New Xbox console (Scarlett) will share load on console and in cloud to provide cheaper option

See the verge article above. Unlike other cloud-based consoles that failed, Xbox’s new Scarlett console will share the load between the cloud (heavy processing) and the console (light processing).

This raises so many engineering questions of how they will design the syncing to work well!

How would you design this system? Think of running a multiplayer shooter on this console. You’re syncing the game state with all the players, but for players on Scarlett, you’re also syncing the local console processing with the cloud processing. Sounds complex.

I wonder if they’re using something like Orleans for this

I’d guess the two concerns are entirely separate. Traditionally there is a game server managing world state and sending/receiving actions/updates to clients. You could move a thick client to a thin client without changing the game server at all - the “rendering server” is not a part of it, it simply calls into the game server like another client. You could have thick and thin clients connected to the same game server, to the game server its just a socket.

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I think the first question should be whether the market with access to the necessary high bandwidth/low latency network is actually large enough at this point to make this a sustainable endeavour.

First Law of Distributed Object Design: Don’t distribute your objects!

The cheaper client hardware could potentially result in an increased TCO for the customer (which is an essential principle of the entertainment service industry).

I think they are definitely targeting the middle class here.

For example, there are many people in the US (their primary market) that are already paying for a decent internet connection regardless of which console they buy. So the question is, will the Scarlett console perform equally as well? Which is why I’m wondering how they might manage this from a design perspective :thinking:

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I would argue that high-speed and low-latency internet is the norm in many places around the world. USA is actually one of the exceptions with very crappy internet and a rock-solid oligopoly that won’t change stuff for the better for the customers anytime soon.

Here in Bulgaria I can easily stream 3x 1080p @ 60FPS video streams, simultaneously, AND play a shooter with 30ms ping. I know half of Europe has comparable good internet. And parts of Asia.

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