A lot has been said about the Xbox One‘s integration with the cloud. Microsoft understandably have been talking up their new service Azure, while some developers have been more sceptical. Cloud gaming has been talked about for years and Microsoft now seem to be moving toward actually processing full games using the Cloud.
This would be similar to what Sony has promised for the PlayStation 4 via their cloud gaming company Gaikai, due in 2014. It appears that after all the prototypes and talk, that the Cloud is almost upon us in a big way.
In theory, servers are able to process the work load of running a high end game and then stream it on to almost any device. The Verge have heard that Microsoft have been privately proving the technology is a viable feature, by showcasing Halo 4 on both PC and Windows Phones.
The report states that these were internal meetings showing off the prototype to prove that graphically intensive games such as 343 Industries‘ Halo 4 could run on a mobile phone or “low-end hybrid PC”. Unsurprisingly this feature would be exclusive to Windows devices, but Microsoft now have the power to stream AAA experiences straight to their Windows Phones. To many, that could be a very exciting endeavor.
Cloud gaming has been possible in the past, but one of the main things that has plagued it before is the latency between the server and player. Previously, a player would experience a sizeable delay between their input and output on screen due to the distance the command would have to travel to and from the processing server.
During the presentations it is reported that the latency on a Lumia 520 was just 45 ms. That may be a substantial amount of time for gamers who demand the utmost precision, but this is still only a prototype. That time will hopefully have been cut even further whenever the service gets into consumer hands.
Microsoft have been talking about their cloud service since their initial reveal in May, but up to this point it has only been positioned as a support for games instead of streaming full ones. They had recently stated that their service could make backwards compatibility possible but it was not clear if streaming games from the cloud was on their priority list, but all doubts that they might not be providing the service now seem dashed. It appears that you might be able to play any Xbox One game on a Windows device some time in the near future, indeed a time we seem to be living in.
Source: The Verge