Why the Xbox One is actually more powerful than the PS4

You’d be forgiven for looking at the raw hardware specs of both consoles - which on paper - Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 looks to have the upper.

Whilst we won’t see the full potential of the physical hardware until late in the cycle – with golden late releases such as The Last of Us – the Xbox, this time, has an unmatchable advantage out the gate which is miles up from raw hardware...

... It’s the Xbox Live Cloud.

Very few people have grasped the importance of over 300,000 dedicated servers; working to provide an optimal gaming experience. Whether reducing the CPU load on your console to increase graphics, scale masses of enemies, or power the evolving AI’s found in Forza 4 – this isn’t possible from Sony.

Not trying to simply bash Sony, but Microsoft (with their leading Azure technology) and thousands of data centres internationally; simply cannot be matched.

It may take a while to start seeing titles which truly take advantage of the Cloud, other than a couple of launch titles including Titanfall and the aforementioned Forza. But when you start playing even the most basic popular multiplayer games such as Call of Duty on the Xbox, and you start noticing the reduced lag; the lack of that player which (it’s not just in your mind) has a competitive advantage – good luck trying to make the switch back.

Of course, you, the developer – could add your own dedicated servers; if you have a gigantic budget.

Not even the most popular gaming houses can afford to run them. Instead, the usual system is player-hosted servers whereby the player starting the match hosts the server for everyone else who connects to his/her console.

This uses system resources which could be used elsewhere - whilst making the playing field uneven.

Jon Shiring at Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind Titanfall, made a great post on the advantages of the Xbox Live Cloud. In said article, he explains [about dedicated servers]:

“This is something I have worked on for years now, since coming to Respawn. A developer like Respawn doesn’t have the kind of weight to get a huge price cut from places like Amazon or Rackspace. And we don’t have the manpower to manage literally hundreds-of-thousands of servers ourselves. We want to focus on making awesome games, not on becoming giant worldwide server hosting providers. The more time I can spend on making our actual game better, the more our players benefit.

"I personally talked to both Microsoft and Sony and explained that we need to find a way to have potentially hundreds-of-thousands of dedicated servers at a price point that you can’t get right now. Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers is actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea.

"The Xbox group came back to us with a way for us to run all of these Titanfall dedicated servers and that lets us push games with more server CPU and higher bandwidth, which lets us have a bigger world, more physics, lots of AI, and potentially a lot more than that!”

This dedication by Microsoft to tackling game development issues may surprise the critics.

Are you excited by the newfound potentials offered by the Xbox Live Cloud?

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tea.lee.549
22 Aug 2013, 6:24 p.m.

Hahahah ahhh dear. Yes because you'll be able to perform all those CPU calculations, all those physics and lighting in realtime that require literally gigabytes of data per second (why the fook do you think consoles have hundreds of gigabytes of memory bandwidth, why did Microsoft bother to pump Xbone GPU clocks recently when of course, the cloud is sooooooo powerful?? LOL!)

Just....stop it. Stop this cloud crap. It has such enormous inherent limitations for gaming and particularly graphics improvement over even an uber fast internet connection. Only retards eat this PR crap up.

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ChrisFuZioN
23 Aug 2013, 10:10 p.m.

that's why the cloud isn't used for low latency requirement calculation. It is used for things that aren't required in real time. There are plenty of calculations that can be done in the cloud and not affect the latency of the game.

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dennis.miller.313
30 Apr 2014, 1:09 a.m.

Ur j8keing rite 4he clould can easily push xbox over ps4 do u know nothing alot of online games are all processed in the cloud pc has been doing so for years xbox can offload some pr8cesses and do the gpu intese ones better because it has servers taking up the slack im0 have both ps4 and one and like the both but in the long run xbone will over power ps4 by a mile cause of the cloud sorry if that upsets u fanboy but just the facts

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Arkrf21
22 Aug 2013, 6:33 p.m.

ok first of all, it is ridiculous just to think that microsoft built 300,000 dedicated servers just for its gaming division. pretty much that is going to be shared with so many more services from microsoft.
second, like the 360 and ps3, pretty much multiplatform games won't use the cloud for graphics or important task processes because the market base of both consoles will be equal, meaning that a developer has to write its core thinking in a multiplatform environment, they cannot take the risk of spending money in two different versions of the same game. that could only work if the xbox one gets a user base maybe twice higher than the ps4. so the cloud maybe implemented for ms exclusives but don't put too much hope for multiplatform games

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Victoryismine52
23 Aug 2013, 12:56 a.m.

