to the requirements of the game in question. Don't take things so literally. :laugh:

 

Ah, now that's a bit different  :D

 

That said, the cloud is still a buzz word that for the most part, everybody doesn't understand. Will the 'cloud' make the Xbox One achieve more parity with the more powerful competition? No. Will it enable developers to carry on making great games (for both main console platforms)? Yes. That is all that should really matter.

 

The gap between the One and PS4 isn't going to close but as long as developers support each platform, it will be fine.

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No one is saying offloading processing to a server is a bad thing, its the fact that Microsoft PR teams like to use hype words like 'cloud' to describe a dedicated server and then make vague comments about what it does and by doing so they purposely are trying to make the uninformed public think that this makes up for its inferior specs compared to the PS4. PC games have been using the 'cloud' for years, PS4 uses the cloud' even PS3 and Xbox 360 uses the 'cloud'.

 

But games like EVE(PC), WoW (PC), Elder Scrolls Online (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), Warframe (PC, PS4), Diablo 3 (PC, PS4), Destiny (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), PlanetSide 2 (PC, PS4), or any other title which isn't a Microsoft exclusive doesn't hype up the 'cloud' and make it out as some new thing they invented and are the only ones that have it. All the games I mention above utilize the cloud much more and better than Titanfall and Forza which are supposedly the 'cloud' icons of Microsoft.

Isn't that PR's job to do so. Take something and make it bigger than life.

You are going nuts about this. It's only 5months in, and it is up to the devs to use what is given to them. You are knocking Microsoft, when you should be ranting about, "Why aren't developers using this yet"

Respawn and Turn 10 are the only 2 studios who bothered to use it in some type of way.

Respawn is using it for matchmaking, AI, and background AI (wild life you see on maps, and the ships that jump in and out of orbit)

Turn 10 uses it to create drivatars. Which eliminates the need for the "select difficulty" option. And no rubber banding and such.

It's only 5months in, and I believe there will a game that shows it off a bit more coming sooner rather than later.

Rather it be some kind of PC port or new IP

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[quote name="theyarecomingforyou" post="596378523" timestamp="1398682772"

 

Titanfall has had issues with server reliability too and it isn't available in some countries due to the lack of server infrastructure, so what we've seen is the cloud functionality actually limiting the gaming experience.

TitanFalls had server issues. But the time frame in which it was fixed makes it a non issue. BF4 servers still suck at times, and they were patched several times over since launch.

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It's only 5months in, and I believe there will a game that shows it off a bit more coming sooner rather than later.

Rather it be some kind of PC port or new IP

 

Absolutely agree... Both Sony and Microsoft operate a cloud based system so both will get used I'm sure of it.

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TitanFalls had server issues. But the time frame in which it was fixed makes it a non issue. BF4 servers still suck at times, and they were patched several times over since launch.

BF4's problems are specific and aren't indicative of server-based multiplayer gaming.

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Will the 'cloud' make the Xbox One achieve more parity with the more powerful competition? No. Will it enable developers to carry on making great games (for both main console platforms)? Yes. That is all that should really matter.

 

The gap between the One and PS4 isn't going to close but as long as developers support each platform, it will be fine.

Of course not. You can use the same Azure infrastructure for both xbox and playstation games and get the same benefits on both platforms.

Sigh, Neowin's forums on IE Mobile are crap, especially the quoting/posting part. :/

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If we're going to make that comparison though, let's at least acknowledge the fact that it doesn't change anything in regards to needing a decent CPU/GPU to play those games (unless they're dated). It all comes back to what the intended message is here: Do people see it as added computational power? Or are they being led to believe your console can bite off more than it can actually chew because of "the cloud"?

You just said the same thing twice.

Having access to more computational power does mean a console can do more then just what the local hardware can do.

What you should have said is: Are people being led to believe that the visuals of a game will be improved thanks to the cloud?

And the answer to that would be maybe. MS never uses that term, but they do not disqualify it either. So basically, they let people assume what they want to assume. They are not explaining it properly.

 

But games like EVE(PC), WoW (PC), Elder Scrolls Online (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), Warframe (PC, PS4), Diablo 3 (PC, PS4), Destiny (PC, PS4, Xbox One, etc), PlanetSide 2 (PC, PS4), or any other title which isn't a Microsoft exclusive doesn't hype up the 'cloud' and make it out as some new thing they invented and are the only ones that have it. All the games I mention above utilize the cloud much more and better than Titanfall and Forza which are supposedly the 'cloud' icons of Microsoft.

MS has never even hinted that they invented it. That is just a false idea. Don't take general hype as a sign that they invented it. MS wants to promote it because they INVESTED in 300k servers. That is a real thing that cost real money and took real time to put together.

None of those game developers made that investment. In fact most of those game developers will be using those servers for free. So there is a reason why MS would want to leverage that as a feature of the platform in their pr. Its the same reason why Sony will push the Gaikai service so hard. They spent big money to get that.

 

But I think you were trying to highlight the scalability features of the Azure servers again this isn't Microsoft specific. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of scalable cloud server hosts these days the biggest ones being AWS, RackSpace, Azure and Google Compute. Microsoft Azure actually has the smallest customer base compared to the others, Amazon AWS is the biggest, followed by RackSpace, then Google Compute and lastly Microsoft Azure.

