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What is Xbox Live Compute?


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Old 15-10-2013, 15:23
dazzy71
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The full piece can be found here http://news.xbox.com/2013/10/xbox-one-cloud I have just taken the bullet points from there to highlight the potential of the Cloud. Cant wait for dedicated servers for MP games.
[LIST][*]Higher fidelity game experiences – As I mentioned before, cloud compute can enable developers to offload computations for all sorts of environmental elements. In a typical game development scenario, the game creator needs to balance resource allocation across each area – world management, rendering, controls, networking, lighting, physics, AI, as well as networking and multiplayer. Balancing the local computing resources for all of these elements often results in developers making tradeoffs that result in more focus on core gameplay, and less on environments, NPC and other elements of world fidelity. However, when cloud compute is available to support the various computationally-intensive elements of the game, these kinds of tradeoffs become much easier for developers to make. Games can afford to provide higher fidelity worlds and deeply intelligent NPC AI all at the same time. These experiences could only be accomplished by leveraging the resources of servers.[*]Improved multiplayer game experiences – This is perhaps the most obvious example of what is possible with Xbox Live Compute – dedicated servers! If you have played a lot of multiplayer games, you know that playing on dedicated game servers has advantages over peer-to-peer gameplay. With server-based multiplayer gaming, not only can more players play the game (think hundreds of players simultaneously), the gameplay will be much more reliable for the players. No more host migration interruptions, suboptimal experiences for the host, home network NAT constraints, or player cheating! Additionally, Xbox Live Compute can be utilized to persist game state so that your squad can live to fight another day without losing any progress. A great example of a game that is using Xbox Live Compute for their dedicated server multiplayer experience is “Titanfall.”[*]Adaptive & evolving game play – Imagine the game you play every day improving each time you log in. Imagine joining a match in your favorite first person shooter to find new maps and game modes even though you never downloaded a game update. Imagine playing with your friend even when he/she is not online. When games are powered by Xbox Live Compute, they can be dynamically updated, tuned, changed, and improved continuously. Games will evolve and live on for greater periods of time, continually providing fresh content and new experiences. The flagship example of this application of cloud computing can be found with “Forza Motorsports 5, “and its Drivatar system.[*]On-demand compute improves game availability – With all of the potentially interesting things that can be accomplished with Xbox Live Compute, one of the most important things is that the resources (e.g. servers) are available when gamers need it most. It is the geographic availability of this service, and its elastic scalability that enables gamers to connect to an available server and play without experiencing busy or unavailable servers. This ensures that games meet the changing demands of their player communities for compute, and gamers experience optimal connectivity based upon their geographic location. Additionally, it means that game creators can be assured that the server capacity they need, in the appropriate geographies, will be there when they need it.[/LIST]
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Old 15-10-2013, 18:49
fastest finger
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So, fancy PR speak for "onlne" then...

It could genuinely offer some new gaming opportunities, but then it could also mean that certain single player experiences are unavailable to anyone not connected.

Having dedicated servers is great from a gameplay viewpoint, but there is always the concern that they can turn them off when they want, leaving us with a useless game.

One could also argue that because they cannot beat their competitors' specs on paper they are focusing their strengths on the cloud which is impossible to quantify.
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Old 15-10-2013, 18:58
chopoff
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I'd say this would lessen the risk of losing games, as they spin up as required, so don't need to be maintained even if not in use.

It is mostly bullcrap. They're trying to make out like they couldn't do dedicated servers without cloud when they have dedicated servers right now and as you say you can't quantify it.

'It will make it better'.
How?
'Cloud'.

Doesn't mean anything!

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/di...ansform-gaming shows why it won't mean much.

I thought they'd dropped the cloud message. They got stick for TV, sports and cloud at the reveal and E3 then after the heap of 180s they stopped mentioning any of those things, but these past few days they're back on it. Kinda odd.
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Old 15-10-2013, 20:46
dazzy71
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So, fancy PR speak for "onlne" then...

It could genuinely offer some new gaming opportunities, but then it could also mean that certain single player experiences are unavailable to anyone not connected.

Having dedicated servers is great from a gameplay viewpoint, but there is always the concern that they can turn them off when they want, leaving us with a useless game.

One could also argue that because they cannot beat their competitors' specs on paper they are focusing their strengths on the cloud which is impossible to quantify.
I very much doubt the servers will ever be switched off. One could also argue that they are highlighting what the Xbox One can offer.
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Old 15-10-2013, 20:55
dazzy71
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I'd say this would lessen the risk of losing games, as they spin up as required, so don't need to be maintained even if not in use.

It is mostly bullcrap. They're trying to make out like they couldn't do dedicated servers without cloud when they have dedicated servers right now and as you say you can't quantify it.

