When Microsoft first debuted the Xbox One it also shared plans it had for a cloud service that would allow game developers to create more realistic environments and offload computing tasks to Xbox LIVE.
“So, why did we build Xbox Live Compute? When we were planning the next generation of Xbox Live, we spent a lot of time talking with game creators about ways to make games better. We realized that there was an incredible opportunity to bring together the resources and global scale of Windows Azure, with the game services of Xbox Live to build a cloud computing platform that was uniquely focused on gaming and game creators. Our intent was to enable developers to take advantage of server resources in their games without having to deal with the challenges that come with building, managing and running servers at scale. So, we chose to provide cloud features that allow the game creators to push the limits of their gameplay experiences and apply the bulk of their investments to game creation, rather than server and operational resources. In fact, we even give them the cloud computing power for FREE so they can more easily transition to building games on Xbox One for the cloud.”
Microsoft is hoping that game developers will use the service to differentiate Xbox One versions of their games from the PlayStation 4 and its PlayStation Network counterpart. When the Xbox One launches on November 22nd, Forza 5 will use Xbox LIVE Compute to learn the racing patterns of players and use those profiles to race against other users — even when the original user is offline.