The new buzzword isn’t much of a buzzword at all, but rather an admission that the strategy of using such terms without explaining what exactly they do, has failed to resonate with gamers.
It’s no secret that when Microsoft introduced the Xbox One, one of the key features that the firm used to drum up support and excitement for the console, especially in light of PS4′s more powerful architecture, was the “power of the cloud”, saying that developers, when working on Xbox One games, would be able to offload complex CPU work to the cloud, resulting in more impressive games – in theory. It was confusing as to how it would actually work, leading gamers to believe that the software company was trying to pull a fast one on them. So now, Microsoft refers to the “cloud” in plain terms: dedicated servers.
“You picked up on exactly that,” Phil Harrison told Eurogamer at E3 last week when the site mentioned that Microsoft failed to mention the word “cloud” at its press conference.
“Xbox Live is the service. Dedicated servers is the benefit. That is the reason why these games are going to be better, why the experience for multiplayer is going to be better.
“And we’re being clear, hopefully around all of the games that will take advantage of it, whether it is a game like Forza Horizon 2, or whether it’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection, particularly the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta.”
And what about the games that will actually benefit from these dedicated servers? Exclusive titles, it seems: Forza Horizon 2, from UK studio Playground Games, Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive, with its eight-player multiplayer, Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s nostalgia-fuelled competitive multiplayer, Lionhead’s Fable: Legends, with its four versus one multiplayer, and Crackdown, from Dave Jones and his mystery team, which features open world co-op.