 

Sony/PS4 are partnered with RackSpace the #2 'cloud' services provider, while the Xbox One is on Azure the #4 'cloud' services provider.

 

Regardless of who uses who the 'cloud' is still just a glorified word for a dedicated server.

Yes 'the cloud' is just a dedicated server. It doesn't change what it can be used for. Why is the term cloud so offensive now? Its been used by almost every tech company for years before MS used it for the X1. The cloud is an accepted term for dedicated servers. Its the general market 'slang' for it.

Azure is a competent cloud platform. So I'm not sure why anyone would question its quality at this point. Its right up their with the other big companies as you said. So it can provide a quality service for developers to use. Your right that it is not unique, but that does not change the fact that its a quality service that is being offered cheaply to developers.

Why don't we try and shift the conversation a bit. Instead of railing against MS talking about 'the cloud', how about we make suggestions as to how they could market the dedicated servers in a way that is not misleading and conveys how important access to those servers could be.

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It's all hype, no substance.

There is substance. Anyone with a pc gaming background knows there is substance behind the scenes.

You could say that it has not shown up in enough games in obvious ways, but to say that MS' effort in that area has resulted in nothing is just not true.

The pr has literally poisoned the well for this topic.

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There is substance. Anyone with a pc gaming background knows there is substance behind the scenes.

Anyone with a PC gaming background knows it's just PR. Can you name me a cloud feature utilised in Titanfall that distinguishes it from traditional games? Even Forza 5's cloud implementation is questionable?the Drivatar feature is the most visible but was achieved offline in previous games?and I've seen complaints from console owners about losing saved data when multiple people use the same console.

 

Microsoft has hyped up the cloud when few games utilise it and those that do do little to improve the gaming experience. It's not the major feature that Microsoft has claimed it is. Whether that will change is anyone's guess. A useful comparison to make is Valve and the Steam platform - you don't see Valve hyping the cloud as an abstract, you see them discussing the specific features and how they benefit gamers. It's less about the PR and more about the gaming. When Valve gets excited about something it's because of the impact it will have on gaming, like VR and the Oculus Rift. When Microsoft gets excited about something it's to sell you something.

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Let's be realistic here, 'cloud computing' in a PC and console gaming context is a euphemism for DRM and "always online requirement" through the back door.

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You just said the same thing twice.

Having access to more computational power does mean a console can do more then just what the local hardware can do.

What you should have said is: Are people being led to believe that the visuals of a game will be improved thanks to the cloud?

That is what I actually meant, thank you. I seem to have dropped the word "visually" from that statement.

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Anyone with a PC gaming background knows it's just PR. Can you name me a cloud feature utilised in Titanfall that distinguishes it from traditional games? Even Forza 5's cloud implementation is questionable?the Drivatar feature is the most visible but was achieved offline in previous games?and I've seen complaints from console owners about losing saved data when multiple people use the same console.

You didn't read my post, did you?

As I said, you can easily criticize the lack of gaming content that shows obvious features that make use of dedicated servers.

However, there are features that are enjoyed by many pc games today using dedicated servers. Even the most basic use of dedicated servers can be meaningful to games and the fact that MS is making that so accessible to developers makes it a nice deal. MS calling it out publicly as a feature of the platform has created this resistance.

 

Microsoft has hyped up the cloud when few games utilise it and those that do do little to improve the gaming experience. It's not the major feature that Microsoft has claimed it is. Whether that will change is anyone's guess. A useful comparison to make is Valve and the Steam platform - you don't see Valve hyping the cloud as an abstract, you see them discussing the specific features and how they benefit gamers. It's less about the PR and more about the gaming. When Valve gets excited about something it's because of the impact it will have on gaming, like VR and the Oculus Rift. When Microsoft gets excited about something it's to sell you something.

Why do you feel that its not a major feature? You are confident in that point and yet you follow it up with you have no idea if it will change.

Ultimately, the question is: Is the idea sound? Can there be things done with dedicated servers that improving a gaming experience?

If the answer is yes, then MS simply needs to adjust their pr, not scrap the investment.

As far as MS just getting excited about selling you something, I just feel that is going too far. That is too general an accusation. I don't believe that is true, but hey, there you go. Valve is a company just like MS. They need profit to survive. They make choices that are most likely to mean good things for the company. It just so happens that Valve are very in touch with its customers and they know what features will add value and result in people coming back to Valve for gaming needs. To say that Valve is only in it to improve gaming and MS is only in it to make money is way too general. The people that work within the Xbox division are not in it to just make money. They, like Valve, want to create experiences that excite gamers, which results in more sales. Its way too easy to paint one as a saint and one as a demon.

How this relates to the cloud stuff would be that dedicated servers can contribute to gaming. MS built a farm of them and handed the keys over to developers. I have no idea what the motivations behind the cloud infrastructure were, but that was clearly not something that was going to earn MS any money on its own. But, if it improved the X1 gaming experience, it could. MS wanted everyone to know that they had made this investment (not just the servers themselves, but also about how the X1 itself was designed to work with those servers in the best way possible).

I'm not sure how you talk about this stuff pr wise without it being taken the wrong way or overblown, but MS failed to do that.

 

Let's be realistic here, 'cloud computing' in a PC and console gaming context is a euphemism for DRM and "always online requirement" through the back door.

That is definitely the bad kind of 'cloud computing' :laugh:

We don't want more of that.

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