Posts Tagged ‘Future’

Oculus creator says that virtual reality could replace REAL reality, Last of Us on PS4 gets a release date, and is free-to-play the future of gaming?
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Former chief product officer and corporate vice president for the Xbox team Marc Whitten thinks that more games will be connected like Titanfall in the future, but not at the expense of offline.

Whitten stopped by the Major Nelson Radio podcast during one of his last days with the company and talked about the past and future of Xbox, especially the evolution of its online features. “We’re clearly in the place where not only is every console and every device is going to have a service, but every game is going to be a service,” he said. “This is the way that we’ll have entertainment experiences and they’ll be connected together.”

Whitten said that we’re starting to see where things are headed with games like Titanfall, which uses Microsoft’s cloud computing. “Everybody obviously sees the Titanfall stuff with the cloud. It’s easy to get into a match, low latency, all those sorts of things. But then there’s this other thing where I’m relying on the cloud so I can offload more stuff. Now we have AI coming from the cloud as well. And as that becomes more and more of the tool set I think you’re going to see this deep and rich growth of new entertainment experiences.”

However, Whitten was quick to say that this future does not necessarily mean Xbox will have the kind of online requirements that stirred so much controversy leading up to the Xbox One launch. “No, I don’t mean at the expense of offline and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “I just think that having more tools for creators, to be able to use more crayons to draw the pictures, that’s all just great for us.”

Whitten announced earlier this week that he was leaving his job at Microsoft to join Sonos as its chief product officer.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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I would like to say right off the bat that I’m not here to discuss the actual cancellation of Titanfall, and the what and why of it. That was already thoroughly covered in another article. What I want to talk about today is rather the possible implications of this cancellation, or in other words why it’s a worry for us gamers here in South Africa. At least, why it’s worrying me right now.

Whatever the actual reason for the cancellation, EA later announced that South African’s internet infrastructure basically wasn’t suited for Titanfall. Well here’s the official statement:

“After conducting recent online tests for Titanfall, we found that the performance rates in South Africa were not as high as we need to guarantee a great experience, so we have decided not to release Titanfall there at this time. We understand this is a disappointment for local fans and will keep them posted on any future plans regarding the release of Titanfall in South Africa.”

Africa has no local Azure server, so we would be required to connect internationally. Titanfall naturally runs on Microsoft’s much-hyped Azure servers, and the power of the cloud. Alright I couldn’t resist that one. Weirdly though, many SA gamers were reporting that they had an enjoyable time with the Titanfall beta, despite the latency. The game ran quite even though gamers most likely had pings of 200-300ms when connected to EU servers. Yet, the ‘official’ statement was that South African’s infrastructure is not suited for Titanfall and as such it won’t release in our country.

This is where my big worry comes in. See, for me it’s not about Titanfall. While I feel for all the gamers out there who were dying to play it, I think there’s a bigger picture to look at. And it goes like this.

If South Africa is not a fit playground for Titanfall, what about all the games still to come?

We are at the beginning of the new consoles’ lifecycles. Make no mistake, Microsoft will make more games that utilise their Azure servers. And the chances of Africa getting one is pretty much close to zip for the foreseeable future. So if Titanfall could be cancelled here because of the infrastructure, does that mean future games will be too? Will this become a trend of some kind? It would surely be a tragedy if South Africa became excluded from the party. Although Titanfall is still on course for release on Xbox One in South Africa, and it was the PC and Xbox 360 versions which were cancelled.

This is a really bad thing because while South Africa may not have the best internet, there is certainly a passion for eSports here. The PC and Xbox 360 sectors are large, and there are especially big communities for Battlefield and Call of Duty and Dota and such. Now, SA gamers aren’t even being given the chance to get competitively engaged with Titanfall on those platforms, which are still core here. So we’re not just being denied the game itself, but the eSports side of it too and all that comes with that.

I’m not exactly spelling out some doomsday scenario. For all we know, the only reason Titanfall was ever cancelled here was because EA did not want to face the risks of a legal case once the Consumer Protection Act was thrown into the mix. That could literally be the only reason. We don’t know. It could really just be an isolated thing that will have no bearing on future game releases.

But right now I can’t shake the uncertainty and the worry that future games making use of the Azure servers may be in doubt when it comes to launching in South Africa as well. We’ve only just started the generation and make no mistake, losing out on Titanfall is a pretty massive deal. It’s the Xbox One system seller after all, as well as the “next big shooter”.

Perhaps I’m making something big out of a truly isolated incident that probably won’t repeat, but I genuinely don’t know what this spells for future titles, or what other publishers and developers will take away from the whole situation. And that gives me more than enough reason to be concerned.

The post The Cancellation Of Titanfall For SA Is A Concern For The Future appeared first on #egmr.


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