“We’ve been clear on what cloud gaming means.” In a Q and A conducted by GamesIndustry International, SCE President Shuhei Yoshida answered questions about PS4 reviews, the quality of ‘Knack,’ the troublesome social features of ‘DriveClub,’ and the potential profitability of PS4 hardware among other subjects.
Though Yoshida was respectful when referring to both the Xbox One and the Wii U, the subject of the Xbox One’s cloud processing caused Yoshida to draw a clear distinction between cloud gaming on the PS4 and the “cloud computing” of the Xbox One.
“Q: Microsoft has talked a lot about their cloud computing and the extra power that gives the Xbox One to offload some of that processing to a server in games like Forza or Titanfall. Is this something Sony can compete with? Can Gaikai be used in a similar way? Is that realistic, or perhaps Sony and Microsoft view the cloud differently?”
“Shuhei Yoshida: We’ve been clear on what cloud gaming means, and that’s getting games to run on the server and sending that video signal to a distant device. The way they are using cloud computing seems very different and I totally don’t understand what they mean by that. So we can’t react to what they are saying because we don’t understand. The explanation I found personally was, again, an article on Digital Foundry. They went through all the computing tasks a game goes through and for each one they checked off if it can actually be done on the server versus the client, and most of the tasks a game has to perform, they said, cannot be done on the server because of the huge latency and the bandwidth. There’s so much data going back and forth between the CPU and memory and GPU inside the console compared to going through the internet… There were maybe four or five tasks that actually could be done on the server. So that was very educational to me. After reading the article, the Microsoft message was even more confusing to me.”
Not only is the distinction between game streaming on the PS4 and cloud computing on the Xbox One being highlighted here, it’s worth noting the mention of “cloud gaming” by Yoshida, a PS4 feature that hasn’t been well defined at this point.