Benefits of The Cloud.

#1khardboredPosted 10/21/2013 2:56:52 PM(edited)
Here is a collection of quotes that I researched to help shed a little more light on the cloud. Hopefully it will shed some light on cloud computing where it pertains to the Xbox One. I am also hoping to form a bigger, more detailed picture of what it can and cannot do based on real-world examples from people in the industry who are using it and thus, know quite a bit about it

Artificial Intelligence and Physics
When both of these functions are no longer being handled by the console, it obviously frees up the CPU/GPU to tackle other things. So more GPU/CPU can be utilized for renders, physics, etc and thus, by somewhat indirect means, better graphics.
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Dominic Guay, Senior Producer of Watch_Dogs
While we play multiplayer games there is latency. If you play a game of Watch Dogs with me, I know where you are and I see you, but there's latency in setting that position.

"So suppose you were an AI, and the decision to make you move was run elsewhere. There would be the same latency," he continued. "If you think about it, it's not different than you holding the controller when you're playing multiplayer. It might allow someone to use one dedicated machine just for on AI. What kind of AI could I do with that? That's interesting."


Physics calculations, similarly, aren't dependent on strict timing. "The way a tree reacts to weather, it's physics, right?" Guay went on. "It's bending materials. Well, what if I could run that on the cloud? It doesn't need to be fully synced. There are occasions where there will be an advantage, but it's clear in the short term there's plenty of power within the machines. That's where our engineers are working."


Joel Emslie
We're calculating a lot of the AI on that end. And we have dedicated servers. There's a lot of tough stuff with your NAT settings. We don't have to worry about that at all any more, so partying up is a breeze. Your NAT can be restricted if you want.

"The cloud, I don't know if we would have attempted something like this had we not had access to it," he went on. "In some ways we're trying to do something different, but it also really inspired the crew to see there's something here that's really powerful we can use.

"What could we do that's different with it, and how can we push that? We're just starting to scratch the surface with it. We're not even stressing it out yet. But the cloud gives us that. We started down a path with it, and it supports what we're ultimately after, which is a multiplayer campaign that's combining these worlds together with dedicated servers."



Latency
I knew that in the real world, the things Microsoft and developers were saying that they would do with the cloud were more than possible. I am unsure why people assume that a massive amount of bandwidth will be required to properly utilize the cloud. It's simply not true. Here are some quotes to better explain it.

Arstechnica Staff
Our first question had to do with the 300,000-server cloud architecture that Microsoft says the Xbox One will use to help support "latency-insensitive computation" in its games. What does that mean exactly, and can laggy cloud data really help in a video game where most things have to be able to respond locally and immediately?


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#2khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 10/21/2013 2:35:59 PM
Matt Booty, General Manager Redmond Game Studios
Things that I would call latency-sensitive would be reactions to animations in a shooter, reactions to hits and shots in a racing game, reactions to collisions," Booty told Ars. "Those things you need to have happen immediately and on frame and in sync with your controller. There are some things in a video game world, though, that don't necessarily need to be updated every frame or don't change that much in reaction to what's going on."

"One example of that might be lighting," he continued. "Let’s say you’re looking at a forest scene and you need to calculate the light coming through the trees, or you’re going through a battlefield and have very dense volumetric fog that’s hugging the terrain. Those things often involve some complicated up-front calculations when you enter that world, but they don’t necessarily have to be updated every frame. Those are perfect candidates for the console to offload that to the cloud—the cloud can do the heavy lifting, because you’ve got the ability to throw multiple devices at the problem in the cloud.


Arstechnica Staff
And what about those times when a gamer doesn't have an active Internet connection to make use of the cloud's computational power? Microsoft has confirmed that single-player games don't have to be online to work, but all this talk of cloud computing seems to suggest that these games might not look or perform as well if they don't have access to a high-speed connection.


Matt Booty
If there’s a fast connection and if the cloud is available and if the scene allows it, you’re obviously going to capitalize on that," Booty told Ars. "In the event of a drop out—and we all know that Internet can occasionally drop out, and I do say occasionally because these days it seems we depend on Internet as much as we depend on electricity—the game is going to have to intelligently handle that." Booty urged us to "stay tuned" for more on precisely how that intelligent handling would work, stressing that "it’s new technology and a new frontier for game design, and we’re going to see that evolve the way we’ve seen other technology evolve.



