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Crackdown 3 and the Power of the Cloud

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Showan    698

Well you completely failed at not sounding rude, congrats!  My post boiled down to a congrats to MS for PIONEERING cloud computing in gaming which I personally believe will be big (an OPINION you are free to disagree with of course by no more meaningless than anyone elses opinion... such as for example your thoughts on my post).

I don't know what part of PIONEERING you didn't get but that's constitutes an acknowledgment on my part that Microsoft is doing it first.  I'm not sure why you'd go to such great length to seemingly point out something I stated myself and then act as if you were somehow disproving my point.

As for the Sony and Nintendo thing I never even mentioned Nintendo and while I did mention PlayStation the first time was to specifically make clear I was NOT making a Xbox vs. PlayStation comparison, a point you seem to have entirely missed.  I totally agree Sony is unlikely to do anything cloud related this generation, they're already crushing this generation in sales without doing it so there really isn't much point for them to invest in it right away.  They can afford to ride out this generation and IF cloud computing takes off for gaming (which again I believe it will but that's opinion and it remains to be seen) then they can implement it for the PS5 if they so desire.  Unless of course you think cloud computing is going to make such a huge impact this generation that the Xbox One is going to catch up to and outsell the PS4 (overall, not just on select months or in select regions)... I don't think it will be THAT big of an impact (again, just my opinion though and you are free to disagree).  Furthermore PSN isn't controlled like Xbox Live and if cloud gaming does take off PlayStation developers can access the cloud on any internet accessible provider unlike Xbox Live where what servers games can access it regulated by MS.

Again the most immediate potential competition I see to Microsoft's cloud compute in gaming is NOT from Sony or Nintendo but from the other competitors that are starting to branch into gaming, have their own ecosystem, and/or are already in the non-gaming cloud computing market.  Competitors such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Valve.  Even then the examples I posted were for future devices not existing ones, once again acknowledging MS was PIONEERING this market:  Apple TV NEXT, Amazon Fire TV NEXT, nVidia Shield Android TV NEXT, etc.

Microsoft is ABSOLUTELY out in front on this, a point I fully acknowledged in my post.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to turn this into a MS vs. Sony vs. Nintendo thing but that's all you and has nothing to do with my post that you for some reason quoted despite seemingly entirely missing the point.

 

I think the Crackdown showing (and well received so far) may have the Engineering team drooling to push the envelope even further.

And while I also agree, that anyone can do this, the steps taken to do so can be time consuming.  Just think Microsoft talked about it at the reveal/E3 2yrs ago, it was in development well before then, so this could have been in development for 3-4yrs for Xbox.  Anyone wanting to give this a try as well (if not already in planning/development) will be looking at a 3-5yrs release window.  Now lets take just look at this from a consoles perspective only, like you said it wouldn't be worth it for Sony to bother with this during the PS4's life cycle (as it would be almost over by the the time it released), but Nintendo could very well try and do such a thing for the NX.  A Zelda, Mario, or Metroid game with something like this would be very much welcomed i think.

 

Like we all know, anyone can offer this... But this is NOT a Disney wand wave and all of a sudden it's there.    This seems like a lot of work and time...

That would be like Tomb Raider Reboot... Laura almost dead at every turn, whereas the bad guys seems to always be at the same locations without much issues... LOL...

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BajiRav    2,137

Quite honestly I think everyone is waiting to see the results from MS first, as there is a truckload of scepticism, and not much more than proof of concepts right now. Otherwise, each of the other companies has their own invested interests that are taking center stage (Sony - Morpheus/PS Now, Nintendo - Trying to become relevant to the PS4/XB1 hardcore). 

Possible but I think it is clear that MSFT is a bit further that proof of concept (Build 2014) after the gamescom demo.

Well you completely failed at not sounding rude, congrats!  My post boiled down to a congrats to MS for PIONEERING cloud computing in gaming which I personally believe will be big (an OPINION you are free to disagree with of course by no more meaningless than anyone elses opinion... such as for example your thoughts on my post).

I don't know what part of PIONEERING you didn't get but that's constitutes an acknowledgment on my part that Microsoft is doing it first.  I'm not sure why you'd go to such great length to seemingly point out something I stated myself and then act as if you were somehow disproving my point.

As for the Sony and Nintendo thing I never even mentioned Nintendo and while I did mention PlayStation the first time was to specifically make clear I was NOT making a Xbox vs. PlayStation comparison, a point you seem to have entirely missed.  I totally agree Sony is unlikely to do anything cloud related this generation, they're already crushing this generation in sales without doing it so there really isn't much point for them to invest in it right away.  They can afford to ride out this generation and IF cloud computing takes off for gaming (which again I believe it will but that's opinion and it remains to be seen) then they can implement it for the PS5 if they so desire.  Unless of course you think cloud computing is going to make such a huge impact this generation that the Xbox One is going to catch up to and outsell the PS4 (overall, not just on select months or in select regions)... I don't think it will be THAT big of an impact (again, just my opinion though and you are free to disagree).  Furthermore PSN isn't controlled like Xbox Live and if cloud gaming does take off PlayStation developers can access the cloud on any internet accessible provider unlike Xbox Live where what servers games can access it regulated by MS.

