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Xbox One has power of 10 Xbox 360 consoles, says Microsoft

Xbox One has power of 10 Xbox 360 consoles, says Microsoft

Fri 14 Jun 2013 12:01am GMT / 8:01pm EDT / 5:01pm PDT
HardwareE3 2013

And the company says the power becomes "infinite" with cloud technology, which game developers have been "incredibly positive" about

Microsoft may still be reeling from the PR nightmare about Xbox One's used game policies and always online nature, but that hasn't stopped the company from espousing the next-gen platform's big potential. In a closed-door meeting called "Xbox 101" attended by GamesIndustry International, the company stressed that Xbox One has "the computational power of more than 10 Xbox 360 consoles," and that "the cloud brings infinite additional processing power."

Those are the words of Xbox One engineering manager Jeff Henshaw, who led a demonstration about how Xbox One's power has enabled Microsoft to create a demo using real data from NASA to track the orbital velocity of 40,000 asteroids in space. While Henshaw and his team are very proud of the power of Xbox One when it's offline, the real advantage, he stressed, comes from Microsoft's special cloud services.

"Microsoft has hundreds of thousands of servers and dozens of data centers geographically distributed all around the planet, and Xbox One has the ability to instantly tap in to that limitless computational horsepower," Henshaw explained. With that extra cloud power, Microsoft is able "to take the number of asteroids from 40,000 to 330,000, and any device doing the computational math to realistically in real-time chart the orbital velocity of 330,000 asteroids would melt a hole in the ground, but Xbox One is able to do it without even breaking a sweat because it's pulling in virtualized cloud computing resources."

"Game developers have given us incredibly positive feedback on the crazy different ways that they can use this incredible new cloud power resource"

Jeff Henshaw

Henshaw added that even with all the power being used, Xbox One remains incredibly silent (no doubt an important aspect to note given how loud Xbox 360 hardware has been). "We have about 500,000 updates per second coming from our global computing cloud down to this Xbox One so it can all be managed completely seamlessly. The beautiful thing that's happening here is we are seamlessly blending Xbox One's incredible processing power with the limitless processing power of the cloud," he continued.

So why is Microsoft going out of its way to show us a screen full of thousands of asteroids? Well, the implication is that if Xbox One can track all these asteroids, then it can certainly create massive, highly detailed game worlds for gamers to enjoy.

"Game developers are building games that have bigger levels than ever before. In fact, game developers can now create persistent worlds that encompass tens or hundreds of thousands of players without taxing any individual console, and those worlds that they built can be lusher and more vibrant than ever before because the cloud persists and is always there, always computing," Henshaw said.

"Those worlds can live on in between game sessions. If one player drops out, that world will continue on and can experience the effects of time, like wear from weather damage, so that when a player comes back into the universe it's actually a slightly evolved place in the same way that our real world evolves a little bit from the time we go to sleep to the time we wake up. Game developers have given us incredibly positive feedback on the crazy different ways that they can use this incredible new cloud power resource."

It all seems a bit theoretical, but if the cloud can be as valuable a resource for developers as Microsoft says, perhaps consumers won't mind the Xbox One being always online when they play.

50 Comments

Edited 3 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 14th June 2013 4:03am

Posted:A year ago

#1

Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios

94 106 1.1
Nice puff piece.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Mother, please... make it stop. Ay carumba. Or something like that. Next up, the white van tour where they grab gamers off the street and MAKE them play an Xbox One rolling around a city to show it CAN stay online while in motion...

Posted:A year ago

#3

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,136 1,174 1.0
Popular Comment
Remember a few days ago, when all the the press and pundits were shouting that an always on connection will only be accepted when it provides benefits to the consumers? Seems the Microsoft PR read that too and they came up with another reason why the term "cloud" will go down in history as one of the most oversold and pointless technologies ever. Sort of like the "radioactive swimming pools" hotels used to have 100 years ago.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
I will say, though Klaus - it's great for my sense of humor. Here's what they have planned next to show the POWER of Xbox One (and so help me, if they use this in an ad, I'll sue, I tells ya!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHXfMjp2zqI

Posted:A year ago

#5

Stephan Schwabe Multichannelmanagement, Telefonica

74 34 0.5
So X-Box One is Onlive??

