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Xbox has unveiled a new publishing division focused on ‘cloud-native’ games

Bridges

Member
An early example of this is the multiplayer ‘wrecking zone’ mode in Crackdown 3, which uses the cloud to process destruction physics, allowing players to blow up enormous buildings into countless small pieces with no drop in performance.
I'm a Crackdown 3 defender (game is a lot better than it gets credit for) but this is just not true. I played Wrecking Zone when it came out and it ran like garbage compared to the single player. I haven't checked any time recently to see if it was fixed but I highly doubt there's anyone still playing it to even see.
 

Schmick

Member
I wonder if we will ever get input lag to unnoticeable levels. If so console will cease to exist basically and we will actually enter the netflix of gaming era.

But i dont really see this happening in full this decade yet.
I play PS games via PS Now for PC and other Gamepass games via xCloud.

From my experience input lag is unnoticeable (otherwise I wouldn't be playing them that way).

I completed some of Sony's top first party games via the service (TLoU 1 & 2, UC1 & 2) and I do that because I don't have a PlayStation console and I play some games on xCloud because I have an ancient PC and an OXBO and actually the best version (next gen version) and graphical settings are available on xCloud.

I have been curious what my ping is to the nearest Azure data centre and it averages between 35 - 55ms.

So for me cloud gaming is a viable alternative to local installs. Don't get me wrong though... local install is the best experience but cloud isn't far behind in my opinion. What needs improvement is image quality especially in dark areas during gameplay. And, with regards to xCloud, added keyboard and mouse support.

I agree with you though, although I think cloud gaming will never replace traditional methods. They will co-exist.
 

Quasicat

Member
I know the cloud is the future because, in the end, this allows businesses to limit how the end customer uses their product. I am truly convinced that a majority of media will be locked behind streaming services or purchases that are only available digitally, including games.
That being said, I work in a school district (rural Ohio) where half of the student population is still on dial up. The kids love to play games, but anything that requires an online connection is played on their phones. Many of my students do not have recent consoles because of their reliance on the Internet.

I’m sure we will get there someday, but from where I’m sitting we still have a long way to go before streaming takes over.
 

Lognor

Member
I guess always online SP games will be ok now?
No, they're not okay NOW. Always online SP games don't exist by and large. Except for Gran Turismo 7, which we all agree has been a shit show. And the reason behind that being always online and future games potentially being always online are vastly different. GT7 is always online because Sony doesn't want people cheating; they want them spending money in their store. It's BS on their part.
 

BabyYoda

Member
It sounded cool until "toxicity detection and filters", alarm bells!

The problem being that what constitutes as toxicity is often subjective, maybe they should add a snowflake detector while they're at it!
 

Three

Member
It's gonna depend on what the cloud features are. If the cloud features positively transform the single player game, then it being always online might be worth it.
You think this is going to be a single player game? This is the metaverse crap that Activision was talking about.
 
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Three

Member
Why shouldn't it be a single player?

Because it makes less sense to process things like physics and lighting in the cloud for single player games. That would be no different to xCloud game instances. This seems to be talking about shared environments like Crackdown 3.
 

01011001

Gold Member
Is this 2014? The power of the cloud still putting up fight lmao

well the concept was always a good one, it's just that Microsoft never actually used it in any way.

I guess Sea of Thieves is the closest to a game actually utilizing cloud tech for critical gameplay elements as the waves in the ocean need to be identical for every player, which means they have to be calculated on the server for the game to even work.

also, Sea of Thieves was a huge success for Microsoft and Rare so making more games like it seems like a no-brainer
 

kingfey

Banned
Always online single player games the bees knees now?

GT7 am cry.
Sorry, but Gt7 was offline game series, which they made it online.
This could be in any form. VR game, Metaverse game, offline game on consoles, but online if you are using xcloud.
It could be anything.
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Sorry, but Gt7 was offline game series, which they made it online.
Thus could be in any form. VR game, Metaverse game, offline game on consoles, but online if you are using xcloud.
It could be anything.
course diss GIF
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
I want Total War and Civ games to offload late game end of turn AI moves/calculations to the cloud.
 
