Microsoft has moved to quash rumours suggesting a series of Cloud gaming features are set to launch on its Xbox 360 games console.
Rumours that Microsoft was set to bring cloud gaming to the 360 first broke after 2011's GDC in China. According to industry site Develop, during 2011's GDC in China Microsoft tech evangelist Brian Prince revealed his belief that there's a "distant future of gaming in the cloud." Going on to promise, "you [developers] will be seeing things in the Xbox platform that's cloud-specific."
Prince later added that the company was already in the process of developing the cloud tech, but that he could give no further details at the current time. "I'm already doing it, it's really exciting, but I can't tell you about it or else I'll get fired," Gamasutra quoted him as saying.
Prince's comments led to speculation that the company may be adding cloud features similar in kind to the ones used by OnLive -- one of the biggest cloud gaming companies currently running. The news later led to speculation that the service may appear on Microsoft's rumoured Xbox 720, or "Loop" as it is sometimes referred.
The current prominent rumour regarding the 720 is that it will be smaller, cheaper, based on Windows 9 and house ARM processing architecture. If true it would make sense for Microsoft to use cloud technology to alleviate some of the processing and storage workload, letting the machine play high-end games without the need for top-end components.
To date the only official cloud features announced for the Xbox relate to the console's storage. At 2011's E3 Microsoft announced that it would be be moving to let Xbox LIVE customers save their games and gamertag in the forthcoming Xbox LIVE cloud.
"Here at Xbox LIVE we listen to your feedback. We are making it easier for you to sign into your Xbox LIVE account from any console at any time to access your game saves and full profile, including items such as Microsoft Points to make purchases, Achievements and friends," said Microsoft's Marc Whitten in a letter to customers.
"Cloud storage will allow you to enjoy the same great Xbox LIVE gaming experience even when you're not in your own living room by giving you the option to store your 'game saves' securely in the Xbox LIVE cloud instead of on a portable memory unit or your console's hard drive. Gone are the days of "gamertag recovery." Now all you need to do is sign in, no matter where you are!"
When asked about whether the company planned to expand the cloud storage features to include cloud gaming Microsoft representatives clarified "Microsoft doesn't comment on rumours."
Later adding that at present the company only had plans to add cloud storage to the current generation Xbox 360.
"We don't have an official launch date yet, beyond Christmas 2011. We also haven't announced how much space, but the cloud storage is for game saves on retail disc games, your gamertag and avatar," said a Microsoft representative.