Wow someone seems to be reaching. Cloud computing is great but currently latency issues cause it to not have an ability to do complex real time computations and if those latency issues go away you'd be better off servicing the entire architecture on the cloud (think Giaki something that Sony now owns)> so no this doesn't give Microsoft an edge in the least. all the Azure system is is dedicated servers something we've seen on PC's for years and something that Sony does as well. They just do it on a case by case basis if it makes sense. What rabid fanboy wrote this none-sense?

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J.MichaelPalermoIV
29 Aug 2013, 5:25 p.m.

Excellent article, thanks you.

I am surprised with all the comments so far. Reminds me of when many uneducated observers poked fun at Apple for introducing the iPad. The self-proclaimed analysts insisted the iPad was a novelty with no real chance of success. Many of the comments on this article manifest the same lack of vision or touch with reality. When people jab on technology they do not truly understand, it shows.

Just read this article one year from now. He who laughs last, laughs best.

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taternuggets
29 Aug 2013, 5:51 p.m.

First stage is denial.... Sorry Sony wasn't thinking ahead people.... enjoy your gddr5 and your p2p servers.

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matthew.bryant.948
11 Sep 2013, 11:08 p.m.

Yeah. There's a thing called internet bandwidth. It exists. There's a reason why DDR3 transfers 68 GB/s. What do you hope to accomplish with an extra 2 MB/s on average (that also ties up your entire internet connection)? I'm sorry to burst your cloud bubble, but the cloud is mostly PR nonsense. It'll be useful for some things, but graphics is not one of them.

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Shadowh8ter
7 Oct 2013, 2:24 a.m.

I find it so hilarious that all of you butthurt Sony fanboys come to Xbox articles and bash on it.

Thanks to these dedicated servers lag swithcers will all be buying a PS4. Why? Because a lag switcher needs HOST to lag switch, which means Xbox One is pointless to them. all of the lag switchers from PS3 AND 360 will all be at PS4. Enjoy all of the no fun.

Thanks to these 300k dedicated servers game devs can focus more on the game then they could before. This means better game quality, which all of you whiny bastards have been bitching for since 2010.

You people ask for change, you people ask for something better, then when someone gives you something different and better you bash it and hate on it. Please if you are reading this and you honestly think 300k dedicated servers are pointless then I ask you nicely to please throw your computer out the nearest window.

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cameron.hebert.549
28 Nov 2013, 3:45 a.m.

Hahahahhaha you dont know anything about cloud computing. It is high latency which is no good for graphics rendering. To put out 60 fps, a console would have to get updates from the server 60 times a second to maintain frame rate. Cloud processing will be relegated to tasks that dont require low latency computing. Which in video games, will be very little of any importance, the graphics processing is where the magic happens and where the majority of computations are done. Some one that knows as little about the topic as you should not be writing tech articles preaching about the virtues of said tech.

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Ryan
28 Nov 2013, 9:34 a.m.

You're right sir, of course, if you're talking about rendering graphics on-the-fly in the Cloud. We're talking about computation ahead of time for things which are happening further down the line; dynamic weather is the best example.

Forza 5 uses a Cloud-based AI, which is one of the most well-praised features of any "next-gen" title; including any of the other Xbox titles.

It offers a tiny glimpse into what's possible. Today, yes, bandwidth only allows for small tasks reliably... but with improved infrastructure in both network and Microsoft's Azure platform expertise... the possibilities grow exponentially. Thanks for your comment.

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AllenFarley
5 Jan 2014, 5:28 p.m.

Whats funny is where are all the ps4 bots now? I know many who have both consoles
and they say the xbox one plays smoother online.. Less lag.. Less getting screwed because
MS has dedicated servers. Nba 2k14 online isnt even able to play defense fairly because
if input lag. Ps4 fans eat it. The ps4 doesnt even have a 5ghz radio for faster connection if
you have a newer router. Xbox one has 5ghz and hdmi in- more future proof

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BiGDeN67
12 Mar 2014, 2:30 a.m.

Better servers doesn't make it more powerful... Lol. The One's hardware is inferior to the Ps4's. And we are seeing this with all the multiplatform games that are in lower resolution on the One.

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