Microsoft has been pushing quite hard to show off the power of its next-gen console—the Xbox One. At the company's booth at E3, Microsoft was showing off a tech demo it had created for the Xbox One with the help of NASA. The tech demo was created with the aim of pushing the Xbox One's harwdare.
Programmer Frank Savage had started creating the demo by searching for a “giant set of data,” according to Microsoft's Geoff Henshaw.
“So we went to NASA, because NASA has this really cool database. It has every single celestial body in the inner solar system, including planets, moons, asteroids, comets.” Henshaw told Polygon.
Pure horsepower, as Microsoft likes to call it
As a result, a tech demo that simulates space was born. Around 35 thousand light years of data is being tracked, and the demo tracks positions, velocity and orbital movements of every asteroid between Mars and Pluto. These asteroids number at a staggering 40,000, all of which are calculated and rendered.
Of course, this can also translate very well to games. According to Henshaw, the demo was an attempt to show off the possibilities of the Xbox One and its capabilities of having “10,000 or 100,000 enemies in-game.” Despite the high number of entities on screen, the console can also perform advanced calculations, letting it maintain a high level of realism and fluidity, thanks to the cloud. Any calculations that weren’t being immediately looked at were offloaded to the Xbox One’s cloud.
“This is how the cloud will change the gaming experience,” Henshaw says. “If a developer wants to do really crazy stuff we can see how he can map and compute 330,000 asteroids in real-time via global cloud computing. There are 500,000 updates per second from the cloud to Xbox One. Developers tell us this is a miracle for them. Even the highest of highest PCs could not do all of this at once, it really takes global cloud computing resources.”