Xbox One: Cloud Can Use Ray-Tracing, No Milo & Kate Reboot, And Install Times

Corporate VP of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer has much to say.

Posted By | On 02nd, Mar. 2014 Under News


xbox one amd

Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer has offered some interesting new details on the future of the Xbox One, especially regarding the potential behind its Cloud computing service.

On being asked whether the Cloud could be used for ray-tracing in the future, Spencer said, “We’ve done experiments with real-time ray-tracing. A ton of potential with this tech, amazing visuals.”

Unfortunately, despite Microsoft revisiting franchises like Fable and Gears of War, Milo & Kate won’t be reappearing. “Sorry, no Milo & Kate reboot.”

The central idea seemed good at first but according to Spencer, “Idea was compelling and we learned a lot creatively but we struggled to get a full game out of it.”

Finally, Spencer said that the Xbox One has to improve on its install times. On being told by a user that he shouldn’t have to pick up a game only to go home and wait an hour for it to install, Spencer replied, “I agree, we have to do better with install times.”

What are your thoughts? Want to see M&K back with a blast? Interested in what the future holds for Xbox One’s Cloud? Want faster install times? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Geoff Carlin

    Ok off topic. But why is it everytime I visit your site to view an article on my android I am being redirected to some “update your apps” application. Getting annoying.

    • Phil Jones

      Same problem I always click show desktop site immediately after clicking links to this site. Only thing that stop it taking me to Google Play store

  • Psionicinversion

    x1 making its come back ray tracing all over the place, need alot of power for that and the x1 is delivering, Sony cannot console will get schooled with a more technological approach… boom goes the ps4!!!

    • Cinnamon267

      Considering there is a PS4 game coming using UE4 which is using voxel cone tracing, a derivative of ray tracing, your comment shows amazing ignorance.

      At most what these system will be doing is something similar to UE4’s implementation. Every ray traced/path traced demo out there is running on 680’s or Titan’s. 1% of people have that level of processing. Consoles don’t have anything near it.

      And their Azure cloud stuff would have to have impossibly low latency for it to work with any cloud tech.

    • Psionicinversion

      it must work if theyve got a working example, the cloud wins!

    • Cinnamon267

      Well, yeah. Heaps of people have examples.

      Here is an example with Brigade from last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXZ33YoKu9w&list=WL52A10A919CCB0AB6

      Still needs a lot of work, but there is a working example. Doesn’t mean it’s ready for prime time.

    • aeris bueller

      yeah, brigade engine is awesome and in a few years, this kinda thing will become the standard. But, in MS’s mind, this is going to be happening for every xbox user on the cloud, and streaming back gameplay graphics fullscreen, or? They certainly don’t mean the cloud is going to help xbox one render frames 24 to 60 times a second. You’d think they’d learned the lesson about lies and truth stretching

    • Cinnamon267

      Even then, full cloud is still a while away from being reasonable. Especially something like ray tracing. They are having a hard enough time streaming regular games.

      Compounded by the fact no ray/path traced engine is not ready for prime time and the hardware is still a ways off. This might be a thing for the end of life of the Xbox One. Or for the “new” platform when it’s a full transition to the cloud.

    • cozomel

      These companies never learn a lesson about lying and telling the truth, then you have stupid phucks like psionicinverse believing it. But then again he seems like a dumb ignorant little kid, who falls for corporate lies

    • John D

      I love how they show all that new amazing Unreal Engine 4 tech demos when they know that 98% of the games will never look like that even on PC.

    • Cinnamon267

      Sure. That’s the problem with tech demos. But, they are there just to show you what the engine can do from a base level.

    • John D

      So much power it cannot run a COD game in 1080P. LOL

    • Psionicinversion

      CoD doesnt deserve to run in 1080p!

    • Head Blackman

      you do understand that all of the recent games that are out now until a few months from now are all developed on older sdk’s right? they weren’t fully optimized. the new sdk’s have begun to roll out. so whenever you talk about resolution gates please mention that as well. when you carefully elect to leave that part out it makes you look like a playstation fanbot. always remember that an edited truth or a silent truth is considered to be a lie.

