For the first time since the company debuted the Xbox One earlier this year, Microsoft is finally talking more about the cloud computing service that enhances games on the next-generation version of Xbox LIVE.
Dubbed Xbox Live Compute, Microsoft says the service will allow game creators to use its services to complete large-scale computing tasks that wouldn’t be possible on the Xbox One itself. According to today’s post on Xbox Wire, the service is actually based on the company’s Azure Cloud Computing platform.
“Our intent was to enable developers to take advantage of server resources in their games without having to deal with the challenges that come with building, managing and running servers at scale. So, we chose to provide cloud features that allow the game creators to push the limits of their gameplay experiences and apply the bulk of their investments to game creation, rather than server and operational resources.”
What’s big here is that rather than charging developers to access the service, Microsoft will let developers use the cloud service free. It’s Microsoft’s hope that letting game developers use Xbox LIVE Compute at no charge will ensure that games with more in-depth simulations and features will make it to as many users as possible. For example, developers can use Xbox LIVE Compute to create more realistic non-playable characters and simulate real weather, two things that could make open-world games like Grand Theft Auto feel all the more real.
Microsoft Studio’s Forza 5 will be among the first games to use Xbox LIVE Compute to enhance player experiences. The game actually learns the driving style of users connected to Xbox LIVE. It then reuses those playing styles in matches against other players, even when that original user isn’t online.
Xbox LIVE Compute also allows game developers to create online experiences on dedicated servers. It’s Microsoft’s assertion that this allows for better online gameplay for users competing against each other. That sentiments seems to fall in line with the transition that is beginning to occur in gaming.
It’s Microsoft’s hope that Xbox LIVE Compute will spawn a new generation of video games that use cloud computing services to deliver enhanced life-like simulations for its platform exclusively. The service will début along with the new Xbox One and the revamped Xbox LIVE on November 22nd.