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#1 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

Now that every console is not guaranteed to be connected, offloading work to cloud computers will not be used by developers, robbing us of potentially huge performance increases. Knowing that part of the user base is offline, no developer in their right mind is going to take advantage of that capability, forcing all the physics and AI to be calculated locally- that eats up clock cycles and results in lower framerates.

The same thing happened on the 360 when MS offered a unit without an HDD. Games like Oblivion and Skyrim suffered from texture streaming issues and pop-in because the developers couldn't count on a hard drive being there for caching, so the code was written assuming it WASN'T there. Any time you split the user base and remove standardization from the hardware, you remove the main advantage of a console- fixed specs and capabilities.

Any other thoughts on things we'll be missing out on now?

#2 Edited by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

Now that every console is not guaranteed to be connected, offloading work to cloud computers will not be used by developers, robbing us of potentially huge performance increases.

Has this ever been proven to be the case, or just marketing speak for an excuse to make sure everyone is constantly connected to the mothership? SimCity tried the "it needs the power of the cloud" excuse, and it was proven patently false.

#3 Posted by jimmyfenix (3858 posts) -

Lets just play some damn good games

#4 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

The Respawn guys were very bullish about offloading physics and AI to the cloud to get smoother framerates and less control lag in Titanfall.

Key word "were"- you can be sure they're stripping that out right now, because no console game will ever ship that runs worse on certain people's systems.

#5 Posted by bemusedchunk (700 posts) -

Split User Base vs. Cross User Base.

#6 Posted by schreiberty (208 posts) -

I fully expect to see games that require an internet connection even if the system doesnt. Games like titan fall where the servers are located in "the cloud" probably wont work even for offline bot matches. I could even see singleplayer games requiring an internet connection even though microsoft doesnt require you to be online. It all comes down to money, if a publisher looks at the number of xbox live users compared to xbone owners who dont connect to the internet, and the number of online users outweigh the offline users it may make financial sense to make a better game that some people cant play.

#7 Edited by DexterKid (668 posts) -

I think you are a bit confused on this cloud stuff. The cloud use only really matters in games that are online anyway. So it's like saying that no one will make online game because some people don't have internet....and that's simply not the case. Any dev who was gonna use cloud computing will still use it, and plenty of games will still require an online connection even if the console doesn't require it by default. And plenty of people will still have their consoles connected.

#8 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@schreiberty:

I disagree. We've had 7 years for a developer to release a 360 game that leverages HDD caching with a sticker on the box that says "requires 10gb HDD space", and not one has done it. Not a single game.

No publisher or developer is going to limit their potential sales by excluding a percentage of the market. It's a whole lot easier (and profitable) just to lock the game at 30fps and remove the cloud features, but be available to 100% of the user base.

#9 Edited by BigJeffrey (5077 posts) -

XBOX LIVE

MULTIPLAYER

DEDICATED SERVERS

INTERNET REQUIRED TO USE

#10 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2453 posts) -

Publishers can still make their own games online only. It'll just have to be on their end instead.

#11 Posted by mrfluke (5271 posts) -

Lets just play some damn good games

exactly, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, these policies were significantly stunting people's purchasing habits.

also, if devs really want to use the cloud, nothing will be stopping them, just look at destiny and titanfall and the division, they still require a connection.

the always online rule should NOT be applied to all games.

#12 Posted by Scroll (601 posts) -

The cloud was a hot load of bullshit. They can still use that stuff for dedicated servers for online games and that's a great thing.

#13 Posted by schreiberty (208 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: but in multiplayer only games, your gonna need an internet connection so those will still have cloud benefits. I guess they probably wouldnt make a single player game that requires an internet connection but i could see them using the cloud to improve load times or reducing texture pop in. I imagine it would be sort of like how installing a game to your hard drive works now.

