The next Xbox from Microsoft, coming in 2028, assumes hybrid computing | Albiseyler

The next Xbox from Microsoft, coming in 2028, assumes hybrid computing

Microsoft’s new discless Xbox Series X is far from a single message that just leaked out FTC v. Microsoft housing. The documents may also reveal Microsoft’s far-future plans for 2028 – which the company believed could achieve “full convergence” of its cloud gaming platform and physical hardware to provide “cloud hybrid gaming”.

“Our vision: to develop a next-generation hybrid gaming platform capable of leveraging the combined power of the client and the cloud to deliver deeper immersion and entirely new classes of gaming experiences.”

“Our vision: to develop a next-generation hybrid gaming platform capable of leveraging the combined power of the client and the cloud”
Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

Those are just the words one a screenshot from a leaked presentation titled “The Next Generation of Gaming at Microsoft,” which appears to be a May 2022 presentation document focused solely on this idea.

The company envisioned you playing these games using the combined power of a sub-$99 gadget — perhaps a handheld — and its xCloud platform at the same time.

Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

I’m familiar with this idea because it’s one I pushed in June 2021, pointing out how Microsoft had a unique opportunity to create games that scale from native hardware to the cloud.

It’s something that Microsoft has already experimented with a bit by offering photorealistic scenery Microsoft Flight Simulator by streaming that data from a 2-petabyte cloud instead of your Xbox or PC where most of the game is running. But the best example is still this Amazon demo from 2014 — where Lord of the Rings-esque armies don’t actually live on your device, it’s just ballista running locally so you can feel the responsive experience.

Now, in these documents, Microsoft calls the idea “Cohesive Hybrid Compute” – “Cloud-to-Edge architecture across Silicon, Graphics and OS to enable ubiquitous gaming”.

If it’s happening, it can already happens. The team suggested that a silicon partnership with AMD would be needed by the first quarter of the year this year to lock down the company’s Navi 5 graphics – FYI, we’re running Navi 3 right now – and also potentially seize the company’s Zen 6 CPU cores. (Also under consideration is Arm.)

Microsoft assumed it would also need an NPU (AI Machine Learning Coprocessor) to provide a wide range of benefits, including super resolution, latency compensation, frame rate interpolation and more – see below.

Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

The documents include the entire potential roadmap for the technology, which is expected to begin hardware design in 2024, with the first development kits arriving in 2027 and the first hybrid cloud games being produced between 2024 and 2026.

Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

But before that, according to another slide, the company needed to make some key decisions about that silicon, align with building a thin operating system to run the local parts of these cloud games, which teams would be responsible and what hardware they’d build. go with it. It’s very possible that none of this happened, just as Microsoft abandoned its “dedicated xCloud SKU” in favor of partnering with other providers.

Microsoft is increasingly considering “cloud-first” gaming to be important.
Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

According to leaked documents, the offer appears to have come out of a large ongoing conversation among Microsoft’s top management, including CEO Satya Nadella, Xbox chief Phil Spencer, Windows devices and operating system leader Panos Panay, xCloud CVP Kareem Choudhry and others.

“We are building 4 types of computers: (1) cloud everything, (2) hybrid Xbox, (3) hybrid Windows, and (4) hybrid HoloLens,” Nadella wrote, according to the main documents. “We need to bring together the company’s systemic talents to align with a unified vision.”

“We can’t go from big idea to big idea. We need one big idea to bring societies together,” he wrote.

In another May 2022 document titled “Plan to 2030,” the company hints that its new strategy may revolve around the controller. “The controller becomes the hero,” reads one key tenet, adding “The new Xbox controller is the only thing you need to play on every device.” This document goes on to describe Sebile, the new Xbox controller that includes “Direct-to-Cloud” connectivity as well as Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth.

It also includes an image of a possible “mobile controller,” a “one-handed controller,” and a gaming keyboard and mouse that Microsoft has apparently considered building itself.

Image: FTC v. Microsoft documents

The document also mentions “Cloud Console (Keystone)” as a project that has already been funded, along with the new “Brooklin” refresh of the Xbox Series X and the aforementioned Sebile gamepad – though it states that a “complete product vision” for Sebile was not currently in place approved from May 2022.

In 2021, Microsoft hired Kim Swift, the former design director of Google Stadia, best known for Valve. Portal, to build a new team focused on cloud gaming, but it’s unclear if that has anything to do with the initiative. Sony also hired Jade Raymond out of the Stadia wreckage, and her studio is working on cloud gaming technology ahead of a likely new push for Sony cloud gaming.

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