    • RoadShow

      Look! Another butt hurt xbot.

      Rumors are that Destiny and Watchdogs will be added to the already long list of games limited to 720p on the xbox 720. I mean Xbox 180, oh I mean the Xbox DONE

    • Head Blackman

      those claims that you just quoted are very old. both of those game have been pushed back and delayed for a reason. new sdk’s have been shipped already which are much more mature than the first. so you spewing out nonsense out of your neck only makes you extremely silly. STOP IT! (in the voice of peter griffin)

    • RoadShow

      yeah about that.

    • cozomel

      “you do understand that all of the recent games that are out now until a few months from now are all developed on older sdk’s right?” yeah yeah yeah, more bs , stop being stupid and believing your own bs, the x1 is weak. Pathetically weak! and what a xbot you are and stop lying to yourself. Btw, Ms lied when they tried to pass of all their games at E3 as the x1 version when they were all the pc versions.

    • Ricky Jakobsen

      Isn’t the same true for the PS4?
      I don’t care for one more than the other console. But logic dictates that if XBOne’s “sdk’s” aren’t optimized, what are the odds that PS4’s sdk is any better?

    • Mikeherp Derp

      So they have dual 7790s hidden in the Xboner after all?!

    • Psionicinversion

      nah the cloud does the ray tracing, the PS4 cant do it on its own either cus theres no where near enough power

    • Mikeherp Derp

      Damn that’s some powerful clouds MS is smoking. lol

  • incendy

    Ray-tracing is awesome, but I am more interested in the AI things they are doing like The Drivatars. Big data should make the next generation of AI so good. I am hoping Halo 5’s AI is a game changer.

    • Eagles83

      The drivatars thing was pretty cool until you get to the point on higher difficulties where you realize how people really drive when they play. They constantly slam into you to force you off the track instead of just driving better.

    • incendy

      Even if it is frustrating at times due to friends horrible driving habits it is still so awesome. So weird going back to Forza 4 and racing the computer, it is so boring compared to Forza 5. I really like what they have done. So funny and maddening yelling at friends drivatars but even more fun is telling them the next day at work how badly their AI behaves.

    • cozomel

      keep on cheering you cheerleader

    • . _ . Dude… I just had a brief glimpse of an idea because of your Halo 5/AI statement…

      Imagine if 343 was able to somehow capture/recreate player behavior over XBL and use that information to add an additional difficulty to the game.

      How would they achieve that? lol F*ck if I know – I’m not the engineer… But imagine if it were to happen!

    • Gabrielsp85

      I ask that to Vince on twitter for Titanfall but since grunts don’t behave like Pilots its not possible, It’s definitely interesting but i wonder how could work with Halo, Anything that doesn’t need to be rendered frame by frame can be offloaded to the cloud without the need of a high latency, IMO Ray Tracing could be possible since it doesn’t need to be rendered frame by frame and can be preloaded

    • Yeah, not sure what ray tracing is. Gonna have to look that one up.

    • Dirkster_Dude

      In computer graphics, ray tracing is a technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light through pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects.

    • David Dalfonso

      I don’t know much about it….but I heard that it was not very good for video games because of latencity…I might be wrong…could be good for pre-rendered stuff I guess (maybe environments?)

  • You are flat out wrong

    Such a shame it won’t be able to make the Xbone because of its crap hardware.

    • Egg

      Grow up

    • Eagles83

      If the PC can’t do ray tracing in a AAA game then neither can the PS4 or Xbox One. In other words every device under the sun would contain crap hardware including your beloved PS4 using this logic. Any other enlightening thoughts that you could share with us?

    • You are flat out wrong

      Did I say the PS4 could do it too?

      Damage control and limp PR like this from MS needs to be called out all the time, deal with it.