Again the most immediate potential competition I see to Microsoft's cloud compute in gaming is NOT from Sony or Nintendo but from the other competitors that are starting to branch into gaming, have their own ecosystem, and/or are already in the non-gaming cloud computing market.  Competitors such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Valve.  Even then the examples I posted were for future devices not existing ones, once again acknowledging MS was PIONEERING this market:  Apple TV NEXT, Amazon Fire TV NEXT, nVidia Shield Android TV NEXT, etc.

Microsoft is ABSOLUTELY out in front on this, a point I fully acknowledged in my post.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to turn this into a MS vs. Sony vs. Nintendo thing but that's all you and has nothing to do with my post that you for some reason quoted despite seemingly entirely missing the point.

 

Well..I was getting a "Microsoft is a pioneer and excellent work but anybody could do it if they tried" vibe from your posts in this thread. If that was not your intention then relax and have a beer.

I referred to competition and as of now that is just Sony and Nintendo in game consoles. Valve is not yet a competition(lacks portfolio to be one) and despite their hiring/buying spree, I doubt Amazon is anywhere close to launching a console of their own. Never say never but Google and Apple are never going to launch a true game console IMHO. :p

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+Asmodai    637

Well..I was getting a "Microsoft is a pioneer and excellent work but anybody could do it if they tried" vibe from your posts in this thread. If that was not your intention then relax and have a beer.

I referred to competition and as of now that is just Sony and Nintendo in game consoles. Valve is not yet a competition(lacks portfolio to be one) and despite their hiring/buying spree, I doubt Amazon is anywhere close to launching a console of their own. Never say never but Google and Apple are never going to launch a true game console IMHO. :p

Again the main point I was trying to make was really just giving MS props for leading the way (pioneering, being first at, etc.) into what I feel will (over time, not instantly) become a major component in online gaming in general.  Many people seem to think though that this is some capability only possible on the Xbox One.  As if the Xbox One has some unique hardware components that enable it or something which is not the case.  Now I'm not saying YOU think that (my initial post wasn't a direct reply to you, in fact it wasn't a quoted reply to anyone in particular) but again I'm super excited about the LONG TERM potential of cloud computing in games and I see it as where the industry as a whole is likely to go in the YEARS to come (not immediately and certainly not before MS).  You seem fixated with RIGHT NOW or in the next couple years, which is fine but has nothing to do with what I was talking about in the quote you replied to.  Maybe it will take 5 years, or 10, or 20 but I think cloud computing in gaming is going to be big (my opinion, you are free to disagree).  I think it's going to be big IN GENERAL, as in not something exclusive to the Xbox franchise.  As a gamer I'm super excited about that prospect. Again, I agree that MS is leading the charge, and I'm hopeful that this particular game (Crackdown 3) is going to be the one that proves to everyone how cloud compute can benefit games.  Even if it isn't though and doesn't live up to the expectations for some reason I think SOME game is going to do it and as Microsoft is pioneering this field it will almost certainly be an Xbox One game.

I don't know, I see my original post as very complimentary to MS.  Apparently you disagree.  I was seriously trying to give them props for leading the entire gaming industry into a new future if you will... so I guess I was just taken aback by your apparent need to play White Knight and come to the defense of MS (and bash Sony and Nintendo along the way) on a post that was intended to complement them.  Everything doesn't have to always deteriorate into a console war argument.

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Emn1ty    4,080

The thing is I've noticed that the skeptics of Microsoft's "cloud" computing have had to backstep each time. At first, it was just a buzzword and refuted as technologically advantageous. Then once it was something devs actually played with it was "There is no evidence it will be worth it, no one has showed anything definitive.". Then Microsoft showed a demo, and we had "It was running in perfect conditions, so it isn't a real world example." Now we have this game demonstrating how it's used and we have "Well, it's been done before no big deal." or "It's only good for X and not Y, not as good as the promised." or "Only big AAA developers can even think of using it." sort of downplaying.

To me it looks like people who were originally against this concept, now coming to terms with it actually being a real workable service are trying to make it seem much less than it actually is. And I just don't understand this inherent need for Microsoft to be liars or sub-par to their promises and when the reality is contrary people want to swipe their achievements aside as if they're back page news.

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BajiRav    2,137

The thing is I've noticed that the skeptics of Microsoft's "cloud" computing have had to backstep each time. At first, it was just a buzzword and refuted as technologically advantageous. Then once it was something devs actually played with it was "There is no evidence it will be worth it, no one has showed anything definitive.". Then Microsoft showed a demo, and we had "It was running in perfect conditions, so it isn't a real world example." Now we have this game demonstrating how it's used and we have "Well, it's been done before no big deal." or "It's only good for X and not Y, not as good as the promised." or "Only big AAA developers can even think of using it." sort of downplaying.

To me it looks like people who were originally against this concept, now coming to terms with it actually being a real workable service are trying to make it seem much less than it actually is. And I just don't understand this inherent need for Microsoft to be liars or sub-par to their promises and when the reality is contrary people want to swipe their achievements aside as if they're back page news.

