Developer Respawn Entertainment used Microsoft Azure for its Xbox One shooter Titanfall to handle things like AI and game physics. However, Microsoft showed how Azure could be used in PC gaming as part of its second day keynote address at BUILD 2014.
The gaming demo starts at the 2:21:11 hour mark on the Channel 9 video replay of the event. The prototype, which uses what the demo team called a "high end" PC gaming rig from Maingear. It involves a simulation of a building that can be destroyed via rocket launchers or explosives.
On the PC that was running the demo without the connection to the Azure cloud service, the building simulation was being destroyed but at the cost of a greatly reduced frame rate, down to just 2 FPS. This was due to the number of randomly generated particles and debris showing up on the screen and hurting the PC's GPU performance..
However, on the PC rig that ran the same demo with the Azure service handling all of the physics computations, the amount of particles didn't affect the frame rate at all; it stayed around 32 FPS. There's no word on when Microsoft will begin offering this kind of cloud-based service to PC game developers, but it certainly shows the potential of what can be done with this kind of feature, especially in first person shooter games.
Source: Channel 9 | Image via Microsoft