See Microsoft’s cloud in action

2 min read

A little less conversation, a little more action.

Since Microsoft revealed the Xbox One, we’ve been hearing about how much The Cloud could benefit games, and how the array of 300 000 servers in the sky would make games look and run better. Microsoft even said that the fairies in the ether would give the Xbox One three times the computing power. Since the console’s release, we’ve seen exactly none of that extra power. Here’s that cloud in action.

"We’re provisioning for developers for every physical Xbox One we build, we’re provisioning the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox Ones on the cloud," Microsoft’s Jeff Henshaw said in May last year.

Here’s a demo of Microsoft using “cloud assistance” for physics calculations, leaving the local system to do graphical grunt-work. You’ll notice that the high-end pc system running the calculations without the cloud stumbles, while the later demo using server-side physics processing runs like butter.

Of course, we have no idea of knowing how much of a real-world scenario this is, and how well this sort of thing would work on a large scale. It’s tricky to relate this to any real-world gaming benefit as we have no idea what sort of networking is going on here. Still, it’s impressive – and Microsoft wants you to know that this isn’t just some demo.

Speaking on Twitter, the newly appointed Xbox Head Phil spencer said that the demo was just a step, and acknowledged that the company has a lot to prove.

Spencer also said the demo wasn’t "throw away work"

It all looks and sounds very nice – but we’ll have to see this in a real scenario, with thousands of concurrent users. Plus, without a local azure datacentre, this is all meaningless to us in South Africa. Still, I’d love to see Microsoft make good on its promises, especially where the Xbox One is concerned. It means better games for all of us.

Last Updated: April 4, 2014

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