QFT. I guess somebody should go back an add posts from the older "power of the cloud" threads here. 

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dipsylalapo    1,797

snip

This exactly. I'll be honest, when they first talked about it I was sceptical because it was just that, talk. Now that we're getting closer to what could be tangible service there are still naysayers :p 

Think I found a long time that it's always impossible to impress/convince everyone 

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+Asmodai    637

This exactly. I'll be honest, when they first talked about it I was sceptical because it was just that, talk. Now that we're getting closer to what could be tangible service there are still naysayers :p 

Think I found a long time that it's always impossible to impress/convince everyone 

I think part of the Xbox One's sales problem is just that all this stuff is coming so late.

I'm not so sure Kinect wouldn't have been a great thing for example if Xbox One had actually launched with a widely popular title that required it and not just promises of great things to come, at some point, and little extras to otherwise non-Kinect games like support for some voice commands and leaning to peek around corners.  I'm not sure what that title would have been (I assume they had something in mind when they decided to bundle the thing) and now it looks like it will never happen since they've unbundled Kinect and allowed devs to take back the resource reservation.  Heck I don't even think they utter the word "Kinect" anymore at gamescom or E3.

Likewise I think backwards compatibility would have been a HUGE thing for U.S. sales of the Xbox One if it had been there at launch (even if in an initially limited form like right now).  Xbox 360 won the U.S. sales by a wide margin (offsetting PS3 sales victories pretty much in the entire rest of the world) and if they could have leveraged that base with the Xbox One early I think it would have made a HUGE difference.  Now, almost 2 years after launch, a lot of 360 owners have already gone to the PS4 (since neither offered support for their 360 games at the time) so I'm not sure how big of a difference it will make.

The cloud is super cool as well and they hyped the heck out of it at launch.  As someone who works with (non-gaming) cloud computing I'm very excited about this but most people have no idea what it is and only now, almost 2 years after launch, are we starting to see some of the neat things it makes possible (with Crackdown 3).  Before that Titanfall was billed as using the cloud and while it made networking more stable it didn't have that wiz-bang feature the masses need to sell them on the potential of the cloud.  Hopefully Crackdown 3 will turn out awesome (demos look great!) and be the game that opens the public's eyes, if it doesn't turn out so great I'm confident something else will... eventually.  But if they were going to push the cloud as heavily as they did at launch they really needed to have something like this available then... not 2 years later.

I complete agree "it's always impossible to impress/convince everyone"... especially when all you're offering is abstract concepts, promises, and future plans.  If you want to impress/convince a large percentage of the public (you'll never get EVERYONE) then you need to actually offer concrete examples to back up your claims.

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shastasheen    31

What's expensive to do?  Cloud computing is cheap, that's one of the major selling points for it.  It's extremely cheap compared to building your own dedicated servers. Heck I have a friend who hosts a minecraft server on Amazon's Cloud and I'm pretty sure he said it costs him nothing to a few bucks a month depending on that month's usage.  Now clearly he has like dozens of users and a AAA title would have a ton but you only pay for what you use and if your users all paid $60 to buy a game on launch day then if millions buy it you have plenty of money to pay Google or Amazon or Microsoft of whatever cloud provider you chose (and there are many) to provide service for you.  There's big competition in the could services business too so I'm sure EA or Ubisoft or other big players could get amazing deals and the situation is only going to get better as cloud computing continues to mature.  In some ways in fact Xbox game developers are limited in that they can ONLY choose Xbox Live Compute whereas those outside of Xbox Live can choose Microsoft Azure (on which Xbox Live Compute is based), Amazon, Google, etc... Again the big advantage of Xbox Live Compute is just that it's totally free so it's a trade off.  You get free cloud compute and but in return you're locked into Xbox only (including Win10).

In theory EA could release a game on say Amazon's cloud that worked with Mac, Windows, Linux, and Playstation versions of the game.  The only thing that's really expensive is setting up your own cloud but there's very little reason for most developers/publishers to do that when cloud computing is already a highly competitive field.  Maybe the super big guys like EA and Ubisoft can afford to set up their own server farms but most will just buy service on the existing cloud service providers.

I totally think there's a huge future in cloud compute in gaming, and I give massive kudos to MS for really being the first to try to push it for gaming but I really think this is going to be a general industry thing even if MS does it first and not just a Xbox/Win10 thing.  There also seems to be a lot of misunderstanding that it's somehow tied to Xbox or will make the hardware more powerful or something. (not from you specifically, just in general)

 

Microsoft has laid the foundation and architecture for gaming/cloud APIs into their cloud. All the heavy lifting has been done. A third party developer could write their own code and host it on servers in EC2, but at enormous expense. MS' offering is extensible and reusable across Xbox games.

Coupled with Windows 10 coming to the Xbox One, Microsoft has now unified the code base between PC and Xbox One game development. Even PC games could leverage the MS cloud if a developer wanted to do that. Imagine a truly destructible world for BF4 or CoD. Multiplayer maps that deform and destruct as the game goes on. Pretty intriguing stuff - and Microsoft has done all of the heavy lifting.

The PS4 is now odd man out on the development platform front.

