With the Xbox One due to hit stores in less than a month, one would imagine that all of the major bugs and intricate ticks were already washed from Microsoft's upcoming hardware. But unfortunately they haven't. Not according to Xbox Live lead program manager John Bruno, who has brought to light an interesting issue involving the Xbox One's cloud service (no snickering, PC fans).
The problem is caused by the console's frequent, required, cloud updates. Microsoft has already announced that the system will require its cloud service to be up to date on a regular basis. But what exactly is the issue here, and how is it going to affect Xbox gamers? Bruno stated the following during a presentation at GDC Next:
"Once in a while, rather frequently actually, the host OS will require an update, meaning the physical machine is going to get rebooted whether your code is running or not," he explained. "That's a problematic thing for a game, and oftentimes it's in the middle of a multiplayer session. We've worked very hard to overcome that, but that's not to say it's going to be a reality in every case."
That's not very comforting news, and according to Bruno, Microsoft has yet to remedy the problem with a release date breathing down its neck. This unique issue could also prove problematic for developers, pointing mainly at Respawn's Titanfall release in the near future (Spring 2014). Titanfall is expected to make heavy use of the cloud to fuel its multiplayer-only shooter, and these required updates could cause the game to experience some downtime. Bruno was asked about this potential hiccup, responding:
"I can't answer that. I don't know what the guys over at Titanfall have built into their game. It's up to the game developer. If they want to rely more on our XBLC service, we're happy to support that. We do provide a platform for them to persist data, but that's up to the developer to utilize that."
Not to be "that guy," but that seems like a pretty generic and loaded response. I can't imagine Titanfall's developers are excited to know that the fate of their game, one that is Xbox One exclusive and relies completely on Xbox Live, is solely in their hands.
Hopefully, this is an issue that Microsoft can wrap up before the launch of the Xbox One, and if not, at least mitigated in some way or another. I sense many primal screams and frustrated mutters on the horizon, barring a satisfactory response by Microsoft. Let me hear it Xbox One fans, how do you feel about this development?