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Microsoft still believes in the power of the cloud

2 min read


When Microsoft revealed its Xbox One in May of 2013, one of its biggest selling points was how it would utilise the power of the cloud; an array of interlinked servers that means Xbox One games would always have dedicated servers, and beyond that use those servers to offload computational tasks – making the console far more powerful than its hardware would dictate.

We’ve seen very little, nearly two and a half years later, to make good on that promise. While most gamers have given up on ever seeing the cloud’s promises come to life, Microsoft still believes in the power of the cloud. So says Microsoft’s Indian executive, Anshu Mor, speaking to GamingBolt.

“I think the cloud will play a phenomenal role as we go forward. We as a company believe in the power of the cloud,” Anshu said to GamingBolt. “Even if you look back, we have always maintained that there is this power that the box brings in which is huge value to the consumer and then there is the power of the cloud that will match or exceed the expectations that can be delivered on the box. Crackdown 3 is one of the early experiences of that which we are going to give you.”

And by all reports, Crackdown 3 really does utilise the magic of cloud compute; offloaded parallel processing that adds a special, incredibly impressive layer of physics-based destruction to its multiplayer mode.

Much like India though, we’re sitting without an Azure datacentre of our own, and don’t have the fastest or most stable of internet infrastructures. Can Crackdown 3’s promise of a cloud-based physical destruction sandbox be realised outside of the first world?

“It remains to be seen in all transparency. There are people who have decent bandwidth connections so I would imagine a 2 Mbps plus connection would still continue to work,” Mor said. “You know, these things are connected to the ISP so I cannot comment on that. I don’t believe that the experiences will be compromised in the current set of consumers we have.”

That said, there is still an Azure Datacentre on the Southern Asian continent, while we in Africa have nothing at all. Based on my experiences with the cloud and Microsoft’s servers thus far, we can expect around 200ms of latency to the closest of their servers – probably too much for the cloud to have a welcome effect.

Last Updated: September 8, 2015


  1. VampyreSquirrel

    September 8, 2015 at 10:34

    The cloud is a lie, along with the cake!


    • Brady miaau

      September 8, 2015 at 11:50

      It is all about perspective, especially the cake.


  2. Uberutang

    September 8, 2015 at 10:37

    Depending on what they do etc then 200ms is not that bad. Some real time lighting tests over ‘cloud’ still works fine at 1000ms!


    • Brady miaau

      September 8, 2015 at 10:42

      With you there. How they implement will be important to us in that regard.


  3. Pieter Kruger

    September 8, 2015 at 10:50

    200ms is not bad at all, especially if it’s not shooting back at you and only calculating physics….????


  4. konfab

    September 8, 2015 at 10:50

    It makes sense for large multiplayer games with dedicated servers especially with persistent effects that many people will see.

    I don’t see how using it would make single player games any better though.


    • Pieter Kruger

      September 8, 2015 at 10:52

      Single player always online games could also benefit greatly from this, the catch being “always online” of course!


      • konfab

        September 8, 2015 at 10:56

        Multiplayer makes sense as the cost of doing the calculation in the cloud becomes less than just coding a more optimised physics engine or just using scripted physics.


  5. Admiral Chief Returns

    September 8, 2015 at 11:03

    I believe in the power of the cloud. If I eat something peculiar, in copious amounts, the cloud produced is quite powerful


  6. Brady miaau

    September 8, 2015 at 11:03

    SO: how far are we from an Arthur C. Clarke (and many, many others) scenario of large central computers running things, where we (the public) have connections to the central device for everything, all aspects of life on the central computer. Games, shopping, groceries, all processed on central mainframe, no more decentralised computing.

    I, personally, think that is silly and I do not like. HOWEVER, from a commercial aspect, I would not mind owning that infrastructure. Total control.


  7. WitWolfy

    September 8, 2015 at 11:54

    I think anybody who believes that “Cloud computing” exists needs to be taken outside and shot.


  8. oVg NOT SURE IF...

    September 8, 2015 at 12:35

    I still believe in Telkom.


  9. Jonah Cash

    September 8, 2015 at 14:47

    How much bandwidth it uses will also be a factor… Your uncapped account could be shape by the 3rd of each month :-)… at least two days of wow gaming!!


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