Xbox One To Offer Unlimited Cloud Storage - InformationWeek

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7/29/2013
12:57 PM
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Xbox One To Offer Unlimited Cloud Storage

Microsoft attempts to assuage Xbox users with free cloud, built-in Skype and other features.

Finally, some good news for Xbox fans: Microsoft promises buyers of its Xbox One gaming and media console unlimited cloud storage when the system debuts this fall. In contrast, the current Xbox 360 device offers only 512 MB of cloud space.

The new plan, which will be hosted on Microsoft's Azure platform, will provide the computational horsepower required to meet the demands of next-gen Xbox games while also enabling players to save unlimited game data, music and other media.

[ Microsoft gets an earful from angry gamers. Read Microsoft Drops Xbox One Internet Requirement. ]

The announcement was made by Microsoft's PR team during the first-ever Australian version of the popular PAX gaming convention, when new key features Xbox One features were also announced.

Microsoft group program manager of Xbox incubation & prototyping Jeff Henshaw previously stated, "For every physical Xbox One we build, we're provisioning the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox Ones on the cloud." According to Microsoft, Xbox One will boast processing capacity that is 40 times greater than that of the 360.

The announcement of unlimited cloud space is particularly welcome news for gamers, who had previously expected to pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership in order to access the cloud. Under the new plan they will be able to partake in what Microsoft describes as "massive living and persistent worlds," along with other features such as Skype.

Microsoft's generous cloud storage offering may indicate that the company is listening to critics who have complained loudly and regularly about other Xbox One issues, including its hardline approach to DRM. Whether Microsoft can bolster its image enough to pose a formidable challenge against its chief rival -- the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 -- remains to be seen.

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Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2013 | 9:30:48 PM
re: Xbox One To Offer Unlimited Cloud Storage
Well, this explains why Microsoft is dedicating more servers to the Xbox than either Facebook or Yahoo have in their respective data centers. Something interesting about all this: with Skype and Yammer flowing from Windows 8 to Office 365 to the Xbox, Microsoft's unified communication ambitions are starting to take shape-- and they're pretty big. This is the kind of "one Microsoft" unity that Steve Ballmer talked about, with several different divisions of the company involved in the end user experience. It sounds appealing on paper, and it certainly looks like Microsoft has some to play in the cloud game. But as always, what's planned on paper isn't always what plays out in practice.
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