XBOX LIVE

MULTIPLAYER

DEDICATED SERVERS

INTERNET REQUIRED TO USE

this

#14 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@dexterkid:

No I'm not. Read the below interview- even in single player, AI is offloaded to the cloud, giving them more CPU to use pushing triangles and effects. If the user base was all guaranteed to be connected, every game could have leveraged this to reduce local workload and achieve higher framerates. Now, not a single developer will bother incorporating the feature since they'll reduce potential sales or deliver a choppy product to people not willing to connect.

http://www.the-coli.com/arcadium/121848-good-explaination-power-cloud.html#.UcJA72S9Kc0

#15 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@schreiberty:

Of course multiplayer only games will still use it, but single player games? No way. Publishers aren't going to spend millions of dollars writing code that only part of the user base will enjoy, or make a game that runs choppy for half the user base. They'll do exactly like they did for Oblivion, Mass Effect, Skyrim, etc, and just program the game to run well on the lowest common denominator. Last gen that meant not using the HDD, this generation it means not using the cloud.

#16 Posted by Halfdeaf (71 posts) -

I wonder how much investment has already been allocated, between the major publishers, to develop the platforms that allow for their games to easily tap into online resources (the cloud). My guess is a lot. The policy change means nothing for those games. THis next generation is already going in this direction regardless of MS' policies. The cloud is still there and a large portion of gamers are still online and even larger portion of gamers are capable of being online even if they haven't chosen to be so on their consoles, so far.

Just look at CoD. I'll bet that less than 5% of player base buys CoD games for the campaign. They buy it for the multiplayer and even though it's not restricted to only online gamers it's in fact always online.

Sim City was just the beginning. We will see a lot of games requiring online connections to be playable even if they are essentially single player games. Let's just hope that the SIM City debacle doesn't repeat itself and that we get get some actual online benefits for the trouble of being always online.

#17 Posted by BigJeffrey (5077 posts) -

Now that every console is not guaranteed to be connected, offloading work to cloud computers will not be used by developers, robbing us of potentially huge performance increases. Knowing that part of the user base is offline, no developer in their right mind is going to take advantage of that capability, forcing all the physics and AI to be calculated locally- that eats up clock cycles and results in lower framerates.

The same thing happened on the 360 when MS offered a unit without an HDD. Games like Oblivion and Skyrim suffered from texture streaming issues and pop-in because the developers couldn't count on a hard drive being there for caching, so the code was written assuming it WASN'T there. Any time you split the user base and remove standardization from the hardware, you remove the main advantage of a console- fixed specs and capabilities.

Any other thoughts on things we'll be missing out on now?

games which require cloud processing will need an always-on Internet connection, like any MMO or online multiplayer game.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/19/4446308/xbox-one-family-sharing-plan-cloud-library-price-cut-plans

#18 Posted by Nictel (2429 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@thetenthdoctor said:

Now that every console is not guaranteed to be connected, offloading work to cloud computers will not be used by developers, robbing us of potentially huge performance increases.

Has this ever been proven to be the case, or just marketing speak for an excuse to make sure everyone is constantly connected to the mothership? SimCity tried the "it needs the power of the cloud" excuse, and it was proven patently false.

In the end all you can do is send data back and forth between two systems, over an internet connection. Hooking your ms-dos computer up to your new high end pc isn't going to make the former into a magic gaming powerhouse.

#19 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@bigjeffrey:

My point stands. The only games to leverage cloud computing will now be MMOs and online shooters. Developers of single player experiences now have to choose between a better game less people can buy or a slightly worse one that everyone can buy, and they'll choose the latter every single time.

Developers also had the "option" for the last 7 years to make a game that required a hard drive- show me one that did.

#20 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (630 posts) -

But the console still requires an online connection for initial set up, so maybe developers will still develop for the cloud based off of that.