Posted:A year ago

#6

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
lol the usual campaign: you don't know yet but you *need* one of these _ becauz it awsome powah is 10 times more powah than what you think is powahfulll!!!!1
Seen how they literally pay people to use their stuff and all, I wouldn't be too surprised if GI gets money from them for the articles they've made lately. C'mon GI, tell us the truth :D

Posted:A year ago

#7
It's obvious isn't it, MS hopes by consumers installing one in each household, they can become the OnE global mind to control everything via its servers acting as a AI force multiplier (cloud) and probably the online connectivity will allow for multiple peer to peer type automations to create such a global mind. Microsoft is live [EVIL] mush hahahahah

Posted:A year ago

#8

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
lol Chee but jokes aside the point about MS is why pay to get low quality stuff? Aside of the privacy concerns, which is not unimportant, why would people buy something that not only has the usual crash risk all MS products inherently have, but that also adds built-in timed hang ups? Ok, consumers have shown they'd buy each other's mum if she got marketed half decently, but I mean those with some brains in their heads. Even if the Xbox won't take possession of your home, why pay all that money when you could play on PC including emulators, ouya, mad catz console, wii, wii u, gamecube, playstation 1 2 3 4, phone or even the old xbox if you got tricked once already? Or you can even not play at all. On top of that we haven't seen an exclusive title worth its name since the old Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo times.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Microsoft is able "to take the number of asteroids from 40,000 to 330,000, and any device doing the computational math to realistically in real-time chart the orbital velocity of 330,000 asteroids would melt a hole in the ground, but Xbox One is able to do it without even breaking a sweat because it's pulling in virtualized cloud computing resources."
THIS part sounds like something Goldfinger would say in that scene where Bond is strapped to that metal table as a beam generated from that Xbox One, er massive laser was sloooowly inching along in order to cut him in half from the crotch up

Bond: "I suppose you expect me to talk?"

Goldfinger: "No, Mr Bond - I expect you to DIIIIIIIIIE."

Posted:A year ago

#10

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Simple maths. Computer power grows exponentially according to Moore's Law which says: the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. This is extrapolated to mean that the cost of a given amount of computing power halves every two years.
The 360 was launched for holiday season 2005, the One for holiday season 2013. So 8 years development. Or 4 times 2 years.
First doubling = 2. Second doubling = 4. Third doubling = 8. Fourth doubling = 16.
So an Xbox one should have the power of 16 Xbox 360s. If it only has the power of 10 Xbox 360s then they have gone backwards!

Posted:A year ago

#11

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Oh, the math part IS easy, Bruce... it's the "melting into the ground" part I need to see recreated live. I just want to know what devices they melted in testing that out so I don't end up buying them at some point... ;^)

Posted:A year ago

#12

James Boulton Tools & Tech Coder, Slightly Mad Studios

133 171 1.3
Heh, I seem to be the only one who is thinking "hmm, that's sortof interesting". Being able to offload processing to some (I would hope free?) remote servers hosted by MS could be potentially useful. Not entirely sure what for yet, mind you, given lag, bandwidth and everything else involved with my poor internet connection...

Posted:A year ago

#13

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,590 1,446 0.9
"Those worlds can live on in between game sessions. If one player drops out, that world will continue on and can experience the effects of time, like wear from weather damage, so that when a player comes back into the universe it's actually a slightly evolved place in the same way that our real world evolves a little bit from the time we go to sleep to the time we wake up"
Don't. Need. Stupid. Cloud. DRM. To. Do. This.

http://www.destructoid.com/pax-state-of-decay-is-not-just-another-zombie-game-234265.phtml
The world in State of Decay is persistent. You can leave the game and your survivors only to come back later and learn that your need for food and ammo has increased dramatically, forcing you into an emergent side quest.
Edit:

Also, isn't the Cloud just a dedicated server backbone? It might be dealing with more things, but it's surely just the same as a MMORPG or DayZ server?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 14th June 2013 10:36am

Posted:A year ago

#14

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
Simple maths. Computer power grows exponentially according to Moore's Law which says: the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. This is extrapolated to mean that the cost of a given amount of computing power halves every two years.
The 360 was launched for holiday season 2005, the One for holiday season 2013. So 8 years development. Or 4 times 2 years.
First doubling = 2. Second doubling = 4. Third doubling = 8. Fourth doubling = 16.
So an Xbox one should have the power of 16 Xbox 360s. If it only has the power of 10 Xbox 360s then they have gone backwards!
Well, they obviously haven't gone backwards Bruce or the One would be less powerful than the Xbox 360.