'It will make it better'.
How?
'Cloud'.

Doesn't mean anything!

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/di...ansform-gaming shows why it won't mean much.

I thought they'd dropped the cloud message. They got stick for TV, sports and cloud at the reveal and E3 then after the heap of 180s they stopped mentioning any of those things, but these past few days they're back on it. Kinda odd.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ference-engine
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Old 15-10-2013, 22:01
2Dshmuplover
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Well I'm looking forward to seeing how it all pans out, everyone should reserve judgement until we see how it all works in the real world. The potential is there, I love the idea of racing friends in my single player season mode of Forza, the end of predictable AI is a game changer and having dedicated servers for all games can only be a good thing.

It seems Microsoft have a vision where online gaming/connectivity is concerned, they really seem to be pushing forward with it each generation.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:35
NorfolkBoy1
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:46
dazzy71
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Yes that's the one.

As a major multi player i can only see dedicated servers as a good thing.How it will impact games i'll have to wait and see
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:52
NorfolkBoy1
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You could also argue (at risk of sounding like a PS fanboy) that Sony can do exactly this too, they just haven't wrapped it up in flashy marketing buzz-phrases and seem to have taken a more realistic aprroach to it's real-world uses:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/12/442...g-calculations

Yoshida said that "of course" PS4 developers will be able to take advantage of cloud-based computing for their titles.

"Linking, matchmaking... there are already many computations being done on the cloud side," Yoshida said, adding that there are limitations to what processes can be offloaded to a remote computer, due to latency and bandwidth.
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Old 16-10-2013, 09:59
dazzy71
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You could also argue (at risk of sounding like a PS fanboy) that Sony can do exactly this too, they just haven't wrapped it up in flashy marketing buzz-phrases and seem to have taken a more realistic aprroach to it's real-world uses:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/12/442...g-calculations
Without doubt developers will be able to do this for PS4. The big thing here is MS are providing all devs dedicated servers for free. Anyone not taking advantage of this will be a bit stupid.

The problem with Sony will they be able to provide this for free? Maybe they will, but if they don't then its extra costs on devs and will they be that willing to front the costs for this?
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Old 16-10-2013, 12:31
2Dshmuplover
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You could also argue (at risk of sounding like a PS fanboy) that Sony can do exactly this too, they just haven't wrapped it up in flashy marketing buzz-phrases and seem to have taken a more realistic aprroach to it's real-world uses:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/12/442...g-calculations
They just don't have the same amount of server resources to host dedicated servers for ALL games, third and first party. They'd be sure to boast about it if they could. That's one of Microsoft's strengths since they've been farming their servers over the past decade via Windows Azure and they have enough now to dedicate a sizable portion just for X1.

Gaikai will primarily be used for cloud streaming since they've committed themselves to some form of backwards compatibility, which I personally think is a waste of time.
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Old 16-10-2013, 12:44
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They just don't have the same amount of server resources to host dedicated servers for ALL games, third and first party. They'd be sure to boast about it if they could. That's one of Microsoft's strengths since they've been farming their servers over the past decade via Windows Azure and they have enough now to dedicate a sizable portion just for X1.

Gaikai will primarily be used for cloud streaming since they've committed themselves to some form of backwards compatibility, which I personally think is a waste of time.
Sony and MS have different views on how the Cloud could work for gaming. But if one idea really takes off over the other idea it wouldn't be to hard to redirect resources, that after all is one of the advantages of the cloud.

I think the cloud is an interesting prospect for the future and I wonder just which idea will actually work out. Gaikai sounds like it could be good as does the AI idea the Forza team have mentioned along with the idea of off loading other tasks to the cloud. At the moment its all quite exciting about what they could do while surrounded with worries about latency which would seriously hamper some of these ideas if they cannot sort them out.

Both Sony and MS seem to be heavily investing in the Cloud at the moment so we know one thing for sure if one company find the holy grail of Cloud gaming the other company wont be too far behind with their own version.
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Old 16-10-2013, 13:39
2Dshmuplover
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Sony and MS have different views on how the Cloud could work for gaming. But if one idea really takes off over the other idea it wouldn't be to hard to redirect resources, that after all is one of the advantages of the cloud.

I think the cloud is an interesting prospect for the future and I wonder just which idea will actually work out. Gaikai sounds like it could be good as does the AI idea the Forza team have mentioned along with the idea of off loading other tasks to the cloud. At the moment its all quite exciting about what they could do while surrounded with worries about latency which would seriously hamper some of these ideas if they cannot sort them out.