    • Eagles83

      No you didn’t but you certainly inferred it. Your comment doesn’t make sense otherwise. It would be like making fun of a friends car because it doesn’t run when your own car doesn’t work. Just kind of stupid.

  • Mikeherp Derp

    “The inifnite power of the cloud” is about as credible as Sony saying the Cell in your toaster would improve your PS3’s graphics capability.

    • Eagles83

      Wow when I think you can’t make a more ignorant comment you keep surprising me. False equivalency fallacy………….not even close to being a useful comparison.

      Also while I am skeptical on the power of using the cloud in games since it would narrow the number of users for the particular game since some consoles will not be online. However it is more likely than you are letting on considering that cloud based game streaming exists already so it isn’t that far fetched to split the duties between the cloud and the native device.

    • Mikeherp Derp

      You’re consistently wrong, stupid, and ignorant. Mixing GPU rendering with remote server rendering is a pipe dream. Remote servers are used for things like AI in MMOs and it’s nothing new.

      You can tell the delusional xbots because they keep regurgitating “cloud” buzzwords instead of “remote server”.

    • Eagles83

      I’ve seen you make that same comment before as if you are some kind of expert on the matter. What are your credentials to determine whether or not it is a pipe dream?

      I’m a programmer and hardware/networking professional. I don’t work on game development but I don’t see a reason technically why it couldn’t work. I’d be interested to hear your “educated” critique.

    • Ian Williams

      It’s gone quiet over there, Ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh he’s sleeping

    • YOUDIEMOFO

      Look up nvidia and their Grid tech. There is your server based ray tracing in full effect. And this can not be used in game since it can still not be done on their servers made for things like this. They showcased it last year at the CES and that was one instance on one computer.

      So please tell me how Microlo$t is going to supply power to every single XBOne user with on the fly in game Ray tracing on their much older less equipped servers….?

      I have a boss A$$ computer and doing these things take some effort on its part still.

      So the educated critique from a hardware/networking professional would be great.

    • Eagles83

      Well my comment may be confusing to you for a couple of reasons. For one I wasn’t talking about ray tracing even though it is the focus of the article. I have been involved in a conversation with the other person over the course of multiple articles about cloud based processing. I was really speaking to him from the standpoint that he doesn’t know what he is talking about in terms of what is possible with cloud based processing. You jumped into the conversation but missed the context of a multi-article conversation but I should have been more clear in my original comment.

      I actually agree with you that I don’t think ray tracing is going to be possible for several years. It isn’t possible now on the highest end gaming rig that you can build today for a AAA game. A server based solution wouldn’t change that fact because the servers would have to share the resources with more than one console. Antoher reason why I don’t think it is possible is due to how ray tracing works (bouncing synthetic light rays around the 3d environment to create a realistic image). This would require something that would be fast and need local resources to render. Trying to produce this type of effect over the internet would be foolish today because of the lag that could be introduced by the internet connection. It would be a different story if we had more powerful processors and running the signal through fiber cable. If you read the article he just said they were experimenting with it and that is showed great potential. This to me sounds like a future prospect much later down the road and not something that will be coming anytime soon.

    • YOUDIEMOFO

      Here is my issue with this…… It’s impossible to do ray tracing on a server real time, but they’re saying they can do it to advance the graphical capabilities of their system.

      They have said that they can not do this in the past because it can not happen, but all of a sudden they talk about how they’ve done amazing things with it in graphical improvements.

      I honestly feel that they as a company are vying for anything they can for attention even if it is spreading false efficacy. It makes me sick because this company needs to fall on its face and be humbled, so that they may produce something for someone other than themselves.

    • Eagles83

      Well remember they were asked about if the system could do it and didn’t announce that the cloud could do this processing. He also didn’t say for sure that it could right now……..he only said it showed promise. Not sure how that is a lie. I think this was something that was blown out of proportion.

