All that I hear from anyone talking about the Xbox One is the power of the cloud, and I am getting sick of it. Before I go on please read this article, it explains the cloud, what it can and can’t do.
Okay, all educated now? Good. The gist of it is that the cloud cannot add 3 Xbox One’s worth of computing to your console, it can do some background work, it can do some NPC AI and that’s about it, if you’re racing around a track in Forza 5, the cloud will not be computing the wall that you are about to hit because the internet is not fast enough to relay that information. It cannot be computing the AI of your opponents because it would not be fast enough for real time game play. It could render the next portion of a world so that you don’t have to wait for it to be brought off of the disk, but then haven’t consoles been able to do a decent job of that without the cloud?
I find it ridiculous and annoying that so many of microsoft’s promises rely on a vague idea that no one can truly explain.
Not that cloud computing itself is unexplainable, that has been around for quite some time and technically any game with a dedicated server uses “cloud computing” so Demons’ Souls does, Killzone 3 does, Uncharted 2 does, as well as Microsoft’s online franchises.
Even more damning is the Xbox One’s big headliner, Titanfall, exclusive to Xbox on consoles but also coming to PC, needs the cloud, supposedly. Even though no one at Respawn can explain how exactly it will use “the cloud,” but wait, isn’t Titanfall also coming to the 360? Why yes it is, so the cloud is also on the 360? Not exactly exclusive to the One is it?
So why on earth would anyone fall for that sales gimmick? It’s worse than blast processing, at least that was backed up by the Genesis having a faster clock speed than the Super Nintendo. This has nothing, it is baseless, at least from what I can see right now.
It is possible that some tech breakthrough that I’m not aware of will make cloud computing a useful thing for the Xbox One, but for the time being I am going to put my money on a powerful console sitting in my living room, not in a server in Iowa that will be useless if my internet falters.
One more thing, ten years from now when they are shitting down the servers, like they did for the original Xbox, how useful will that cloud be then?