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+Asmodai    637

Microsoft has laid the foundation and architecture for gaming/cloud APIs into their cloud. All the heavy lifting has been done. A third party developer could write their own code and host it on servers in EC2, but at enormous expense. MS' offering is extensible and reusable across Xbox games.

Coupled with Windows 10 coming to the Xbox One, Microsoft has now unified the code base between PC and Xbox One game development. Even PC games could leverage the MS cloud if a developer wanted to do that. Imagine a truly destructible world for BF4 or CoD. Multiplayer maps that deform and destruct as the game goes on. Pretty intriguing stuff - and Microsoft has done all of the heavy lifting.

The PS4 is now odd man out on the development platform front.

Xbox One and Windows 10 will indeed share a unified code base once the Windows 10 Xbox One update hits.

This is very similar to how Xbox 360 and Windows Vista worked with the "Games for Windows - Live" concept which failed miserably.  Hopefully it will work better this time. (I'm being honest there, I think the general concept is sound but the prior implementation was HORRIBLE and hopefully this version is MUCH, MUCH, better)
Just as with "Games for Windows - Live" PC games could leverage the MS cloud (not cloud compute specifically back then but the Xbox Live infrastructure) but in doing so they become locked into Microsoft's "walled garden" and stuck with being Xbox/Windows ONLY.

Most top selling games, such as BF4 or CoD that you mentioned, are multi-platform games and don't want to go Xbox/Win10 exclusive so they aren't likely to rely heavily on Xbox/Win10-only features.  The #1 platform for games on PC is Steam and Steam is moving toward Windows/Mac/Linux multi-platform releases, PS4 is currently outselling the Xbox One by a significant margin, when the Nintendo NX comes out third parties are likely to want to port their games to that as well.  It's not PS4 being an odd man out on the development front, it's the MS platform.  PS4 is the #1 console development front (in terms of sales, not making a personal judgement here), Steam is #1 in terms of PC, this is a good move on the part of Microsoft to make their platform(s) more compelling but they're very much still coming from behind in gaming in the near term.  Again I think this cloud compute thing is GREAT personally and MS is way out front on it, I'm confident that will help them and gives them a distinct edge in the long term but it's not going to instantly cause the Xbox One to outsell the PS4 or a mass migration from SteamWorks to Xbox Live on PC.

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shastasheen    31

Xbox One and Windows 10 will indeed share a unified code base once the Windows 10 Xbox One update hits.

This is very similar to how Xbox 360 and Windows Vista worked with the "Games for Windows - Live" concept which failed miserably.  Hopefully it will work better this time. (I'm being honest there, I think the general concept is sound but the prior implementation was HORRIBLE and hopefully this version is MUCH, MUCH, better)
Just as with "Games for Windows - Live" PC games could leverage the MS cloud (not cloud compute specifically back then but the Xbox Live infrastructure) but in doing so they become locked into Microsoft's "walled garden" and stuck with being Xbox/Windows ONLY.

Most top selling games, such as BF4 or CoD that you mentioned, are multi-platform games and don't want to go Xbox/Win10 exclusive so they aren't likely to rely heavily on Xbox/Win10-only features.  The #1 platform for games on PC is Steam and Steam is moving toward Windows/Mac/Linux multi-platform releases, PS4 is currently outselling the Xbox One by a significant margin, when the Nintendo NX comes out third parties are likely to want to port their games to that as well.  It's not PS4 being an odd man out on the development front, it's the MS platform.  PS4 is the #1 console development front (in terms of sales, not making a personal judgement here), Steam is #1 in terms of PC, this is a good move on the part of Microsoft to make their platform(s) more compelling but they're very much still coming from behind in gaming in the near term.  Again I think this cloud compute thing is GREAT personally and MS is way out front on it, I'm confident that will help them and gives them a distinct edge in the long term but it's not going to instantly cause the Xbox One to outsell the PS4 or a mass migration from SteamWorks to Xbox Live on PC.

Steam is a content distributor. They are not a platform requiring special development. The unified code base between PC and X1 has much bigger implications than just ease of development. I know where I'd spend my resources after September.

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Ironman273    1,095

The thing is I've noticed that the skeptics of Microsoft's "cloud" computing have had to backstep each time. At first, it was just a buzzword and refuted as technologically advantageous. Then once it was something devs actually played with it was "There is no evidence it will be worth it, no one has showed anything definitive.". Then Microsoft showed a demo, and we had "It was running in perfect conditions, so it isn't a real world example." Now we have this game demonstrating how it's used and we have "Well, it's been done before no big deal." or "It's only good for X and not Y, not as good as the promised." or "Only big AAA developers can even think of using it." sort of downplaying.

To me it looks like people who were originally against this concept, now coming to terms with it actually being a real workable service are trying to make it seem much less than it actually is. And I just don't understand this inherent need for Microsoft to be liars or sub-par to their promises and when the reality is contrary people want to swipe their achievements aside as if they're back page news.

achievement_unlocked.thumb.png.1548084c5

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+Asmodai    637

Steam is a content distributor. They are not a platform requiring special development. The unified code base between PC and X1 has much bigger implications than just ease of development. I know where I'd spend my resources after September.

