Here comes the cloud talk again, this time from longtime PlayStation developer who’s now developing a game exclusive for Xbox One, Insomniac Games, claiming that although Sunset Overdrive isn’t always-online, the game will take advantage of the console’s cloud features.
Cloud features being dedicated servers, of course, but whatever, I’ll allow these guys to continue with their spin.
“Some of the hardcore data collection, correlation, and translation that we expect to do is difficult and takes a lot of horsepower, and that is one aspect of the cloud that is attractive to us,” Insomniac Games boss Ted Price told GameInformer in an interview.
“Our intent is that you will be able to play the single-player without an online connection. The game will be updated with content we expect that all players will want. You won’t be able to access that without an online connect.”
Price then went into explaining how and when the
cloud dedicated servers should be used in a game, and how they’re learning new aspects of it every month.
When people say ‘cloud’ it’s one of those broad terms that mean many things. How we use the cloud depends on the genre, depends on the audience, and it depends on the state of the hardware behind the cloud.
We’re learning that new opportunities and ideas are popping up every month when we discover how we can take aspects of the game offline [to the cloud]. We are going to be relying on heavy backend services to churn through the data we get from players to understand what they’re telling us and what they’re doing in the game.
The potential of the cloud for console developers is pretty large. Over the next five or six years, it’s one of those technologies that will change in meaning as we see more games come out and take innovative approach to the more and more offline processing that’s available.
It is proven that cloud services can improve products and services in other areas, so it’s cool that games are starting to take advantage of it. Looking at the world’s approach to this now-massive amount of hardware we have that can be taken advantage of, these are things are going to change faster and faster. Not just for games, but for every industry. It’s ultimately good for all of us who consume entertainment.
What Ted and Co. fail to realize is that games are different from other services that servers provide for other industries. No one is disputing that dedicated servers are good – they are great! But somehow saying they’ll change the dynamics of a game, when no meaningful action of a game can be rendered in “the clouds” without massive amounts of delay on the user’s end because internet speeds are simply too slow, is simply not telling the truth, and comes off to me more like trying to sell people on an unproven idea.
But that’s my take. Make of this what you will. Sunset Overdrive will release exclusively on Xbox One, however no release date has been announced.