#21 Posted by DexterKid (668 posts) -

@dexterkid:

No I'm not. Read the below interview- even in single player, AI is offloaded to the cloud, giving them more CPU to use pushing triangles and effects. If the user base was all guaranteed to be connected, every game could have leveraged this to reduce local workload and achieve higher framerates. Now, not a single developer will bother incorporating the feature since they'll reduce potential sales or deliver a choppy product to people not willing to connect.

http://www.the-coli.com/arcadium/121848-good-explaination-power-cloud.html#.UcJA72S9Kc0

There has been no actual evidence so far that such a thing is even possible, considering the delay that is involved in streaming things from the cloud. We don't know exactly how Titanfall uses it other than dedicated servers, and that is an online-only game anyway. All other things we've heard are anecdotal pie in the sky stuff.

#22 Edited by BigJeffrey (5077 posts) -

@bigjeffrey:

My point stands. The only games to leverage cloud computing will now be MMOs and online shooters. Developers of single player experiences now have to choose between a better game less people can buy or a slightly worse one that everyone can buy, and they'll choose the latter every single time.

Developers also had the "option" for the last 7 years to make a game that required a hard drive- show me one that did.

Halo 4 (2012) required a Hard Drive to play multiplayer.

Multiplayer cannot be played off Disk

#23 Posted by Nephrahim (1154 posts) -

Required to be connected once every 24 hours =! always online. Devs were always going to be cautious about a feature that won't work if your connection hiccups.

#24 Edited by Tennmuerti (8140 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor said:

@bigjeffrey:

My point stands. The only games to leverage cloud computing will now be MMOs and oine shooters. Developers of single player experiences now have to choose between a better game less people can buy or a slightly worse one that everyone can buy, and they'll choose the latter every single time.

A SP game on Xone was not guaranteed to be always connected in the first place. 1 check in in 24 hours was not a guarantee of everyone always being online all the time while playing their SP games. There was never a guarantee of the "cloud" resources always being available to a SP game.

Titanfall's "SP" is still online, it's an always online game. It's the only reason they moved AI calculations serverside in the first place, because they have to be as it is effectively always a MP session on the servers. AI in games is just not a bottleneck nor ever the reason for performance loss or gain. It's done for online games because it has to be shared and server determined.

#25 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -

newsflash, the cloud promises were bullshit. Just vague promises to try to explain away the performance gap to the PS4.

#26 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@dexterkid:

Maybe, but at one point in time "motorized carriages" and "talking pictures" were the stuff of fantasy, too. We'll never get there if people keep turning their nose up at it because

A) They don't think it's possible

or

B) Doing so requires moving beyond the established comfort zone they're living in as far as how game purchasing and retail works.

Now that they've split the capability of the machine into two camps (connected vs not connected), developers will gravitate toward developing for the non-connected to maximize their potential profits. It's a business at the end if the day.

#27 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@bigjeffrey:

"Multiplayer", as in "an optional part of the game". Every game has a restriction on multiplayer, namely an Internet connection. The actual "game" (as in the SP campaign) has never once required a HDD on the 360.

My point was that there has never been an Xbox 360 game box on a shelf that says "The thing in this box straight up doesn't work unless you have an HDD". If MS had put a HDD in every box, developers would have optimized for it. Instead we got stuck with texture streaming and LoD jank that PC versions don't have, thanks to the split system specs.

#28 Posted by mrfluke (5271 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor said:

@bigjeffrey:

My point stands. The only games to leverage cloud computing will now be MMOs and online shooters. Developers of single player experiences now have to choose between a better game less people can buy or a slightly worse one that everyone can buy, and they'll choose the latter every single time.

Developers also had the "option" for the last 7 years to make a game that required a hard drive- show me one that did.

Halo 4 (2012) required a Hard Drive to play multiplayer.

Multiplayer cannot be played off Disk

aaand halo 3 actually ran worse when it was installed on a disk.

having no cloud isnt the be all end all, if it is for you, then just get a pc,

ask people what they would chose, rentals and used games? over cloud optimization?

rentals and used games all the way. if anything is the vocal minority choice, its favoring cloud tech over losing rentals and used games.

a lot of markets depend on those 2 things.

