Phil Harrison on offloading console tasks to the cloud


xbox-one-vs-ps4

Microsoft Corporate VP Phil Harrison spoke during a panel event at the Eurogamer Expo today and gave his view on how the power of the cloud could improve graphics on the Xbox One (a view which differs to that held by PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny by the way – more on that further below).

Harrison said that tasks that might otherwise be carried out by the console itself could be “offloaded” to the cloud, freeing up console resources for other things (and presumably better graphics etc…).

It’s also about cloud processing and AI. This is where some of the computational effort of a game can be offloaded to the dedicated CPUs on the cloud, to make your game experience even better, better graphics, better lighting, better physics… This is an example of where we think the the cloud is going to push the next generation of game development in new and creative ways, that will make the experience even more better.

Mark Cerny (also known as the “father” of the Playstation 4) has a different view however, and thinks that while it’s true there are some tasks that can be offloaded to the cloud, it won’t translate directly into higher quality graphics…

It’s possible to do computing in the Cloud, PlayStation 4 can do computing in the Cloud. We do something today: Matchmaking is done in the Cloud and it works very well. If we think about things that don’t work well… Trying to boost the quality of the graphics, that won’t work well in the Cloud.

So who do you believe?

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  • Venge Drac

    I believe Mark, I think it a lot of talk that the Cloud can improve graphics. Maybe AI not Graphics.