Michael McWhertor| Polygon

Microsoft has touted the Xbox One’s cloud-computing capabilities, promising that the system’s hardware resources can be freed up by accessing remote servers that handle AI and physics calculations. Those remote computations, Microsoft says, will allow the Xbox One, unlike the Xbox 360, to become more powerful over time.

Sony Computer Entertainment’s Shuhei Yoshida says that the PlayStation 4 can tap into similar technology, offloading processes that are typically handled locally to the cloud.

Yoshida said that “of course” PS4 developers will be able to take advantage of cloud-based computing for their titles.

“Linking, matchmaking… there are already many computations being done on the cloud side,” Yoshida said, adding that there are limitations to what processes can be offloaded to a remote computer, due to latency and bandwidth.

Asked whether cloud-based computing technology would face issues of adoption, since Sony does not require an online connection for PS4, Yoshida said, “No.”

“We don’t believe every title needs that,” he said. “But if your title needs [an] online connection to provide some online features: Go for it.”

When Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, it focused on using cloud-based technology for the delivery of streaming games, instant-play demos and the ability to let a friend on the internet take over gameplay on your PlayStation 4. Microsoft’s implementation of cloud-based computing emphasized tapping into “variable number of transistors in the cloud.”

Gaikai’s cloud service is coming to PlayStation 4 sometime in 2014 after the console’s initial launch.


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