Both Sony and MS seem to be heavily investing in the Cloud at the moment so we know one thing for sure if one company find the holy grail of Cloud gaming the other company wont be too far behind with their own version.
I would give cloud gaming (as in game streaming) a chance if they fixed the latency, that's my main bugbear aside from image compression. The lag is horrible and any hardcore gamer will pick up on it. Is it even possible to lower the latency to fully playable levels? Are internet connections reliable enough to keep a game streaming for a full session without dips in quality at a crucial moment? These are my issues with it.

Using the cloud for computation in games also throws up similar concerns, though it can be applied to non-gameplay elements such as AI, weather and other such things, I believe this is the vision for Microsoft's cloud and it could really work for games which host persistent online game worlds and it takes a hell of a lot of computation off the hardware itself, but there is always that issue of your connection crapping out.

This is why online is becoming synonymous with gaming now, it's pretty much essential to enjoy modern day gaming, we just need broadband to catch up to a point where this can all take off.
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Old 16-10-2013, 15:38
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I would give cloud gaming (as in game streaming) a chance if they fixed the latency, that's my main bugbear aside from image compression. The lag is horrible and any hardcore gamer will pick up on it. Is it even possible to lower the latency to fully playable levels? Are internet connections reliable enough to keep a game streaming for a full session without dips in quality at a crucial moment? These are my issues with it.
I have all the same concerns with streaming games. I hope Sony can come up with the good though with Gaikai as I like the idea of a streaming game services appearing which can provide a package type deal for gaming. A much expanded PS+ and Sky TV style service for gaming. But it all has to work for this to be viable and at the moment I am unsure whether it will.

Using the cloud for computation in games also throws up similar concerns, though it can be applied to non-gameplay elements such as AI, weather and other such things, I believe this is the vision for Microsoft's cloud and it could really work for games which host persistent online game worlds and it takes a hell of a lot of computation off the hardware itself, but there is always that issue of your connection crapping out.
All the same concerns about latency and requiring a solid internet connection still remain for this type of use of the cloud in gaming for me. I would hate to see a games AI start having issues because the data cannot be streamed quick enough. And much like game streaming this still has the same issue that games will stop working if you connection has an issue.

Hopefully just like Sony with Gaikai, MS can prove this can work because both ideas could be really good if they are actually viable.

This is why online is becoming synonymous with gaming now, it's pretty much essential to enjoy modern day gaming, we just need broadband to catch up to a point where this can all take off.
Most of the stand out games this generation for me have been offline single player experiences so any reliance on an internet connection when not truly necessary is worrying to me.
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Old 16-10-2013, 16:23
2Dshmuplover
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Sony have done right thing by partnering with UK ISP's, that's a great step because if they can regulate the quality of service prior getting Gaikai up and running then it might stand a chance. I hope Sony can make a success of it, remove the lag and compression and it would be a cool service, but personally I'd always just keep my PS3 instead, I guess a lot of people like to throw away their old consoles.

I understand, I'm single player gamer all the way myself, I'm not a huge fan of the push for online but I appreciate some of the things it's given us such as DLC, ability to patch and of course the incredible digital games, it's sparked a retro and indie scene revival and that's why gaming has never been better.
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Old 17-10-2013, 14:49
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Sony have done right thing by partnering with UK ISP's, that's a great step because if they can regulate the quality of service prior getting Gaikai up and running then it might stand a chance. I hope Sony can make a success of it, remove the lag and compression and it would be a cool service, but personally I'd always just keep my PS3 instead, I guess a lot of people like to throw away their old consoles.

I understand, I'm single player gamer all the way myself, I'm not a huge fan of the push for online but I appreciate some of the things it's given us such as DLC, ability to patch and of course the incredible digital games, it's sparked a retro and indie scene revival and that's why gaming has never been better.
With Gaikai I am looking way beyond that service been just for backwards compatibility. I think if they can get it to work well it will eventually become a service offering streaming versions of games from all Sony platforms.

As for the DLC and patching that really is a huge double edged sword. On the one hand it does mean problems can be fixed and additional content can be added but sadly the flip side of that is that problems can be left in games and patched later and content can be cut to sell at a later date. Very little DLC has actually been value for money this generation and far too many incomplete broken games have been release as a result of widespread connected consoles.

I completely agree about the smaller digital games though, there have been some awesome smaller games released onto the networks.
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Old 17-10-2013, 17:26
fastest finger
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With Gaikai I am looking way beyond that service been just for backwards compatibility. I think if they can get it to work well it will eventually become a service offering streaming versions of games from all Sony platforms.
You're right. Gaikai isn't just about making PS4 backwards compatible. It is coming to PS3 and Vita too. There has even been talk of adding it to Sony's TVs and Blu-Ray players. I seem to remember them saying Gaikai will be used for instant access to demos as well. Much more convenient than a massive download for something that may only be played once.
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