Microsoft's talked up its comprehensive new cloud functionality for Xbox One games since it revealed the system in May, but mostly with abstract examples. Today Respawn Entertainment gave its forecast for the cloud in Titanfall: dedicated servers.
"I personally talked to both Microsoft and Sony and explained that we need to find a way to have potentially hundreds-of-thousands of dedicated servers at a price point that you can’t get right now," Respawn engineer Jon Shiring said in an official blog post. "Microsoft realized that player-hosted servers are actually holding back online gaming and that this is something that they could help solve, and ran full-speed with this idea."
How are player-hosted servers holding games back? Spotty bandwidth and latency, unfair performance between hosts and clients, host migrations, and uneven distribution of CPU loads (i.e., the host's machine chugs to keep the match going while every other player's machine sits underutilized) were a few of Shiring's examples.
Of course, they remain popular because it's free to tell your players to run their own servers instead of renting out dedicated ones, Shiring said. But using Microsoft's cloud is relatively cheap in interest of attracting games to the ecosystem--not just Xbox One, but even the PC and Xbox 360 versions will dwell exclusively in Microsoft's cloud.
With dedicated servers hosted in data centers across the world, Titanfall can use each player's machine explicitly for their own experience, and the server can handle everything else, including AI enemies and Titan mechs on autopilot.