Microsoft offers free dedicated servers for all Xbox One titles

Call of Duty: Ghosts and Titanfall will both have free dedicated multiplayer servers, and, according to Microsoft's Albert Penello, so will every other game on Xbox One. Penello responded on Twitter to a user inquiring about Microsoft's Xbox Live Compute program.

That means host migrations, inter-regional issues, and other common problems of player-hosted servers could be a thing of the past for any given Xbox One game. Of course, developers could still elect to use peer-to-peer multiplayer, but why bother if Microsoft's cloud hosting is scalable and free?

Xbox Live lead program manager John Bruno spoke more about Xbox Live Compute in an Xbox Wire post. Beyond dedicated servers, Bruno reiterated Microsoft's plan for a future where developers can offload environmental details, AI, and more to free up console processing power for more player-centric concerns.

With a paid subscription required for most multiplayer on both pending next-gen consoles, it looks like Microsoft may be poised to take the online edge yet again in the next-gen console race.


  • Eightboll812 - October 16, 2013 7:55 p.m.

    "maybe the first time this generation that MS displays some substantial advantage over sony not in the form of an exclusive title/franchise." The problem with this, though, is the same exact reason people don't give Sony much of an edge for having an almost 50% more powerful GPU. Games that are cross consoles, will almost always be built to the lowest common denominator, whether it be graphics or cloud computing. Arguably, and very strongly so, working cloud computing in for a console specific release is far more difficult than jacking up the graphics settings a notch, since it's a major architectural change for the game to compensate for the lag and potential lack of bandwidth that offloading to the cloud may suffer. The fact is, only console exclusives will really use any of this to its "potential". And many articles have been written on the lack of potential that exists with offloading, so we don't need to rehash that. The article should really be about how ridiculous it is that MS is still prattling on about their "cloud computing" ridiculousness, when the only example so far is far more about cloud storage than cloud computing. Drivatars, as described are computed locally, uploaded to the cloud, then downloaded and computed locally again. Saying that "bob" will pass on the outside on turn 4 because "bob" did pass on the outside on turn 4 once before, well....that's me making the jerk off motion. That is not cloud computing. I really wish companies would stop selling "the cloud" to the ignorant masses.
  • GOD - October 16, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    Even with dedicated servers you'll still encounter those... undesirables, in matches. Also to the guy below me, there is no such thing as host advantage anymore. Most games have so much lag compensation these days that the person with the worst connection in a lobby actually has the biggest advantage. This is why lag switches are beneficial and even exist, because the games are built to try and be considerate of people that don't have strong connections and so they get lag compensation that actually helps them. This will not change even with dedicated servers unless they separate people on different servers depending on their connection strength. Also Sony didn't support dedicated servers before because people were getting free PSN. What's really funny is that only now Microsoft is giving dedicated servers when they've been charging for online since launch. If neither company provided dedicated servers before, but only Microsoft was charging, now that Sony is requiring payment for online games as well I don't see it as unreasonable to have dedicated servers there as well.
  • StrayGator - October 16, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    That's actually quite awesome, and maybe the first time this generation that MS displays some substantial advantage over sony not in the form of an exclusive title/franchise. What bothers me is who's going to decide when to pull the plug on each title, and how long will it take. Theoretically, a platform-wide title-agnostic infrastructure should be self-regulated - if everyone is playing Halo they can't play CoD at the same time and (vice versa). as long as there's a good enough server/player ratio, everything should play smoothly, so assuming every server can handle every X1 title (which is going to become impossible as the variety grows) there shouldn't be a need to stop supporting older titles during the platform's lifetime. Let's see how MS is going to handle this in practice. We'll speak in 3-4 years.
  • Crapgamer - October 16, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Welcome to the true next generation of gaming. No host advantage, no bullet lag, no host migration. No more giant patches to download, everything can be done server side on Microsoft's end. I bet Sony wishes they owned some servers of their own, instead they just rent from Rackspace.

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