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Whitecrow

Gold Member
Yes, everyone knows that technology doesn’t improve with time.

/s

Might as well show up in a PSVR thread to whine about the Virtual Boy.

Why do people get so much joy from pretending to be not-so-bright?
For being you soo bright, you didnt understand that my comment was not about the state of the technology but about it as a marketing term to gain attention a la 'blast processing'.

Cloud have been around us for years and basically changed nothing.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Flight Sim requires online for the full game. Quite a difference.

Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.
 
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DaGwaphics

Gold Member
Cloud can't offer real power because it is remote hardware rental. If Elden Ring was a cloud game, it would require servers to offer the equivalent of a console's power for every player online at the same time.

In theory it could work if the player base is small enough, but at that stage the platform holder is losing money.

You're looking at it from that one perspective. That is one way the cloud can function as mentioned, just by streaming console games. The other alternative is a persistent game running on a mainframe with many, many multiples more power than what could ever be available on a console. Then there could be hybrid things in between, where maybe a game is limited to the power of the console but you are facilitating additional screens and things like that.
 
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That's the reason of a real division on Xbox.. Reading on the web , xcloud Is the worst quality compared to stadia and psnow..i don't know about luna tho
What web are you reading?

The overwhelming consensus regarding the major streaming services is...

• Stadia has the best tech and quality, but the worst subscription offering.
• XCloud has the best library and subscription offering, with good tech and quality.
• PSNow is overwhelmingly considered to be the worst across the board, finishing significantly behind both the two above as well as GFN.

Thinking that maybe PSNow had made some significant improvements having seen your post. I went looking for info, and basically every poll and comparison since 2019 is on par with what I explained above.
 

Schmick

Member
Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.
But why? When streaming is working perfectly fine.
 

CamHostage

Member
Flight Sim requires online for the full game. Quite a difference....

They also use cloud delivery and off-the-box AI technology in other aspects of this game too. Little things you wouldn't think about.

The ATC voices, for example, are synthesized through Azure AI (though I'm not sure how many of these voices come baked into the game versus included in the cloud stream?) so that there are unique voices for the many different airports you interact with around the world.


There's a variety of other examples (their weather integration, the proper vegetation per biome, the united world for multiplayer, the potential for live updates of areas, etc) in their tech stack overview. From what I understand of it, there's a mix of pre-'baked' ML work versus the live cloud-integrated services in this breakdown (MSFS is almost 100GBs to install, there's plenty of data also included on your PC/console... your game isn't going to just disappear and show a paper airplane over a Mode7 ground texture if you lose your connection to the cloud,) but the many feeds brought into the whole network combine with the rich, varied assets they have in onrder to enable this persistence & level of detail.


...Finding ways to use this much cloud power inside of a game that's viable and enjoyable to the player beyond just "simulate a whole planet", that's still been a question Microsoft has struggled to define in the years since its "Power of the Cloud" declaration. But then, that's why they're building a division and hiring Kim Swift.

(*I've not heard "cloud" mentioned at all regarding Starfield or Elder Scrolls VI aside from Xbox One players getting a streaming version since it's next-gen-only, but there could be uses in those kinds of projects down the line too.)

You'll own nothing and like it. Now plug in, citizen!

Eh, the people demanding to own on a disc/download for their movie, TV, and music entertainment are a very small minority.

As far as streaming-video of games (which isn't what this is,) that's one way to look at it, we will see if the attitude changes over time in the gaming business. Right now, gamers are protective of their practices and of the quality of experience in precision and modification (but also, the game providers have been still needing per-product game sales and have been overpricing the streamed content.) If the publishers price it right, if the technology gets better, the kids coming up after us are not as picky or are interested in speed of access and other features over on-box quality, if things evolve in streaming in vital ways to get it over to the public, it could become the more popular approach to game delivery.

But again, this isn't what cloud-native games are.
 
