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Microsoft's Own Cloud Tech Could One Day Power PS4 Exclusives

Posted by Anthony Bacchus

Or any game for that matter

Microsoft's Azure cloud-based technology -- last seen powering Crackdown 3 at Gamescom 2015 -- is apparently open to all developers and platforms, including competing consoles like the PS4.

This information came from Xbox boss Phil Spencer during a conversation he had with a concerned Titanfall fan on Twitter. When asked if Microsoft may ever consider locking down Titanfall 2 as an Xbox One exclusive because of the original game's cloud servers, Spencer made the following reply:



Microsoft has touted the "power of the cloud" as an Xbox One advantage over its competitors, although the number of games that have actually utilized the tech could be counted on one hand. As mentioned above, the upcoming Crackdown 3 will make heavy use of it, offloading building and environment destruction to the Azure cloud.

Titanfall was the first Xbox One game to use it for in-game AI, so it's entirely possible that its sequel will use it again. With Titanfall 2 going multi-platform, Azure might help power the game on both Xbox One and PS4.

We suppose we won't find out until much later. Let us know what you think about using the cloud for future games in the comments below.


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User Comments (17)



BAMozzy said:

Titanfall also ran on Xbox 360 - apart from a few background things missing (like the 'Dragons' and other wildlife) as well as a few graphical differences, did that also use the cloud?
18 months on from Titanfall, and after playing other games on PS4 for example, I struggle to see what the cloud has brought to gaming and in particular to XB1. Titanfall may well have 'cannon fodder' AI but so does other shooters like Star Wars: Battlefront - particularly in Fighter Squadron. I don't see anything in Titanfall that I don't think would be in a PS4 version if it had released on that. Titanfall wasn't perfect as far as Frame Rate either so what did it too?
As far as the upcoming Crackdown is concerned, we have had destructible environments in games before - notably Battlefield and Just Cause. Granted the destruction maybe a bit more realistic and consist of a lot more bits but the ultimate result is still the same.
I am not saying that its not got potential but as yet I am yet to see anything that can only be possible because of the cloud. That may of course be because of the developers and them not utilising it or having the vision to 'break the mould' but so far its hardly the 'game changer' it was built up to be.
I see no reason why other platforms would want to invest in utilising the Cloud either as their games seem to be performing as well and with as much AI, destruction etc perfectly well without it. If MS really were considering selling its services to others, its not exactly gone out of its way to prove its worth in a gaming sense.



Gamer83 said:

Well, I think I know the real reason that question is getting asked especially by that guy. If anybody is part of the youtube gaming community they know what he's all about. Spencer's response is interesting. On the one hand it's beneficial to allow competitors to use the cloud because $$$, on the other, if it's as big a deal as MS says, why would you allow Sony or Nintendo (should it got back to making cutting edge hardware) to make their games even better when you're obviously trying to beat them?



KelticDevil said:


Like you, I don't get this either. Yea it would bring Microsoft $$$ from the competition, if they chose to use it. But if it's that big of a deal, then why allow the competition to use it?

As far as if it really is a big deal or not, I guess we'll see with Crackdown 3. Too many variables at this point to know for sure. And if developers don't use it to it's full potential, then it won't matter anyways.



Gamer83 said:

Doesn't seem to me like MS has really pushed this at all. Just saying for something that's supposedly such a huge difference maker it's odd it wouldn't have been featured in more games by now, including every first party release. I look it at like a sports team making the most of its roster. How much sense would it have made for the Cleveland Cavaliers to re-sign LeBron James then sit him on the bench for 35 minutes a game? You have something that's supposed to be a huge advantage, feature it frequently from day one.



jongred said:

Does the Forza games on Xbox One use it? The AI is definitely getting better over time in those games



A_BabyRed_Yoshi said:

Even on launch day, Titanfall ran flawlessly everytime I played it. No lag, no timeouts, nothing. If every game ran like that and Halo 5, maybe it does make a real difference



KelticDevil said:


I agree. That leads me to believe that it's either not as big of deal as they are saying or they think gamers won't understand and/or care anyways. Not sure.



KelticDevil said:


True. If it helps games run better from day 1, then I love it. Too many games this generation have been broken heaps of €$#% upon release & need huge patches to fix. If this helps alleviate that problem, then great.



SuperKMx said:

@jongred Not as far as I'm aware. I think they're just tweaking the drivatar system with each release. I might be wrong, though!



Gamer83 said:

@jongred @SuperKMx
Whatever they are doing with Forza hopefully both studios working on the series keep up the great work. Horizon 2 and Motorsport 6 are absolutely brilliant games.



KelticDevil said:


Yea the Forza games are about a safe a purchase as you can get in the video game world. It may not set new standards each release, but the games are always top notch.

It's taken over the sim-racer crown from Gran Turismo & left it in the dust, while also creating a second series (the Horizon games) that some people feel is better than the original.



chuckyj1 said:

Microsoft as a whole is sooooooo much more than games, this doesn't surprise me at all. As a matter of fact they are trying to push the Azure Servers business Vs. Amazon and Google's Server business... So in that respect if they are trying to grow one area their business they aren't going to deny companies from paying to use the service right?

And it's not like "Cloud" computing technology is a MS only technology... I suppose MS would rather have game companies pay them to use the "Cloud" rather than have Amazon or Google set up the same offering for game "cloud" computing and have the same type of "Cloud" powered games for rival console companies be made through their competing server companies.



KelticDevil said:


You bring up a great point. Us gamers sometimes like to think of Microsoft in just Xbox terms, but they are, like you said, so much more than that.

In fact, Xbox isn't even the most profitable business Microsoft has. Not even close, I imagine. Whereas, with Sony, the PlayStation is the ONLY thing that's profitable for them. When you look at it that way, it makes more sense.



VanillaLake said:

I don't know if cloud computing can be the near future of console gaming, that would make Internet connection mandatory and we know not all gamers have that possibility all the time and, if they do, it's not always a good connection, even if it's a wired connection.

The two reasons why Xbox One was not as successful as PS4 when both launched are Kinect and the always-connected concept that was tied to Xbox One in the beginning. PS4 has been a hit since the beginning, but Xbox One is selling well now. Since Kinect is out of the bundles and Microsoft started including games in them, 1TB hard disc drives and even elite controllers, Xbox One started being quite successful. And now everybody knows they can play Xbox One offline or with poor Internet connections.

Even for a die-hard Sony fan, it's not good that Xbox One fails, I think last generation was great for all gamers because PS3 and Xbox 360 sold almost the same units. I would love to see the same situation this generation. Both Sony and Microsoft would be cruel if they were alone.



sorethumbed said:

@KelticDevil they have a pretty profitable movie division, music division, tv's division (hardware & programs). Sony is a massive company, the music division alone turned over 5BILLION year before last. PlayStation is really small beer for them, just like Xbox is for Microsoft.

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