Xbox One cloud streaming both "really cool and really problematic"

Previous Halo 4 streaming demo "was a grand experiment," says product planning chief Albert Penello.

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Microsoft has said being able to play Xbox 360 games on Xbox One is both "really cool and really problematic" because of variable Internet connections.

Many have questioned whether Microsoft could achieve such a thing after it had previously shown Halo 4 running on a PC and Windows Phone via cloud streaming during a Microsoft company meeting. The demo was a prototype.

Speaking to Polygon this week, Xbox One product planning chief Albert Penello said the cloud streaming tech Microsoft had prototyped is both "really cool and really problematic, all at the same time, insofar as it's really super cool if you happen to have the world's most awesome Internet connection. It works way better than you'd expect it to."

"So managing quality of service, the tolerance people will have for it being crappy. Can you imagine, in this day and age, with the bad information around, and we can't control the quality of that experience and make sure it's good, or have to tell people they can't do it?"

Specifically referencing the Halo 4 test, Penello said "it was a grand experiment, I know we did a lot of work behind it, and we said this is one of the things where the network just has to get better before we can do it."

"When that happens, you're going to have a really interesting conversation around that; can I actually run Xbox One games that way as well."

When asked about Sony's plans to use the cloud-based Gaikai service to make older PlayStation titles run on the PlayStation 4, Penello said, "I'll be really interested to see how our friends [at Sony] deal with this problem. But I can tell you, it's totally possible. We like it, we're fans of the cloud. We're not shy about that."

Former Xbox chief Don Mattrick downplayed the idea of of the Xbox One playing Xbox 360 games after the console was first unveiled. "If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards," said Mattrick at the time.

Microsoft will launch the Xbox One on November 22.

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