Video: Microsoft's cloud computing hardware in action

Finally, a demo of what Xbox One's 'cloud' could mean for gaming

'Cloud computing' sounds sexy, but what does it do for us? Microsoft has been shouting about the Xbox One's cloud processing features since the console was revealed last year, but let's be honest; in literal terms it has all meant very little to anyone.

Fast forward a year, we have Xbox One consoles under our TVs, but aside from a few Forza 5 'Drivatars', we still don't really see what all the fuss was about.


So what could this mystical cloud stuff potentially do for our games beyond providing dedicated servers for Titanfall? Clearly, this is a question that still needed answering, because Microsoft used a could-focused presentation on Thursday to demonstrate cloud computing for games in action.

Below is a video of a cloud processing tech demo. Two identical PCs are running an identical physics simulation. The offline system bogs down heavily when things get too hectic, while the cloud-enabled system runs smoothly, as it apparently offloads the barrage of physics calculations to the cloud, leaving it to focus on the task of graphics rendering.

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So when Microsoft claimed that Xbox One's cloud will make available to each console three times the CPU and storage capacity of the core console itself, it might not have been joking.

But this demo was done on PC, not Xbox One, and it's hard to determine how 'realistic' the network connections were (we'll assume they were nothing short of optimal). The tech demo also doesn't exactly represent a full video game either. So it's hard to relate this to real-game benefits on real Xbox One hardware with home broadband latency.