#29 Posted by Subjugation (4725 posts) -

@tourgen said:

newsflash, the cloud promises were bullshit. Just vague promises to try to explain away the performance gap to the PS4.

Performance gap? So they've already done tests? I'd like to see those if you can link them.

#30 Edited by DexterKid (668 posts) -

@dexterkid:

Maybe, but at one point in time "motorized carriages" and "talking pictures" were the stuff of fantasy, too. We'll never get there if people keep turning their nose up at it because

A) They don't think it's possible

or

B) Doing so requires moving beyond the established comfort zone they're living in as far as how game purchasing and retail works.

Now that they've split the capability of the machine into two camps (connected vs not connected), developers will gravitate toward developing for the non-connected to maximize their potential profits. It's a business at the end if the day.

Firstly, the console was never literally 'always online', as in every second of the day, it was just a once every 24hrs authentication. So devs couldn't count on people being always online in SP games anyway.

Secondly it is impossible to do the things on the scale you are imagining because there is a very big delay involved in getting things calculated in the cloud and then sent back to the console. Anything they do has to be able to tolerate that delay so it can't be anything that requires very fast streaming. This Titanfall stuff sounds to me like background decorations that don't really affect the actual gameplay, that's why they can get away with it; and like I said that's an online game to begin with.

I honestly don't think this is as big a deal as you think.

#31 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Good. The pros outweight the cons on so many levels.

#32 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@mrfluke:

I have a PC that I do all my gaming on- the 360 has been a dust magnet for a year. Unfortunately no PC games really take advantage of server side workloads, since developers optimize their games for the lowest common denominator- consoles.

I was hoping a unified and online Xbox One would drive innovation in programming and lead to new coding techniques, but t looks like we're stuck with another 8 years of the same old code + more polygons. Woo hoo.

#33 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@mrfluke:

I have a PC that I do all my gaming on- the 360 has been a dust magnet for a year. Unfortunately no PC games really take advantage of server side workloads, since developers optimize their games for the lowest common denominator- consoles.

I was hoping a unified and online Xbox One would drive innovation in programming and lead to new coding techniques, but t looks like we're stuck with another 8 years of the same old code + more polygons. Woo hoo.

This was never about innovation, this was about instituting a hyper-restrictive DRM solution that Microsoft fully expected Sony to run with, as well. Then, OOPS.

#34 Edited by President_Barackbar (3467 posts) -

@dexterkid:

Maybe, but at one point in time "motorized carriages" and "talking pictures" were the stuff of fantasy, too. We'll never get there if people keep turning their nose up at it because

A) They don't think it's possible

or

B) Doing so requires moving beyond the established comfort zone they're living in as far as how game purchasing and retail works.

Now that they've split the capability of the machine into two camps (connected vs not connected), developers will gravitate toward developing for the non-connected to maximize their potential profits. It's a business at the end if the day.

You've been drinking the marketing Kool-Aid a little too much. You are assuming that all their claims about offloading to the cloud were not only 100% true, but also that developers had already been making games with it in mind. I don't think they would be so quick to strip that stuff out of the console if dev teams were already making games that were heavily reliant on offloading to the cloud. I'm willing to bet that their talk about offloading to the cloud was a lot like EA saying SimCity needed the cloud: just a way to justify the always online connection and nothing else.

#35 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

The ramifications of a split userbase Vs. The ramifications of no userbase.

#36 Posted by LiquidPrince (16016 posts) -

No one was going to use the Cloud anyways. So no worries.

#37 Posted by Andorski (5343 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

@jimmyfenix said:

Lets just play some damn good games

exactly, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, these policies were significantly stunting people's purchasing habits.

also, if devs really want to use the cloud, nothing will be stopping them, just look at destiny and titanfall and the division, they still require a connection.

the always online rule should NOT be applied to all games.

This guy.... this guy gets it.