    • Eagles83

      I would also add that you are making an assumption about their servers. We don’t know the specific number of servers or what their specs are. We simply know they invested a ton of money into it and have datacenters all over the world. While I don’t believe ray tracing to be currently possible I’m not writing off the possibility of offloading less demanding graphics tasks from the Xbox One to the cloud. Microsoft’s original pitch about cloud based computing even stated as much. This was the main point that I have been discussing with Derp.

    • Al Simons

      I will explain this the best i can.I am not much of a hardware specialist but i do understand basic things about hardware (building computers/understand what components do and how they do them)

      I too am a programmer but that has nothing to do with this subject nor does it give you any credibility to your argument.

      Cloud computing in its current state is really bad.The way it it works is when you normally run an application, you are running it natively on your own hardware.Cloud computing is just running it on a designated server that simulates hardware,renders it and feeds it back to the end user.The primary problems consist with the data transer rate..your bandwidth and the latency is going to affect the performance and the quality of the peripherals..concluding that if you were to play a game or run an application over internet protocol,data packets will fluctuate and remain inconsistent.Bottom line is servers today cannot simulate adequate hardware for multiple users simultaneously and maintain consistent quality/performance..now im not saying that its not possible but for the time being, it isn’t viable.

    • Eagles83

      True that simply stating that I am a programmer doesn’t instantly give me credibility in an argument but I wanted to show that at least I have an IT background and I wanted to see what the other guy was going to come back with. However you are incorrect that being a programmer doesn’t relate to the topic of splitting compute cycles between two different hardware resources. If the cloud is going to be used to render non-intensive tasks like Microsoft originally suggested, then the game would have to be programmed in such a way to separate those threads. Send some the the console and some to the servers. This would require programming as it isn’t just something that is handled by the hardware alone.

      Having said all of that I primarily agree with you that any kind of intensive rendering is at least a few years away. What I wouldn’t state as impossible however is for small pieces of the code to be rendered on the server for objects in the background in a game or AI characters.

    • Al Simons

      Doesnt make any sense because an average game doesn’t use multithreading.Games are gpu dependent and do not use more than 2 cores….you sure you are an IT and a programmer?

    • Eagles83

      You don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Several games use more than 2 cores which is why they are able to keep up with the Intel cpu’s that have less cores but higher thread performance per core. Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3 are a couple of examples of last gen PC games that use up to 8 cores if you have them. Now that the new consoles have 8 core cpus this is going to be far more common going forward.

    • Eagles83

      Your new comment is awaiting moderation but I wanted to go ahead and respond.

      Ok you are misconstruing my words and now I do not believe that you are a programmer. I pointed out a couple of games that use up to 8 cores because it allows things to scale…….things like AI. Of course graphics related tasks run on the GPU but there are still CPU related game tasks. I don’t buy for a second that you are a programmer based on your response but I admitted at the beginning that I wasn’t a game developer. I use VB.net for business applications and not C++ where you have to actually manage the memory footprint instead of having automatic garbage cleanup.

    • TrstMEiKWmr3thnU

      You act like it is the cloud that is going to make the graphics better in itself, and that just isn’t how it works. You free up processing power for your device in this case Xbox One, by letting the servers do the processing for you. If AI and physics are done in the cloud you are freeing up CPU power- by freeing up CPU power you can increase the frame rate. By doing weather effects and stuff like that in the cloud; then you are freeing up GPU power… any calculation you can offload into the cloud lets the hardware have a higher capability on its end. If the internet gets faster in 5yrs as I am sure MS expects it too the Xbox One will to get more powerful. If it can do Ray Tracing, then the PS4 is going to loose on the graphics end down the line.

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    This is total crap to begin with…… NOW they’re quoted as to say the cloud improves visuals after they have touted that it can not do this in the past.

    It seems to me that they are reaching for anything they can to help them out in regards to performance/visual fidelity. The latency it going to be obscene if they were to try and incorporate this into anything in game other than background effects. I do want to say this has been covered and talked to death from a developer stand point in the past.