You can't hang on Moore's law to say what a manufacturer should pout in their hardware. Moore's law also doesn't just apply to console cycles either, there are chips that are a lot more powerful than your calculation, they're just not in consoles... Since 2005 the order of magnitude in which processing power has increased is staggering.

Xbox One and PS4 are powerful consoles but the leap in terms of multiplication over the previous generation isn't necessarily as high as before, mainly to save money and to have better control over other factors such as minimal power consumption, small form (PS4 anyway) and low heat.

The fact its 10x as powerful is somewhat incidental. Could have been more than a factor of 16 could have been a factor of 4 or 5 depending on how much MS wanted to spend or what manufacturing processes were available from the given semiconductor company (AMD).

Posted:A year ago

#15

Renaud Charpentier Lead Designer, The Creative Assembly

66 144 2.2
Moore's laws are long dead, processors now gains about 10% a year, so about 20% in 2 years, not 100%. Look at the latest i7 proc, it's not even 20% faster than 2 years old intel cpu at the same clock speed. And saying the cloud will help processing realtime games... yes, will marginally be done a couple of time, as a marketing sticker, like smartglass and Kinect, but nothing of importance will come out of that, won't change your CoD, your Forza etc... Anyone remember when "social" gaming was going to turn tables, and 3D screens, and Gameboy/Gamecube connectivity, and "motion" gaming... now it's the cloud sticker, Onlive crash was not enough, at least that sticker is a relevant vaporware alert system. F2P as a business, explosion of mobile devices, these have been the real new players in recent years.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd

321 748 2.3
Another day, another diversionary tactic. You'd think they wouldn't be drawing attention to specs when they're offering a lower-specced machine than the PS4 for $80 more.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Renaud Charpentier

Moore's law is alive and well. Just look at ARM.

Posted:A year ago

#18
ARM arent doing so well at the moment. Intel is trumping them

But seriously, lets consider raw computing power.

GOVT centres and corporations with gabillion central processing servers
disseminated by everyones home console and PC

= Planet Earth brain

its enough to do weird stuff like time jumps and manipulate weather maybe.
Maybe there is a super elitist plan.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Thomas Luecking

69 13 0.2
Just a sidenote; The doubling in transistors does not necessesarily mean twice the raw performance. You have to factor in other things like heat emission, power consumption, physical limitations that come with smaller scale manufacturing and might limit reliability (e.g. electrons can "jump" from one pipe to another), manufacturing costs (also due to smaller scale manufacturing), limitations in chip design (look up "design gap"), more complex SoC architectures etc...

Posted:A year ago

#20

John Pickford Owner, Zee 3

46 152 3.3
If the XBox One is ten 360's doesn't that make the PS4 the equivalent of 15 360's or even as much as 20 if the downclocking rumour is true?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Pickford on 14th June 2013 12:55pm

Posted:A year ago

#21

Anthony Gowland Lead Designer, Outplay Entertainment

202 673 3.3
Popular Comment
Pft, the Phantom had the power of 10 tigers and he wasn't the best Defender of the Earth, so this really doesn't prove anything at all.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.

235 164 0.7
Wow, and the Wii only had the power of TWO Gamecubes, imagine what we could do with the power of TEN!

Posted:A year ago

#23

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
ARM arent doing so well at the moment. Intel is trumping them.
I think you may be mistaking ARM for AMD, because ARM pretty much have their market cornered (mobile/low-power).

Posted:A year ago

#24

Shaun Roberts Systems analyst, ACN

2 4 2.0
Not sure they did run the demo on a PC:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=581656

So much hate for the Xbox One.....brings a tear to my eye.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Renaud Charpentier Lead Designer, The Creative Assembly

66 144 2.2
Moor's law or not the exponential increase of processing power is over, that's why Risk (Arm) and non Risk (X86) procs are all heading to multicore (2 then 4 now 8, soon 16) to keep increasing their power. So the free lunch is over, individual cores progress by 10% a year, at the very best, and with 8 cores you already start having dimishing returns on a single application like a game.

