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Old 06-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
GLaDOS GLaDOS is offline
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Default PS4 can do cloud-computing just like Xbox One

Yeah, we know that PS4 has cloud capabilities through Gaikai, but this is pretty interesting. Won't expect that much cloud-computing in most games due to the fact that it won't have to be connected every 24 hours.

Sony Computer Entertainment's Shuhei Yoshida says that the PlayStation 4 can tap into similar technology, offloading processes that are typically handled locally to the cloud.

Yoshida said that "of course" PS4 developers will be able to take advantage of cloud-based computing for their titles.

"Linking, matchmaking... there are already many computations being done on the cloud side," Yoshida said, adding that there are limitations to what processes can be offloaded to a remote computer, due to latency and bandwidth.

Asked whether cloud-based computing technology would face issues of adoption, since Sony does not require an online connection for PS4, Yoshida said, "No."

"We don't believe every title needs that," he said. "But if your title needs [an] online connection to provide some online features: Go for it."
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
GeneticMutation GeneticMutation is offline
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Is it wrong that I have a slight man crush on Yoshida lol! He seems to always say the right things and really enjoys what he does for SONY! He has a childs enthusiam about him!
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
Nerdkiller likes BD Nerdkiller likes BD is online now
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Just as long as I can still play the title offline, will I buy into this.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
Elandyll Elandyll is offline
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For anybody that's a little bit tech saavy, it's been painfully obvious that anything MS plans to offer as "features" can also be offered on the PS4 (cloud computing, digital family type sharing of games, etc.).
The only thing that cannot replicated is hardware and for the Xbox One that's pretty much down to ... Kinect Tech (PS eye, to my knowledge, works differently, but even then, I think we could also have voice and gesture recognition).

On the other hand, as far as local hardware performance, the Xbox One will always be behind the PS4 (if what we know is true), whatever they may try. And when you read FUD like "Cloud power pretty much makes PS4 and Xbox One equivalent in power", you just -know- it's MS PR talking.
The difference between "Cloud" Bus (speed of computing + data transfer) and local system Bus (like PCI-E) might as well be like the difference between a bicycle and a Corvette. Oh, he'll get there sometime alright. But don't expect George to make it in time for the wedding while he's on the Cloud...
And MS knows it.

The two challenges - latency and bandwidth
Latency is going to affect how immediate the computational requests of the cloud can be. When a game needs something processed, it sends a request to a server and waits for the reply. Even assuming instantaneous processing thanks to the power of the servers, the internet is incredibly slow in terms of real-time computing. A request from your console has to find its way through numerous routers and servers until it reaches its destination, and the results have the same labyrinthine journey back. To put this in perspective, when the logic circuits of a CPU want some data, they have to wait a few nanoseconds (billionths of a second) to retrieve it from its cache. If not in cache, the CPU has to wait as much as a few hundred nanoseconds to fetch the data from main RAM - and this is considered bad news for processor efficiency. If the CPU were to ask the cloud to calculate something, the answer won't be available for potentially 100ms or more, depending on internet latency - some 100,000 nanoseconds!

As a game has only 33 milliseconds to render a frame at 30FPS, such long delays mean the cloud cannot be relied upon for real-time, immediate results per frame. If you crash your Forza car into a wall, you don't want to see your vehicle continuing through to the other side of the scenery for the next three or four frames (even longer on those inevitable internet hiccups) until the physics running on the cloud return with the information that you've crashed.

The latency issue is something Microsoft recognises, with Matt Booty saying, "Things that I would call latency-sensitive would be reactions to animations in a shooter, reactions to hits and shots in a racing game, reactions to collisions. Those things you need to have happen immediately and on frame and in sync with your controller. There are some things in a video game world, though, that don't necessarily need to be updated every frame or don't change that much in reaction to what's going on."

What this means is that cloud computing cannot be used for real-time jobs, something Microsoft has admitted. What it could be used for though are large datasets that are non-time-critical and can be downloaded in advance to the HDD.

Microsoft readily acknowledges this. Matt Booty said, "One example of that might be lighting. Let's say you're looking at a forest scene and you need to calculate the light coming through the trees, or you're going through a battlefield and have very dense volumetric fog that's hugging the terrain. Those things often involve some complicated up-front calculations when you enter that world, but they don't necessarily have to be updated every frame. Those are perfect candidates for the console to offload that to the cloud - the cloud can do the heavy lifting, because you've got the ability to throw multiple devices at the problem in the cloud."

If we look at a typical game's requirements of its processors, we can look for opportunities to utilise the cloud. A typical game engine cycle consists of:

Game physics (update models)
Triangle setup and optimisation
Various render passes
Lighting calculations
Post effects
Immediate AI
Ambient (world) AI
Immediate physics (shots, collisions)
Ambient physics
Of these, only the ambient background tasks and some forms of lighting stand out as candidates for remote processing.
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