You might want to read up a little on SteamWorks because you have no idea what you're talking about.  Yes Steam is a content distributor but if you think that's ALL it is you are sorely mistaken.

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President Devil    286

The thing is I've noticed that the skeptics of Microsoft's "cloud" computing have had to backstep each time. At first, it was just a buzzword and refuted as technologically advantageous. Then once it was something devs actually played with it was "There is no evidence it will be worth it, no one has showed anything definitive.". Then Microsoft showed a demo, and we had "It was running in perfect conditions, so it isn't a real world example." Now we have this game demonstrating how it's used and we have "Well, it's been done before no big deal." or "It's only good for X and not Y, not as good as the promised." or "Only big AAA developers can even think of using it." sort of downplaying.

To me it looks like people who were originally against this concept, now coming to terms with it actually being a real workable service are trying to make it seem much less than it actually is. And I just don't understand this inherent need for Microsoft to be liars or sub-par to their promises and when the reality is contrary people want to swipe their achievements aside as if they're back page news.

Simple...because the "GREATNESS" will NEVER COME and they know it.

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shastasheen    31

You might want to read up a little on SteamWorks because you have no idea what you're talking about.  Yes Steam is a content distributor but if you think that's ALL it is you are sorely mistaken.

I read up on Steamworks as you suggested. Still underwhelmed. Bolting on steam features to an application written for the PC doesn't make it a platform. it's still executing x86 code is it not? This sounds more akin to buying AdminStudio for SCCM to package and distribute software packages.

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+Asmodai    637

I read up on Steamworks as you suggested. Still underwhelmed. Bolting on steam features to an application written for the PC doesn't make it a platform. it's still executing x86 code is it not? This sounds more akin to buying AdminStudio for SCCM to package and distribute software packages.

What are you talking about?!?  What does executing x86 code have to do with anything?  The PS4, Xbox One, tons of Linux boxes, and even Macs today are all executing x86 code.  That has NOTHING to do with anything I said.

The comparison was within Windows gaming, game developers choose APIs (platforms) to provide services for them (or write their own).  Right now the #1 provider for these services on PCs is Steam (via SteamWorks).  These services include multiplayer matchmaking, friends lists, cloud saves, voice chat, etc. etc.  On Xbox these services are provided by Xbox Live.  On PS4 the services are provided by PSN.  Microsoft opened up Xbox Live to Windows games developers with Games For Windows - Live back with Vista and most developers chose NOT to use it and stuck with Steam instead.  It failed and eventually the whole program was shut down and even some of the few games that did support it have been updated to use SteamWorks instead (otherwise their multiplayer, etc. would have just stopped working.)

Maybe Win10/Xbox One will change that and game developers will flock to Xbox Live services over SteamWorks, maybe Xbox One will start massively outselling the PS4 when the Win10 update hits and 3rd party console game developers will not worry about PS4 or Nintendo versions of games anymore and embrace Xbox Live exclusive features, who knows? I seriously doubt anything that radical is going to happen though.  It's VERY cool tech but MS is very much behind Steam in PC gaming and PS4 in console sales so PS4 is not the "odd man out" as you suggest.  This may well form the foundation of their eventual comeback but it's not going to happen over night and they are very much the underdog right now.

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shastasheen    31

What are you talking about?!?  What does executing x86 code have to do with anything?  The PS4, Xbox One, tons of Linux boxes, and even Macs today are all executing x86 code.  That has NOTHING to do with anything I said.

The comparison was within Windows gaming, game developers choose APIs (platforms) to provide services for them (or write their own).  Right now the #1 provider for these services on PCs is Steam (via SteamWorks).  These services include multiplayer matchmaking, friends lists, cloud saves, voice chat, etc. etc.  On Xbox these services are provided by Xbox Live.  On PS4 the services are provided by PSN.  Microsoft opened up Xbox Live to Windows games developers with Games For Windows - Live back with Vista and most developers chose NOT to use it and stuck with Steam instead.  It failed and eventually the whole program was shut down and even some of the few games that did support it have been updated to use SteamWorks instead (otherwise their multiplayer, etc. would have just stopped working.)

Maybe Win10/Xbox One will change that and game developers will flock to Xbox Live services over SteamWorks, maybe Xbox One will start massively outselling the PS4 when the Win10 update hits and 3rd party console game developers will not worry about PS4 or Nintendo versions of games anymore and embrace Xbox Live exclusive features, who knows? I seriously doubt anything that radical is going to happen though.  It's VERY cool tech but MS is very much behind Steam in PC gaming and PS4 in console sales so PS4 is not the "odd man out" as you suggest.  This may well form the foundation of their eventual comeback but it's not going to happen over night and they are very much the underdog right now.

My bad for conflating x86 with PC/Xbox development and ignoring Linux/Apple/PS4. The latter still require separate development environments. They are discrete development platforms. Steam, Xbox Live, PSN are SERVICES with features available to developers. As a platform, Microsoft just minimized the schism between X1 and PC development.

