For all the benefits the Xbox One brings with its new technology and features, Microsoft is pushing hard to make its Cloud service an integral part of the experience. We recently spoke to Christine Arrington, senior analyst in the games group at IHS, about her take on the power of the Cloud and how it will be able to render even better graphics and make for better physics simulation.
Arrington responded, “It is an interesting way to think about how to keep the console on par with PC advances. Once consoles launch PCs quickly outpace them in graphics and processing capabilities. If that can be compensated for in the cloud that take some of the advantage away from the PC. It is a large investment, and the core PC gaming market is not very large in comparison to the console market. So, pushing that side of cloud gaming probably isn’t going to be a high priority in the beginning. It will become much more important as the consoles age.”
She also stated that from a technical standpoint, specifications don’t matter when it comes to streaming so the Xbox One will be as capable of streaming games as the PS4. “I don’t think the console specs come into play much when the processing is done in the cloud. If either were to implement a hybrid approach with some processing done locally it might make a difference, but even then the whole point is offloading processing so it doesn’t make all that much difference.”
Microsoft has talked about other advantages that the Cloud can bring, including improved AI, dedicated servers for multiplayer and even facilitating fixes/changes on the fly. Will it tip the scales in the Xbox One’s favour? We’ll find out in the coming months.