    I just can’t imagine every single XBOne user having killer internet especially in the U.S. since we limp along at the constraints of our IP’s will/speeds. Honestly to me I know it is premature and all, but I can not stand today’s methods of thinking regarding games/hardware and the…..”eh we’ll patch/fix it afterwards……”

    • Daniel Lawson

      any offloading of compute to the cloud opens up processing for other things

    • Mikeherp Derp

      “durr infinite power of duh cloud!”

  • carol argo

    ROFL!aren’t we being a bit hasty here,ms is about to implement their less overhead idea ,first likely candidate is Xbox one,the virtual techno can pretty much remote everything!remote direct cache access ? Yep!

    • Mikeherp Derp

      Maybe they can remotely send you a clue.

  • Steph

    Believe it when I see it

  • Iain Chambers

    Ray-tracing will use loads of the servers power and would be hard to support for a big game

  • Michael Cardwell

    Cloud can improve visuals. Just a matter of developers being brave enough to try it…

  • cozomel

    “Cloud Can Use Ray-Tracing” blah blah blah, prove it. This is the same company that tried to pass of all the pc verisons of the games at E3 as the actual X1 versions. LIARS!

    • Matthews John

      that was one game so where do you get all from?
      all playable demos were on xb1 except one game.

      all non playable demos were on pc including sony’s.

    • Al Simons

      lol take a look back at the e3 booths, they were running pcs.

  • Rupz007

    The reason Xbone will always take longerto install games due to hardware limitations. PS4 has advance ZLib hardware compression on the fly and a feature often overlooked. It can decompress a large install in realtime (if developers use it – Killzone SF is a good example). Another reason why PS4 is soooo much superior! http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/the-ps4-hardware-advantage-29411328/

    • Michael AntiHeroic Edwards

      Yeah, for people don’t play fighting games.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    So Microsoft needs the cloud to even try and get close to graphics on
    the level the PS4 can do from the system itself. LOL What happens when
    you dont have an internet connection and therefore have no cloud, your
    game looks horrible cause you have no ray tracing.

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    Look up nvidia and their Grid tech. There is your server based ray tracing in full effect. And this can not be used in game since it can still not be done on their servers made for things like this. They showcased it last year at the CES and that was one instance on one computer.

    So please tell me how Microlo$t is going to supply power to every single XBOne user with on the fly in game Ray tracing on their much older less equipped servers….?

    I have a boss A$$ computer and doing these things take some effort on its part still.

    I love these “idea like” things coming from Microlo$t it makes for some entertainment.

  • Al Simons

    I find it funny when people are complaining about install times on their xbox consoles.If your dl speed is fixated on something less then 1 mbps and the game you are downloading is 10-20 gb then ofcourse you are going to be waiting for an hour or so for your game to dl.The problem isnt microsofts service nor your xbox console, its your bandwidth and you should be complaining about it to your isp.I knew that console gamers were technologically illiterate but this is just sad.

    • Ricky Jakobsen

      Aren’t DOWNLOADING and INSTALLING 2 different things?
      How is install speed affected by download?

      Calling other illiterate is quite brave for someone who can’t seem to read himself.

    • Al Simons

      yeah my mistake, i thought the whole fuss was download speeds.My mistake

  • iAmJimmyShaker

    Some of you may not know this already but you can dramatically reduce the install times on Xbox One simply by disconnecting your console from your network. I installed BF4 in 20 minutes this way. You’re welcome 😉

  • carol argo

    I all give a try :fast Fourier transform!its used everywhere right?scientist even released a new version in 2014 .sparse fast fourier transform(newest being 100x improvement)how much resource does old fast Fourier transform use today ?without offloading possibility! Lets assume ms or any other in the gaming industry that do multiplayer and twitchplan to use the new sparse fast Fourier transform and calculate this on server !what would work harder?network card?so?it doesn’t mean everything is offloaded just the stuff that take forever to compute .fast Fourier transform is one!how many like this are there ?3?4?


 

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