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+Asmodai    637

My bad for conflating x86 with PC/Xbox development and ignoring Linux/Apple/PS4. The latter still require separate development environments. They are discrete development platforms. Steam, Xbox Live, PSN are SERVICES with features available to developers. As a platform, Microsoft just minimized the schism between X1 and PC development.

Now you're talking about development environments?!?  I have no idea what you're trying to get at, you're all over the place.  My posts (to which you made a quoted reply) were expressing my excitement about the potential of cloud computing in gaming and my hope that Crackdown 3 in particular (you know the topic of this thread) would really raise awareness of the potential as the first really concrete example of it's use (technically Titanfall and maybe others used cloud compute but in more behind-the-scenes sorts of ways).  You want to split hairs on what you are calling a PLATFORM and a SERVICE I don't really care.  By your definition then cloud computing, you know the topic of this thread and my comments, is a SERVICE then.  As such I couldn't care less what your thoughts on PLATFORMS are as they have nothing to do with anything I wrote and I have no idea why you decided to quote my comments in your reply since you're apparently talking about a completely unrelated (and off-topic) subject.

My best guess now is that you're trying to make a point about how easy Win10/Xbox One will be to port games between because they share the same OS... what that has to do with this topic in general or my posts in particular I have no idea.  As far as I can tell it's a totally off-topic point and is particularly odd for you to bring up in a Crackdown 3 thread considering it's already been announced that there are NO current plans to bring Crackdown 3 (or Scalebound or Quantum Break for that matter) to PC.  If that is indeed the point you were trying to make maybe you should make it in it's own thread or even in a thread for a game that IS being released on both PC and Xbox One (like Halo Wars 2).

 

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Hedon    397

The thing is I've noticed that the skeptics of Microsoft's "cloud" computing have had to backstep each time. At first, it was just a buzzword and refuted as technologically advantageous. Then once it was something devs actually played with it was "There is no evidence it will be worth it, no one has showed anything definitive.". Then Microsoft showed a demo, and we had "It was running in perfect conditions, so it isn't a real world example." Now we have this game demonstrating how it's used and we have "Well, it's been done before no big deal." or "It's only good for X and not Y, not as good as the promised." or "Only big AAA developers can even think of using it." sort of downplaying.

To me it looks like people who were originally against this concept, now coming to terms with it actually being a real workable service are trying to make it seem much less than it actually is. And I just don't understand this inherent need for Microsoft to be liars or sub-par to their promises and when the reality is contrary people want to swipe their achievements aside as if they're back page news.

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red8Rain    23

If you have a proper server setup, you don't have to have a completely decentralized data storage system. You can pay for one primary data server, and the clusters will only store the data relevant to them (which is persisted to your central data server once it's no longer needed). So in that case, you can definitely just turn off the servers and not use them.

You think the whole of the cloud based companies wouldn't have solved this problem? It's called disk images, and rapid deployment. Look at things like Docker, Hub and Spoke architecture (http://www.compositesw.com/solutions/hub-and-spoke-architecture/). You can call BS all you want, but these are problems massive enterprise level corporations have already solved. Even startups have solved it, seeing as these are key factors in creating scaleable SaaS companies.

The principle is that for every second you have a server running it is driving revenue. Only spend when you can earn, never leave resources unused (money that's not earning).

Lots of IFs in your statement.  A game company releases a game full of BUGS on day one and require a day 0 patch and then still have problems after months (BF4 and AC:UNITY), you think they are going to focus on building a cloud infrastructure correctly?  A few people mentioned it here, Sony is still dreaming about this stuff.  So yes, IF they can build a proper method of distributing their data and shutting it down completely, then yes, you won't have to pay for the servers that are down.  I know Azure does this well, you can bump up processing power when needed and lower it when not.

Sure cloud hosting CAN be expensive but that doesn't mean it always (or even usually) is.  You cherry pick an single example of how it's expensive... I'm sorry it was so expensive for you at your last job but the cloud is cheap for many despite your particular experience.  A game using cloud compute wouldn't need super fast or large quantities of storage (SSD's would likely be overkill).  The entire game isn't being streamed like PS Now or Win10/Xbox One game streaming and it's not an MMO so most of the data could still be local to the device.  The cloud compute would be doing things like running AI, physics, etc.  I'm not a game developer (just a corporate developer) so I don't know what exactly is non-latency sensitive and could be farmed out to the cloud and really I'm not sure many of them are.  This is a brand new area that MS is currently trailblazing and so I expect it will evolve quickly as people figure out what does and doesn't work.

It sounds to me like you had a bad experience with Amazon cloud and again I'm sorry for that but that's where the a lot of government and industry is moving and it's a fact that LOWER cost is one of the reasons despite there being some cases where you can pay more.  Maybe Amazon isn't the best provider RIGHT NOW.  RIGHT NOW no one has released a game that uses cloud computing that's done anything really amazing that's really got the ball rolling on the whole concept.  I'm hoping this game is that game but we'll have to see how it goes when it's actually released.  If it does then others will likely copy it and cloud providers will adapt their offerings to cater the that new market.  My post here was in part to express my excitement on MS leading that charge but if you disagree that's fine.  I used Amazon and Google and even Azure just because those are the big names in cloud computing right now (along with many other smaller ones) not because I was saying m2.2xlarge is what indy game developers should be using.