Graphics
This is probably the most hotly debated aspect of cloud computing. Improved graphics is a possible via the cloud. This is accomplished indirectly. Any computation that can be offloaded and processed remotely will free up CPU and GPU resources. This, in turn, gives developers more resources that can be processed by the hardware. How much of an improvement is a mystery at the moment. But it's safe to assume that that the benefits we do see will not suddenly mirror PC graphics capabilities. When MS said that the cloud will help improve graphics, people just ran with it, along with their imagination. It was a blanket statement without any follow-up. We've known got a better, overall idea of how cloud computing will benefit us.

People are so busy arguing specifics that they are losing sight of the bigger picture. When you combine all the things that the cloud will be doing you begin to understand that it's a great feature. Free dedicated servers, better in-game AI and physics as well as graphical fidelity. All of this is a benefit to us gamers. It's all included with the Xbox One. There are no negatives to the way Microsoft and developers will use the cloud, none. It's when people start to argue the specifics and limitations that all that the cloud can do becomes lost.

I hope this post helps people better understand what it can and cannot do.
The cloud isn't a second GPU in our Xbox Ones. It's not even an extra 512MB worth of GPU RAM. To put it simply, it's a way to better our gaming experiences and I personally can't wait.
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#3khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 10/21/2013 2:36:37 PM
Please forgive my formatting style. :)
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#4qbertz716Posted 10/21/2013 2:39:01 PM
Wall of Microsoft spin
#5khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 10/21/2013 2:41:06 PM
qbertz716 posted...
Wall of Microsoft spin


If that's what you want to believe, w00t.
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#6Troll_DirectoryPosted 10/21/2013 2:45:19 PM
khardbored posted...
Here is a collection of quotes that I researched in light of this thread.
that suggests there was thread casting light to begin with, before you started researching. but, very appreciated anyway!

qbertz716 posted...
Wall of Microsoft spin
not really, a lot of bricks in this wall are not ms-stated.
#7SinisterSlayPosted 10/21/2013 2:48:57 PM
Maybe MS should have used a faster processor so they don't have to use the cloud for AI computations.

Which by the way, is pretty pathetic. It takes very little CPU power for the AI in most games.

How on earth did my only 200mhz CPU managed to process the AI for 1200 units all at once in Earth 2150? It did that and the rendering thread.
It's hard to believe 15 years later, the xbox one still can't manage this without requiring the cloud to calculate it for it.
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He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent! - Brother Silence
#8khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 10/21/2013 2:56:04 PM
Troll_Directory posted...
khardbored posted...
Here is a collection of quotes that I researched in light of this thread.
that suggests there was thread casting light to begin with, before you started researching. but, very appreciated anyway!

qbertz716 posted...
Wall of Microsoft spin
not really, a lot of bricks in this wall are not ms-stated.


Yeah, the in light of this thread was a mistake. This was originally a reply to another thread. Good catch. :P
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#9khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 10/21/2013 2:59:17 PM
SinisterSlay posted...
Maybe MS should have used a faster processor so they don't have to use the cloud for AI computations.

Which by the way, is pretty pathetic. It takes very little CPU power for the AI in most games.

How on earth did my only 200mhz CPU managed to process the AI for 1200 units all at once in Earth 2150? It did that and the rendering thread.
It's hard to believe 15 years later, the xbox one still can't manage this without requiring the cloud to calculate it for it.


I played a couple of the Earth games, I still have the original huge box to one or two of them as well.
If you honestly think that the One can't calculate that AI, I don't know what to tell you. They aren't using the cloud to do things they normally couldn't. They are using to improve upon things. But you're just taking cheap shots that are completely false, so yeah.
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#10kakarot-uchihaPosted 10/21/2013 3:10:54 PM
i clicked on this because i thought maybe there was something new and specific. sorry man this has been hammered out ad nauseam on several sites this spring. i'm sure you meant well but no, it didn't help. their competitor's cloud(hate this word now) is playing 200 games right now, how on earth did they ever think coulda and might were gonna cut it.