What it means in the end is that this new gen on console will remain relevant even longer than the previous one, probably for about 10 years, before there is a real reason to change. The cloud will not compensate for local architectural difs and I tend to think the PS4 will quickly prove much more powerful than the X1. They will run the same games, but faster and nicer on Sony side, with exclusive really showing the gap. MS certainly knows it, so they kind of try to damage control with that vague cloud claim. Note that it's hardly a distinctive advantage anyway, as Sony could very well fire up a couple of servers to do matchmaking on them and call it cloud. Still curious to seen what they will do in the end with the Gakai tech the bought... 2014 they said, will be interesting to see.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

415 988 2.4
10x blah blah blah, problem number 1625 for xbone is the simple fact that the games look similar to last gen, play simliar, and really dont look nor seem next gen-ish. Where is the " Holy sh%$ I gotta have that moments" ( other than Oculus 1080)I saw NONE at E3, and for that to happen during a new gen rollout, that aint good.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 14th June 2013 4:33pm

Posted:A year ago

#27

James McLaren Director of Engine Technology, Q-Games

3 10 3.3
So if I'm not mistaken,the Xbox 360 GPU is rated at 240 GFlops and the CPU at about 76. Are M$ seriously claiming the have a box that is capable of pushing north of 3 TFlops? I'm sorry guys, but before we even go to the cloud madness, if you want to claim this 10x figure, then give us clock speeds and CU counts or GTFO.

Posted:A year ago

#28

Kareem Merhej Designer, infoLink-inc

21 27 1.3
"One day all this architecture we built for this machine will be turned off, and all these amazing games that rely on it will be unplayable forever. Further, our push for a reduction of physical media discs means you won't have anything on your shelf to jog your memory. Essentially, you will forget you ever played these games, and there will no way to play them again." - the future

Cool.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Xbox one! http://i.imgur.com/le08qFR.jpg
Tom, it was just raining in the cloud that day.

Posted:A year ago

#30

John Hoang Game Tester

5 3 0.6
Actually Moore's law does not apply to the consumer industry as much as it applies to overall development and research advancement on the technology. If anything, the gains have been over 100% because of advancements in quantum computing and organic computers. We've advance technology, but most of it is not ready for the consumer level.

Xbone needs to showcase at GDC or TGS the actually differences with and without cloud computing. Otherwise it's just jargon and nonsense to the average consumer. If they can offload enemy AI to the cloud that would unload a lot of CPU processing power. Or even offload physics to the cloud would mean a world of extra local CPU power to allocate to things that needs to be realtime calculations.

But without real proof they are just talking out of their PR A$$. MS needs to hire new PR.

Posted:A year ago

#31
With regards to ARM, recently the stocks took a small slump due to Samsung agreeing to using Intel for its next Galaxy tablet.
Its not game set and match yet.
ARM Holding (ARMH) has been under tremendous pressure after mobile devices giant Samsung (SSNLF.PK) announced the release of its new Galaxy tablet using a dual core Intel (INTC) "Clovertail+" chip. This Intel chip was released in 2013 and is produced on Intel's older 32 nm node. This tablet design win is huge for Intel, as it is the first time that a major tablet company has adopted an Intel chip for a popular product.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
To be quite frank though, just about every other tablet uses ARM including the iPad, Nexus and Transformer.

Galaxy tab is popular but not as popular as some devices. I'm not saying ARM should be complacent but they are clearly dominant. All the major providers use ARM and even Samsung's own Exynos is based on ARM. Qualcomm use it, Nvidia use it and so on.

This is a FIRST for Intel but they still face a company that has over 90% of the market and chips that still need to become more competitive on power consumption.

To say ARM are suddenly being eclipsed by Intel is not true at this stage. Intel are completely reworking their strategy around fighting ARM in the future and would,d have gone to great lengths to get a new product on board.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 14th June 2013 11:46pm

Posted:A year ago

#33

Gideon Gyabaah Localization Programmer, THQ

2 1 0.5
I am surprised that no one has pointed out the fact that if the XBone is truly 10x faster than the X360, how come they didn't bother making it backwards compatible. Based on such specs they could have done a full software emulation of the X360 and "technically" the XBone wouldn't have sweat, and if it did, then "Cloud" it.
But I guess playing old games on new tech is soo un-cool these days. Even Apple, the most notorious company for the lack of backwards compatibility, is getting it right these days. Windows RT, Xbox Music (not compatible with Zune), and now this, looks like MS forgot what made Windows great and them rich in the first place (most likely because there was no cloud looming out the windows back then lol)

Posted:A year ago

#34

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,270 2,439 1.1
Gideon, 10 times the raw computation power doesn't automatically equate to perfect software emulation. The X360 was easily 20 times the raw computational power of the Xbox yet we most certainly didn't see 100% software emulation. Architectural differences such as going from PowerPC to x86 and nVidia to AMD make it really touch to emulate even with 10x the computational horsepower.