As for Amazon specifically they've been getting into gaming and buying up developers.  Since they are one of the bigger cloud providers I wouldn't be shocked if the next Amazon Fire TV or the one after that tried leveraging their cloud compute capabilities for games.  Again not one of the specific offerings they have RIGHT NOW but it would seem like a strong move for them to do to open up gaming options on their platform.

If Apple ever got serious about gaming like in the next Apple TV or the one after that then they likewise could do the same thing.  They may not have a public cloud compute capability like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google but they have loads of money and massive server farms so it wouldn't be a radical step for them to make an Apple cloud compute for gaming.  They have expressed a little more interest in gaming with their new graphics API but I wouldn't really hold my breath on them becoming gaming focused.

Google could make cloud compute work for Android based micro-consoles like the next version or one after of NVidia's Shield Android TV.  Again note I'm not saying the current version of these devices, because again we're still in the VERY EARLY days of this and I'm giving MS mad props for leading the charge here but I just don't see cloud computing as something that's going to stay MS specific, even in gaming.  Again, you are free to disagree.

Heck Steam may even provide cloud compute for Steam games as part of SteamWorks within a few years.  I really don't think these things are off the wall ideas on where the gaming industry may go.  None of that even includes all the other current corporate cloud providers that may branch out into gaming if it takes off and new companies that may form.  It's a really exciting prospect to at least to see where this all could go and again my intent was to give MS props for being on the bleeding edge of this.

 

So you won't use SSD but now you are need memory to compute and that cost more money.  I do dislike Amazon's cloud offering, with their slick BS marketing about scalability in their RDS and AWS solution.  Didn't get to use Redshift but I'm not a big fan of S3.  In any case, you don't have to be sorry for it.  it isn't your fault.  I'm not disagreeing that MS is setting the tempo in this new cloud market, I'm stating the fact that someone said any start up game development company can do this same thing is utterly BS.  Because if that was true, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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+Asmodai    637

Well would you look at that, Amazon launches AWS C++ SDK designed for game developers.

So wait, Amazon is offering cloud services for games?!?  Who would have thought that would happen... I mean it's WAY to expensive for anyone but Microsoft to do this.  No ones actually going to be able to afford that though:

AWS has already built up quite a following among developers. In the realm of gaming in particular, it’s gotten adoption from Ubisoft, Supercell, and Naughty Dogs, among others. This new tooling merely makes it easier for more developers and game studios to start building code with hooks into AWS infrastructure. That’s important as AWS faces competition in the public cloud from Microsoft, Google, IBM, VMware, and other companies.

 

Competition in the public cloud???  These providers might branch into gaming??? What crazy concepts!!!  Wait... I see Naughty Dog in that list...  Naughty Dog is a Sony dev studio that exclusively makes PlayStation games.  It's also home to the Sony ICE Team.  Sony has no reason to compete in cloud computing (nor money to do so) if they can just tap an already highly competitive market.  MS does it because they already compete in that market with Azure and because Xbox Live is a "walled garden" where MS blocks 3rd party game developers from accessing non-MS cloud servers.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not posting this to downplay the success of MS with Xbox Compute.  MS is VERY MUCH in the lead on using the cloud for gaming and I give them mad props for that.  The Crackdown 3 demos are also VERY impressive.  I'm just posting this to support my statements that could computing in games isn't going to be an Xbox specific thing.  There are several people in this thread who seemed to think my mention of this happening as absurd and that cloud computing was so expensive that the only way it would come to gaming is if someone provided for free as MS is doing with Xbox Compute.  It's to those incredibly short sighted people that this reply is directed.  Cloud computing has a future in gaming in general, MS is at the bleeding edge of it, but it's not a MS or Xbox specific thing.

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BajiRav    2,137

Well would you look at that, Amazon launches AWS C++ SDK designed for game developers.

So wait, Amazon is offering cloud services for games?!?  Who would have thought that would happen... I mean it's WAY to expensive for anyone but Microsoft to do this.  No ones actually going to be able to afford that though:

 

Competition in the public cloud???  These providers might branch into gaming??? What crazy concepts!!!  Wait... I see Naughty Dog in that list...  Naughty Dog is a Sony dev studio that exclusively makes PlayStation games.  It's also home to the Sony ICE Team.  Sony has no reason to compete in cloud computing (nor money to do so) if they can just tap an already highly competitive market.  MS does it because they already compete in that market with Azure and because Xbox Live is a "walled garden" where MS blocks 3rd party game developers from accessing non-MS cloud servers.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not posting this to downplay the success of MS with Xbox Compute.  MS is VERY MUCH in the lead on using the cloud for gaming and I give them mad props for that.  The Crackdown 3 demos are also VERY impressive.  I'm just posting this to support my statements that could computing in games isn't going to be an Xbox specific thing.  There are several people in this thread who seemed to think my mention of this happening as absurd and that cloud computing was so expensive that the only way it would come to gaming is if someone provided for free as MS is doing with Xbox Compute.  It's to those incredibly short sighted people that this reply is directed.  Cloud computing has a future in gaming in general, MS is at the bleeding edge of it, but it's not a MS or Xbox specific thing.

