At Microsoft’s Xbox One unveiling event the company revealed that they had added 300,000 servers to support the Xbox Live services. Microsoft also mentioned that the Xbox One would be able to harness all that computing power in the cloud but it wasn’t very clear in what way.
Now, Ars Technica has talked to Matt Booty, General Manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, and we finally have more info on how the One will integrate with the cloud. Booty explains that certain graphical operations that require a lot of computing power but are not latency-sensitive could be offloaded to the cloud. Things like fluid and physics dynamics, graphical elements that don’t change a lot in the game etc, all of these could be dealt with by the cloud while your console is left to focus on the truly important and latency sensitive data, such as animations when you’re getting shot.
Of course all of these elements will have to be coded by the developers and as this is new technology we will probably have to wait a while until this new feature reaches its true potential. Devs will also have to handle intelligent transitions between going on and offline and how the game handles the graphics data then.
And what happens when the internet goes out? Well Microsoft already confirmed that single player games will be playable even without connectivity but, according to this new info, we might start to see games that actually look better when you’re online. So going offline may lead to lower quality graphics. Of course this is only a scenario and it all depends on what developers actually code inside the game.
Source: Ars Technica