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Advocating for Cloud Gaming is a Lonely Road, but it’s the Right Road

There are moments of doubt that hit my brain every once in a while.

Sometimes I’ll read an article online that heavily supports the investments made into one company over the other and I’ll look for clues into which company is more invested in cloud technology. These are the investments I look for because I truly believe that cloud technology will revolutionize the tech-industry in general. These are my judgements of how certain companies will progress in the future.

Reading Chris Plante’s article from The Verge titled “Save Point” gives me renewed hope in my paradigm on the relationship between cloud technology and gaming. I suspect that friends of mine on facebook (and even those I’ve debated online) are slowly coming to the realization that my original concepts make sense – or at least their finding less reason to doubt them. But time heals all and it also gives hindsight. The proof of their ignorance will come with the fruition of my predictions; that PS4 will one day be incapable of producing the same quality of gaming that will exist on the Xbox One. If I’m wrong about this, it will be a devastating blow to my credibility. It will be like Ronda Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm, beckoning me to close EconomicallyExubertant.com down.

For now, Plante’s article keeps my predictions psychologically buoyant.  If my prediction comes true, I wonder how many people will admit how little acumen they had in defining the future of gaming. Not defining the current status of gaming. That is easy. I’m talking about the future.

Yes, many are intellectually capable of assessing the current status of gaming, but they don’t have the foresight necessary to make predictions which – even if risky – may occur. Having said all this, my prediction that Microsoft is the company better suited to lead the innovation in cloud gaming is yet to be seen. I’ve written so much on the topic that no one who knows me will have any doubt as to where I stood on the topic.

The part of Plante’s article I want you to read is when he talks with Chris Novak – Xbox’s design architect. When Plante asks about creating a massive game online, Novak’s responds that cloud technology is the answer. Microsoft’s partnership with lead studio developer of Crackdown 3 – Dave Jones – is instrumental in pushing the gaming industry forward. It is sad that many fans of gaming look at these investments as worthless because of their perception of bandwidth and onsite hardware limitations. Gamers can trust, however, that Jones knows what he’s doing (more than the gamers themselves). Microsoft’s investment into the cloud will not be wasted:

Dave Jones is a godfather of the now ubiquitous open-world genre. In 1988, he founded DMA Design — the developer of the first Grand Theft Auto. In 2007, he took the genre online with the original Crackdown. Jones has also co-founded numerous video game developers and tech companies.

His latest startup, Cloudgine, intends to improve the responsiveness of cloud computing. If it works, video game developers won’t have to rely on customers to buy the latest expensive hardware — instead more and more computing will happen on far away servers.

Plante notes that Crackdown 3 is both a “research and development opportunity”, paving the way for developers in the future.

When Jones’ team needs to better understand cloud infrastructure, Microsoft provides access to data centers. When the Cloudgine team has questions about cloud infrastructure, Microsoft’s experts give answers. If Crackdown 3sets a precedent, Jones tells me, it could revolutionize the entire industry.

This is why I’ve made the case that Microsoft was intelligent for investing heavily into Azure’s infrastructure. If Crackdown 3 represents the beginning of true cloud gaming, critics will naturally have the opportunity to poke fun at its mishaps. Critics can do this whenever a new technology is introduced and pushes the industry forward because they latch onto areas that need improvement – something that is obvious regarding any prototype. However, the more positive aspect of a critic’s role is their ability to provide excellent feedback that should be taken into consideration by developers. In many ways, therefore, critics are the catalyst for open discussions, open forums.

Not everyone believes that cloud technology will “save” the Xbox One, and their assessments are important to hear. Until then I’m hoping more demos will come out showing Cloudgine’s innovations before the final product is out.

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