Your sarcasm is noted but I don't remember anyone saying only MS can afford this but it will be cheaper for them compared to Sony/Nintendo for obvious reasons. 

Don't you find it surprising that Naughty Dog is working with AWS instead of Rackspace? I thought Sony was using Rackspace for their cloudy stuff such as PSN. This doesn't come off as one cloud strategy/plan at least to me but more of everyone at Sony doing their own thing.

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+Asmodai    637

Your sarcasm is noted but I don't remember anyone saying only MS can afford this but it will be cheaper for them compared to Sony/Nintendo for obvious reasons. 

Don't you find it surprising that Naughty Dog is working with AWS instead of Rackspace? I thought Sony was using Rackspace for their cloudy stuff such as PSN. This doesn't come off as one cloud strategy/plan at least to me but more of everyone at Sony doing their own thing.

Sony as the PlayStation platform holder isn't going to pay 3rd parties like Amazon to host cloud computing.  They aren't going to pick a winner, they don't need to and there would be no point in doing so.  They're going to let the market decide.  Maybe Naughty Dog will release game X on Amazon and then game Y on IBMs cloud, maybe Sucker Punch will release game Z on Google's cloud, maybe EA will decide to make their own cloud service for all of their non-Xbox games.  PlayStation Network is open, PlayStation developers can connect to any server or cloud service on the internet.  Xbox Live is a "walled garden" so if you want to use cloud compute then you've got Xbox Compute and that's it.  The good news is Xbox Compute is free and the furthest along.  PlayStation can use the same cloud servers as Linux and Mac and Android and non-Xbox Windows, and anything else... ANY public cloud infrastructure.  This is a competitive emerging market and players will come and go and the services will evolve.

Microsoft is offering Xbox Compute for free to Xbox game developers so of course it will be cheaper for third party developers to use the cloud in Xbox games... I noted that in one of, if not THE, first post of mine in this thread.  No one is arguing MS isn't cheaper, it's free, you can't get cheaper.  But others acted like I was nuts in suggesting that game developers could afford to pay for cloud services.  m3.2xlarge servers are very expensive after all.  Like just because that ONE solution wouldn't work it proves it's a no-go for non-MS subsidized cloud compute.  Cloud compute for gaming is going to be big, MS is almost certain to get there first and will be a strong competitor (again, I give them mad props for pioneering here and Azure is AMAZING) but it's going to be used by all platforms.  It's not a MS or Xbox thing and the Xbox One hardware isn't uniquely suited to handle it.  Some people (not saying you in particular) seem to think that Cloud Gaming is some unique capability of the Xbox One, it's not. 

Personally I think it's more important the weaker the device is.  I think the areas it will really excel are with micro-consoles but again LONG TERM, not in the next few months.  It's kind of the middle ground between totally streaming games (like PlayStation Now or nVidia GRID) and totally console based games like traditional PlayStation and Xbox games have been.  You can do totally streaming games directly on a TV (and Samsung and Sony are doing this now with PS Now), they don't require much hardware at all (just decode the video coming back - which TVs already do, and send the inputs).  Totally console based games you play on comparatively expensive $300+ (at launch) machines and they have disc drive and can function without an internet connection because they have the hardware locally to run the games.  You're going to see a middle ground where there is no drive or cartridge, the games are all downloadable only, the box is designed for streaming movies and music, and you'll be able to play games more powerful than the cheap hardware around ($200 or less at launch) is capable of running locally via cloud gaming because they'll be always online (they're streaming boxes first) already anyway.  These boxes are going to come from the likes of Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, etc  Again though I'm not saying the current ones of those on the market are going to do this, I'm saying the next iteration of them or the version after that, it's a long term thing not RIGHT NOW.  In some ways I think MS wanted to make the Xbox One compete with these guys in their original vision.  They always on (really phone home...), downloaded games, cloud compute, entertainment focus, etc. but issue is that works best on cheaper devices who use the compute to compensate for the weaker local hardware not a $500 (at launch) console.  If people are going to drop that kind of cash on a box they don't want it to need the cloud the play games.

 

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George P    5,492

Someone seems pretty fixated on downplaying MS's position/advancement/ability in the cloud space when it comes to Xbox gaming.   I mean we went from, this stuff is just marketing BS, to, it's nothing new, to, it's just a demo and can't work that well in the real world, to today where, eh, anyone can do it, nothing special.

Can we just move on and enjoy the games?  I understand this deep seeded need to be proven right or to have the last word but at this point it's just silly.  All the new Amazon move proves is that what MS is doing, and what they started, is viable enough to get Amazons attention and since AWS is the leader at this point they're doing all they can to stay on top, that means copy what MS does with Azure as best they can and vice versa.  

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+Eternal Tempest    805

I can see where "cloud" can be great for scaling up / down for multiplayer game servers based on user demand.

I've not seen / been sold on how it can improve "graphics" to any major degree.
This is unless you're talking game streaming with 30-100 *real* mbs speed.

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+fusi0n    2,069

So, if it is depending on the cloud.. you'll have to be online for this game to work?

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