Processing in the cloud....the Blast Processing of the 2010's.

Posted:A year ago

#35

Gideon Gyabaah Localization Programmer, THQ

2 1 0.5
@Jim, the comment was more of a dig towards MS claims of 10x more power, but jokes aside, when it comes to software emulation differences in architecture doesn't matter (hence software emulation exist in the first place), you usually need only 2x power over another architecture to have a workable emulator, anything within the range of 10x is gives you lots of wiggle room especially on a multicore platform. It seems more a case of not wanting to spend the resources, because it doesn't make business sense vs any technical improbability or restrictions. Haven worked with several emulation platform it is hardly NASA science, just a lot of work. After all PlayStation 2 games were playable on PC via emulation way before the PS3 came out.

Posted:A year ago

#36
Its not backward compatible plainly because MS choose not to want to do so, for many reason. They can, they just choose not to. There are no real limitations

Posted:A year ago

#37

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
I have a crazy question: can Gaikai be used to store entire PS3 games similar to how GameTap or Onlive allowed (or allows if they're still around) PC games to be stored and streamed/played on TV's without heavy in-home hardware?

If so, well that's a pay solution for Sony fans that should require much use of the PS4's processors right (or dead wrong?). If so, I think Sony might be hiding an ace up its sleeve that they'll toss out next year that will basically please current PS3 owners (although I don't have a clue what it would cost per year in addition to PS Plus)...

I stay up too late and think of crazy shit sometimes...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 15th June 2013 7:32am

Posted:A year ago

#38

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
@Gideon

Still, its not about computing power.

People have already made attempts at software emulation yet any product that claims to do it is fake. The type of architecture in the previous gen is too complex to just say "oh emulate it".

PS3 was some 33x as powerful as its predecessor yet couldn't properly emulate it without PS2 chips inside. We're looking at not just a different approach to language but other low level features that do not match up.

Seeing as the CPU is the big problem, the console probably doesn't carry enough performance or flexibility in that area to make it possible. Most of the power is from the GPU side though emulating the 360 GPU wouldn't be the problem. I feel people are unaware of just what they're asking when architectures so sophisticated are involved.

Posted:A year ago

#39

Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media

61 88 1.4
Indeed. People usually think of this as some kind of horsepower-related issue, and these statements about XBO being as strong as ten 360s don't help.

Posted:A year ago

#40

David Serrano Freelancer

300 272 0.9
I don't care if it's powerful enough to open an Einstein-Rosen bridge to Scarlett Johansson's bedroom. I'll never buy one or allow anyone to install one in my home.

Posted:A year ago

#41
I think Microsoft's approach to the cloud is just the same as the their approach to Xbox Live i.e. we'll do it for you. Sony simply leave it up to the developers.

Personally I don't think either approach is wrong per say but the consumers do seem to get a cleaner experience using these closed off systems.

I wonder what the negatives are though, would something like Eve Online be allowed on the Xbox One?

Posted:A year ago

#42

Shane Sweeney Academic

398 413 1.0
Did anyone notice how the justification for the Xbox One is almost verbatim from EA's Sim City justification for always online?

That the tiny Sims individual lives couldn't possibly be computated locally so required cloud processing to simulate all of their lives. It turned out to be false however after a patch allowing Sim City to run locally showed the Sims acting identically.

I smell the two companies are borrowing each others marketing techniques to defend always on. It certainly *sounds* very convincing if true and practical.

Posted:A year ago

#43

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

954 183 0.2
Why not call it Xbox 3600 then?

Posted:A year ago

#44

Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist,

66 44 0.7
Sounds like Peter Molyneux can now finally return to Fable and finish the game. 330,000 growing trees, anyone? That's a lot of carved hearts!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 16th June 2013 9:18pm

Posted:A year ago

#45

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Newsflash? Xbox One now seven times less powerful, says Phil Spencer to live TV audience on taped Jimmy Fallon show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNX576Dg07Q

or something like that - it's a few minutes in and it doesn't sound like a slip-up...

Posted:A year ago

#46
This should underline to the suits at Redmond towers that they have a sub-par team behind the machine, and need to reconsider their options.

Posted:A year ago

#47

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