What you need to know
- Microsoft is launching a next-generation console in Holiday 2020.
- A game streaming service called "Project xCloud" is also in public trials.
- The company is experimenting with machine learning to improve low-resolution textures.
- It's unclear if this technology will make its way to Project xCloud or other systems anytime soon.
Microsoft is always experimenting with new ideas and recently, we learned of something quite radical PlayFab is doing. According to an interview between Microsoft Game Stack General Manager James Gwertzman and VentureBeat, the company is using machine learning (ML) to improve low-resolution textures in real time. You can read what he said below.
You were talking about machine learning and content generation. I think that's going to be interesting. One of the studios inside Microsoft has been experimenting with using ML models for asset generation. It's working scarily well. To the point where we're looking at shipping really low-res textures and having ML models uprez the textures in real time. You can't tell the difference between the hand-authored high-res texture and the machine-scaled-up low-res texture, to the point that you may as well ship the low-res texture and let the machine do it... Like literally not having to ship massive 2K by 2K textures. You can ship tiny textures... The download is way smaller, but there's no appreciable difference in game quality. Think of it more like a magical compression technology. That's really magical. It takes a huge R&D budget. I look at things like that and say — either this is the next hard thing to compete on, hiring data scientists for a game studio, or it's a product opportunity. We could be providing technologies like this to everyone to level the playing field again.
If this technology makes its way to "Project xCloud," it could be a game-changer. However, only time will tell. What do you want to see Microsoft do with its next-generation products? Let us know.
Best of the best
Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one
Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over a hundred games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Minecraft Dungeons lead talks its next DLC and the future endgame
We talk Minecraft Dungeons’ recent Jungle Awakens DLC, the Creeping Winter expansion, and future endgame plans with game director, Måns Olson.
Fix up your Xbox Elite Controller with these parts
Need some replacement parts for your Xbox One Elite Controller? From new paddles, grips, bumpers, thumbsticks, and more, we have you covered.
Hands-on with Windows 10 build 20161 showcasing the new Start menu
Yesterday, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 that includes an updated Start menu design with translucent Live Tiles, improvements to Notifications, and behavior changes to things like Tablet Mode and the Taskbar. It's been a while since Microsoft released a build with any surface-level changes, but now it's finally happened, we're back showcasing all the changes on video.