Microsoft has been making some big promises regarding the Xbox One's potential for cloud computing and today, at E3, we were shown a demo showing its potential to dramatically increase the amount of calculations the console can make per second. The idea, of course, is that this will be applicable to video games.
But it requires bandwidth which, for Australians, is a troublesome issue given our internet capabilities aren't exactly state of the art.
Which begs a second question? How will Microsoft's grand computing plan work in a country like Australia?
This question was posed to Microsoft engineer Jeff Henshaw. According to him, Microsoft is set up to make cloud computing a viable reality in all countries.
"Microsoft has data centres around the world, so cloud computing isn’t something you should think about on a country by country basis," he explained. "We have deployed our data centres geographically so they can service the load for categories of countries around the world."
"So we have the best of any company on the planet to make sure that the cloud services we offer will be available everywhere." Microsoft has announced plans for a local cloud data centre in Australia, but hasn't yet set a launch date, and hasn't made it clear if this will be used for Xbox as well or if that will continue to come from Singapore.
But even if we were to believe that Microsoft's data centres are uniquely positioned to make cloud computing viable -- what about issues like internet caps?
"We are very respectful of caps," said Jeff. "We want to work with providers to make sure you know how much you are using and when. Our goal is to keep everyone informed and give people the right tools to make the right choices."
Both pretty vague answers to very specific questions, but it's the kind of issue that might be difficult for Microsoft to address at this point. So far none of the games we've seen at E3 use cloud computing for gaming, but at some point that is going to happen and we can only take Microsoft at its word right now. We can only assume that Microsoft is set up for this kind of situation.
And for now, best prepare to upgrade your caps to 'unlimited'.
Thanks to Steve Farrelly from Ausgamers for the question!