The partnership will help design games designed specifically to run on cloud-based hardware.
Little by little, cloud gaming is taking off; however, right now it’s mostly used to emulate or replicate real-world hardware. Microsoft wants to change that by designing games specifically designed for cloud gaming, and it’s bringing on a creative heavy-hitter to help achieve its goal.
When Microsoft and Portals Collide for Cloud Gaming
As revealed in an interview on Polygon, Microsoft has teamed up with Kim Swift, a developer who worked on Portal and Left 4 Dead, to help plan out the development. Swift got a lot of experience with cloud gaming in their previous work place, Google Stadia.
With their powers combined, the duo aims to make a “cloud-native” game. This wouldn’t be a game originally designed for a console or computer then put on cloud-based hardware; this is a game that’s designed to use the cloud and only the cloud.
So, what does a “cloud-native” game look like? Unfortunately, nobody really knows just yet; not even Peter Wyse, the publishing head of Xbox Game Studios. In fact, the first goal of this partnership is to figure out what the cloud can do that consoles and PCs can’t.
As such, expect to see Microsoft going all-in on cloud gaming later this year. It already has a huge step above the competition with Project xCloud, and these new cloud-native games sound exciting for people who love gaming no matter where they are.
What Will a Cloud-Native Game Look Like?
Microsoft’s unknowing shrug in the face of a “cloud-native” game is a little disappointing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate as to what a cloud game will have over a console or PC game.
First up, cross-platform play will be a cinch. We’re not just talking cross-play between consoles and PC, either; pretty much anything you can put online, comes with a screen, and accepts gamepads or keyboards is fair game. Your phone, a TV, a Raspberry Pi; all of these will rub shoulders with the big leagues for an experience that truly defines “cross-play.”
Second, online games could support far bigger player counts than what we have now. This is possible if every virtual cloud machine runs the game in the same server cluster. When this happens, you don’t have the messy situation of connecting people from every country and every kind of internet service onto one server; just have each virtual machine talk to one another over LAN.
Third, there’s also the case for “evolving” games. Right now, a game is designed around specific hardware, whether it’s the processing power of a certain console or what PC gamers have in their towers right now. However, cloud services can slowly upgrade the hardware as time goes on at no additional cost to the user, meaning that games can take advantage of rising hardware specifications.
Of course, this is all just speculation; however, it shows a small glimpse of what might be possible with a “native cloud” game. We’ll just have to see what Microsoft has up its sleeves.
Microsoft’s Head Is In the Cloud
Microsoft is planning a game that runs exclusively on the cloud, even though it has no idea what that means exactly. However, the sky’s the limit with cloud gaming, so who knows what they’ll reveal?
If you haven’t experienced cloud gaming before, there are plenty of services out there that are well worth your time. Who knows, you may find your new gaming home on the cloud!
In this article, we compile a list of the best cloud gaming services to help you decide which, if any, you want to subscribe to.
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