#38 Posted by PenguinDust (12555 posts) -

The disparity between the XBO and PS4 was always going to be limited because third-party developers don't find it cost effective to create two different versions of the same game. The XBO version wasn't going to be bigger, faster and stronger than the same game on the PS4 because of some cloud computing idea. Just like always, studios seek parity because it best utilizes their resources. Microsoft 1st party games can still impose those online requirements (Forza for example), but I question if any game maker who intends to release their product on multiple platforms was going to do that much with the overblown cloud.

#39 Posted by mrfluke (5271 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

whats the point of that kind of thing versus stripping away the utilities that other gamers use to experience games?

gaming should be more inclusive and inviting, not exclusive and elitist.

#40 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@liquidprince:

Eh, I hope you're right. We'll never know at this point.

I wasn't going to buy one before and I won't now either, but I WAS interested in seeing if they could shake up the stale console model for retail, trade in, pricing and coding. Now that you're still free to pass around games and trade them back in for $10, it's obvious console game prices are not going to drop, we won't see Steam-like sales and the coding will continue to be held back from innovation. Guess I'll be sticking with PC for another generation.

#41 Edited by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@liquidprince:

Eh, I hope you're right. Well never know at this point.

I wasn't going to buy one before and I won't now either, but I WAS interested in seeing of they could shake up the stale console model for retail, trade in, pricing and coding. Now that you're still free to pass around games and trade them back in for $10, it's obvious console game prices are not going to drop, we won't see Steam-like sales and the coding will continue to be held back from innovation. Guess I'll be sticking with PC for another generation.

You keep talking about this "innovative coding" thing as though this is something that the magic of the cloud would have brought about on its own. I don't think you understand how coding actually works.

And what exactly do you mean by "Steam-like sales"?

#42 Edited by President_Barackbar (3467 posts) -

@liquidprince:

Eh, I hope you're right. We'll never know at this point.

I wasn't going to buy one before and I won't now either, but I WAS interested in seeing if they could shake up the stale console model for retail, trade in, pricing and coding. Now that you're still free to pass around games and trade them back in for $10, it's obvious console game prices are not going to drop, we won't see Steam-like sales and the coding will continue to be held back from innovation. Guess I'll be sticking with PC for another generation.

Now you're just being fatalistic. Like Patrick mentioned before, its not my job to prop up the shitty business model of AAA games. I don't understand why you are lamenting the fact that game prices aren't going to go down and there won't be Steam like sales on consoles because there was no proof whatsoever that these things were going to happen on the XBONE. You are assuming an awful lot, and I really don't think striking a blow for consumer rights is going to set back gaming innovation. You are talking like some of the MS people from before the policy changes about how those horrible greedy consumers are trying to stifle their hallowed mission to make even more technologically advanced games.

#43 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@mrfluke:

Gaming is already elitist- it's for people with $400 to blow on boxes that play $60 games. That's a month's pay for people in parts of the world.

#44 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@hailinel:

I mean Saints Row 3 for $4, Tomb Raider for $15, etc. Publishers offer insane deals on Steam all the time because they're selling a product that can't be loaned or resold. PC people would rather get great deals up front than a physical disc we can pass around or pay $60 for, then get $20 at GameStop a month later. Now that MS decided to stick with the outdated disc and trade model, publishers need to maximize their per copy profit to make up for the people that will borrow from a friend or buy used instead of buying a copy of their own.

#45 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

Cloud gaming was never going to be a big thing. It's a buzzword and nothing more. Probably to try to offset the general notion that the PS4 is not-insignificantly more powerful.

#46 Edited by EXTomar (4843 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor said:

The Respawn guys were very bullish about offloading physics and AI to the cloud to get smoother framerates and less control lag in Titanfall.

Key word "were"- you can be sure they're stripping that out right now, because no console game will ever ship that runs worse on certain people's systems.

Guess how you would do this in "a classic" configuration? The remote machine is "offloading physics and AI" so your client machine gets smoother frame rates and less lag.

