Xbox Unveils New Publishing Division Focused On Cloud-Native Games

Microsoft unveiled a new publishing division that “works with studios to develop cloud-native titles and bring them exclusively to the Xbox ecosystem.” The division will be led by Kim Swift, who joined Xbox last year as Cloud Gaming Director.

In a presentation video aimed at developers, Swift explained that the division’s mandate is to “partner with world-class game development teams to develop cloud-native games to bring unprecedented experiences to players that can only be achieved with cloud technology.”

“Cloud gaming is still in its infancy,” said Swift. “At the time when Netflix was formed, internet speeds were not what they needed in order to send packets fast enough to support streaming, so instead they sent physical packets in the mail in the form of DVDs, and they had to wait for technology to catch up with their vision. But they were ready for it.”

Swift said she sees the future of cloud gaming falling into three separate categories: ubiquity, cloud AI, and runtime calculations.

Ubiquity, the ability to stream games on any device, even though that wouldn’t be powerful enough to run them natively, is the “low hanging fruit for cloud content,” added Swift. Cloud AI, meanwhile, will “advance what developers can do by using technology like machine learning, natural language processing, and reinforcement learning.”

Finally, runtime calculations could be used to “increase horsepower at runtime,” leading to improved graphics rendering, AI agents, randomization (for crowd scenes, for example), destruction effects… or, as Swift puts it, “all the things.”

(All information was provided by Video Games Chronicle)

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