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kingfey

Banned
Because it makes less sense to process things like physics and lighting in the cloud for single player games. That would be no different to xCloud game instances. This seems to be talking about shared environments like Crackdown 3.
There are things consoles can't do yet now, due to the limitations.
The cloud could handle those things.
 

Schmick

Member
What web are you reading?

The overwhelming consensus regarding the major streaming services is...

• Stadia has the best tech and quality, but the worst subscription offering.
• XCloud has the best library and subscription offering, with good tech and quality.
• PSNow is overwhelmingly considered to be the worst across the board, finishing significantly behind both the two above as well as GFN.

Thinking that maybe PSNow had made some significant improvements having seen your post. I went looking for info, and basically every poll and comparison since 2019 is on par with what I explained above.
How is PS Now considered bad exactly? The reason I ask is because of my own experience.... see my post (#52).
 

kingfey

Banned
Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.
Can consoles handle those data?
 

kingfey

Banned
How is PS Now considered bad exactly? The reason I ask is because of my own experience.... see my post (#52).
Is psnow running on ps5 chips? Last time I heard it was on ps4.

I know that xcloud is now running on xsx. I played FH5 3 days, and it run like a console without issues.

Luna still needs time. Stadia is flawless.
I didn't get to play Nvidia one.
All depend on how far you are from the data center though.
 

Schmick

Member
Is psnow running on ps5 chips? Last time I heard it was on ps4.

I know that xcloud is now running on xsx. I played FH5 3 days, and it run like a console without issues.

Luna still needs time. Stadia is flawless.
I didn't get to play Nvidia one.
All depend on how far you are from the data center though.
As far as I know still PS4. I have no idea when Sony might upgrade.
 

kyliethicc

Member
Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.
Yeah just would have made the game file enormous. (I think)
 

CamHostage

Member
Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.

Heh, not at all at that level of complexity.

Sure, you could build a basic map of the world (it's already in your 100GB install), and you could have more detailed chunks of major cities the same way you can offline-download to your phone city sections with streets and landmarks, but the actual database built for Bing Maps is a baseline of 2 1/2 petabytes; Google Maps is said to have something like 20+PB for the complexity it stores (though that might include location photos and other datapoints?); the raw Google Earth 3D data is just over 1000TBs.



I don't think it'd be feasible or possible to contain the entire world data in 1, 2 discs.

Oh discs, if they went that way, MS could fit the full Bing Maps database onto just 50,000 blu-ray discs... though that'd have to be a real big box to hold so many discs, imagine the Special Edition packaging for that thing on your shelf!
 
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adamsapple

Gold Member
Graphics could have still been rendered locally (which they are) without being server connected all the time. It could have been set up where you just updated when you wanted to.

Just like when you download maps to your phones for offline use.

I don't think it'd be feasible or possible to contain the entire world data in 1, 2 discs.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
I think Cloud platforms should be used like Arcades back in the day when devs would make games that was levels above what you could play on your home console.
I don't know if that really exists though. The only real difference with hardware now is in settings. Look at MS flight sim 2020.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Heh, not at all at that level of complexity.

Sure, you could build a basic map of the world (it's already in your 100GB install), and you could have more detailed chunks of major cities the same way you can offline-download to your phone city sections with streets and landmarks, but the actual database built for Bing Maps is a baseline of 2 1/2 petabytes; Google Maps is said to have something like 20+PB for the complexity it stores (though that might include location photos and other datapoints?); the raw Google Earth 3D data is just over 1000TBs.





Oh discs, if they went that way, MS could fit the full Bing Maps database onto just 50,000 blu-ray discs... though that'd have to be a real big box to hold so many discs, imagine the Special Edition packaging for that thing on your shelf!
That'll be a lot of SSD cards.

I actually like what they did with this. It's pretty dope!
 
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Ceadeus

Member
It's really interesting to see what they could come up when doing it natively for cloud only.

I mean, how different is it to develop for cloud in mind instead of hardware right?
 
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