Xbox One cloud platform being used as a 'marketing tool', says Avalanche Studios CTO

By James Dohnert , Updated Jun 09, 2013 08:02 PM EDT
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Microsoft has touted the Xbox One's cloud as making it more powerful over time. The company has said that the Xbox One would be able to process certain elements from a game in the cloud and offer improved performance.

General Manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms Matt Booty told Ars Technica last month that the cloud would help the Xbox One process background processes. Booty said that the cloud would be able to help handle graphical processes such as lighting leaving the actual console to handle constantly updated processes like reaction animations.

According to Booty, the cloud can handle the heavy up-front computations while the Xbox One works with the real-time processes. The cloud is more capable of dealing with heavy backend calculations because the servers that handle cloud data are more powerful than a game console.

"The cloud can do the heavy lifting, because you've got the ability to throw multiple devices at the problem in the cloud," Booty told Ars Technica.

Microsoft has also used the Xbox One cloud's potential to justify the consoles internet connection requirement. However, developers are calling out the cloud talk as a 'marketing tool'.

Avalanche Studios CTO and co-founder Linus Blomberg tells Gaming Bolt that cloud computing will never truly compensate for hardware specs because of latency.

"The cloud functionality is pushed as a marketing tool to compensate for the less favorable hardware specs. I understand why they feel they need to do this, as the specs on paper aren't necessarily representative of the actual performance."

"But the way it's presented I feel is misleading at best. It's just common sense that sending data over an internet connection isn't even remotely comparable to sending data over a high-speed internal memory bus," Blomberg said.

While he believes that Microsoft is misrepresenting the Xbox One cloud, he says it still has its advantages. He agrees with Booty that the cloud can remove the burden of handling backend infrastructure and open up the console to handle engaging game designs.

"Of course it can be used to perform high-latency computations, but it won't really increase your FPS or anything like that. That is not to say that the cloud functionality isn't an advantage, it's a great advantage! It offloads the burden of running a backend infrastructure for connected games, which is a huge win and opens up for very interesting game designs," continues Blomberg.

Blomberg made headlines last month for saying the Playstation 4 was more powerful than the Xbox One. He told Edge that Sony's next generation console was more powerful than Microsoft's on paper.

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