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Xbox One is more than meets the eye. No, it isn’t a Transformer — at least as far as we know — but it can tap into the power of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to help compute in-game functions.
Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall first-person shooter, which just leaked this morning, will use this feature to power some of its physics- and artificial-intelligence calculations, according to Game Informer magazine. The Azure cloud will also provide dedicated servers, so the online-only game could potentially host dozens of players in one match. That’s opposed to the 16-player limit common in many current-gen console games.
Titanfall is also due out for PC and Xbox 360. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to see if games on those platforms can use its Azure network in the same manner that the Xbox One supposedly can. We will update with the company’s response.
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Microsoft is positioning the cloud as a way to slowly increase the processing capabilities of the Xbox One over time. Compared to Sony’s PlayStation 4, the Xbox One is a bit slower and underpowered, but if the the Azure cloud works as advertised, that may not matter. Xbox One developers could theoretically tap into much a network capable of processing much more than the PlayStation 4.
That’s beginning with Titanfall.
Of course, concerned gamers worry this means most — if not all — Xbox One games will require an Internet connection. Titanfall does, but it is an online shooter, so it needs a connection regardless of the supposed Azure computing. The question is what happens when a studio uses this in a single-player game like the next Fallout.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show begins Tuesday. It’s likely that we will learn a lot more about this title and how Microsoft’s newest console works. We’ll have more for you in the coming days.
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