In a similar fashion to the Xbox One, it has been confirmed that Sony’s Playstation 4 will be able to offload heavy and latency insensitive calculations to the cloud.
The information came from Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios. The Playstation 4 will have plenty of power on hand to deal with a wide variety of game titles, but if it is not enough then some of the computations can be sent via cloud computing. This will be in the hands of the game developers.
Yoshida said in a conversation with the Polygon website “Linking, matchmaking. There are already many computations being done on the cloud side. There are limitations to what processes can be offloaded to a remote computer, due to latency and bandwidth.”
Microsoft said that they will use cloud computing to assist the Xbox one. This means things like fluid dynamics, physics effects modeling, lighting and cloth or hair motion could be technically pushed over to the cloud without causing delays in the actual gameplay. The theory is that anything which isn’t updated on a frame by frame basis could be farmed out to cloud servers.
This also means that if it is used then the console will need to be constantly connected to the internet to work properly. Microsoft also said that for this system to work well they had to install around 300,000 servers to cope with potential computational requirements.
The Sony chief says that not all games will need this ‘assistance’ but says that game developers will be making the call for their own titles. Sony have not released any information on how many servers that will be available online for the calculations.
Yoshida said “We do not believe every title needs that. But if your title needs [an] online connection to provide some online features: Go for it.”
Kitguru says: The concept of using the cloud to handle some calculations has not always been warmly welcomed by the gaming community. The need for a constant internet connection means that the games cannot be played offline.