4:51pm PT by Scott Alexander, Carolyn Giardina
E3: Microsoft Previewing Prototype Xbox One Technology in Closed-Door Demos
Microsoft’s engineering team is demonstrating some prototype technology behind closed doors during E3. That includes one technical demo of cloud-assisted processing, and another that showed Xbox One's ability to complement both live and recorded television programming.
To demonstrate the potential of its cloud-assisted processing, the team showed imagery created using NASA data to render a look at “every celestial body, including asteroids, in our system.” A representative from the engineering team said this was done using only the computing power native in Xbox One. They said the computing power needed for this was 10 times what was possible in the Xbox 360.
Then a new overlay was added to the display, constituting an order of magnitude leap in data, far more than the Xbox One would be able to process on its own. The engineers said this was possible because they had flipped over into cloud computing mode, which allowed the computations to be offloaded into remote servers, effectively making any individual box expandable to the limits of the network and its attached computers.
Another demo showed ways Xbox One could be used while watching video content. One demo showed an NFL ticker running on the side of the screen, while Game of Thrones played in the main content space. The company also showed content being pushed down to a tablet, freeing the main television to go full-screen.
Additionally, a representative demonstrated how the system could track a user's fantasy sports teams in real time, pushing alerts to the screen during live programming when significant events occurred for a given player. The system could then instantly pull up relevant video clips and stats. While Microsoft touted a new partnership with the NFL, it did not provide details as to what such a service would cost, whether it would be available in all markets and when such a service would come to other sports and leagues.