#47 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@hailinel:

I mean Saints Row 3 for $4, Tomb Raider for $15, etc. Publishers offer insane deals on Steam all the time because they're selling a product that can't be loaned or resold. PC people would rather get great deals up front than a physical disc we can pass around or pay $60 for, then get $20 at GameStop a month later. Now that MS decided to stick with the outdated disc and trade model, publishers need to maximize their per copy profit to make up for the people that will borrow from a friend or buy used instead of buying a copy of their own.

That's not a Steam-exclusive. Publishers on consoles can set their digital prices however they wish within the prescribed guidelines of the service providers (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft), and, at least in Sony and Nintendo's case, those guidelines are a lot less restrictive nowadays.

Even so, the examples you cite, like Saints Row: The Third for $4? That sort of sale only occurs long after the game's primary selling window has passed. At that point, the only people that would be willing to buy the game would be those that would only get it at a super-steep discount. And at least in PSN's case, select games are made available for free to PS+ subscribers.

Steam offers a great service, but the Steam model is not the be-all-end-all model of digital distribution.

#48 Posted by mrfluke (5271 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: so you think having those restrictions would benefit the masses in terms of their purchases? thats a very elitist view.

you're making big assumptions in relation to the benefit of the cloud being big enough as a bullet point to attract sales. versus stripping away used games and rentals.

im sorry you just don't use these utilities dude and dont get it.,

but as you say, games are expensive, rentals and used games (dont give me that its only 5 dollars discount crap) are ways those poorer can experience games,

its a very big assumption to make that MS would do steam sales if thats your next argument, and even then, digital will kill rentals and that is a significant utility for people when they can pay $25 dollars a month for unlimited rentals and directly cut out spending $60 dollars on a single game..

sony wouldn't have gotten the applause if it didnt matter to people, gamestop and gamefly wouldnt be multimilliondollar companies if it didnt matter to people. microsoft wouldnt have changed these policies if people werent voting with their dollars and buying the ps4 over the xbox one.

#49 Posted by Daneian (1245 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor said:

@hailinel:

I mean Saints Row 3 for $4, Tomb Raider for $15, etc. Publishers offer insane deals on Steam all the time because they're selling a product that can't be loaned or resold. PC people would rather get great deals up front than a physical disc we can pass around or pay $60 for, then get $20 at GameStop a month later. Now that MS decided to stick with the outdated disc and trade model, publishers need to maximize their per copy profit to make up for the people that will borrow from a friend or buy used instead of buying a copy of their own.

Why are sale prices suddenly unrealistic because you can play the system offline? Why can't a digital download still be heavily reduced at the publishers discretion to compete with a used physical discs price? You can buy a physical steam enabled PC game and still have a sale on the digital version during a Steam sale. Seriously, I don't understand this.

#50 Edited by mrfluke (5271 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@thetenthdoctor said:

@hailinel:

I mean Saints Row 3 for $4, Tomb Raider for $15, etc. Publishers offer insane deals on Steam all the time because they're selling a product that can't be loaned or resold. PC people would rather get great deals up front than a physical disc we can pass around or pay $60 for, then get $20 at GameStop a month later. Now that MS decided to stick with the outdated disc and trade model, publishers need to maximize their per copy profit to make up for the people that will borrow from a friend or buy used instead of buying a copy of their own.

That's not a Steam-exclusive. Publishers on consoles can set their digital prices however they wish within the prescribed guidelines of the service providers (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft), and, at least in Sony and Nintendo's case, those guidelines are a lot less restrictive nowadays.

Even so, the examples you cite, like Saints Row: The Third for $4? That sort of sale only occurs long after the game's primary selling window has passed. At that point, the only people that would be willing to buy the game would be those that would only get it at a super-steep discount. And at least in PSN's case, select games are made available for free to PS+ subscribers.

Steam offers a great service, but the Steam model is not the be-all-end-all model of digital distribution.

yes these sales occur long after the majority's interest in the game (sony is now putting deus ex human revolution for ps plus people to grab). and even then you can pay 5 dollars a month for PS plus and get access to these games for free.