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Xbox One Gets 10% Power Boost by Ditching the Kinect

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

We all knew it was probably going to happen eventually. With the extra computing overhead required to make the Kinect work with the Xbox One, the higher price point and the weaker performance on Microsoft's console, it was only a matter of time before the Xbox One ditched the Kinect.

Yesterday, Phil Spencer tweeted that new Xbox One developer kits would have a bit more graphical power with which to work. Microsoft later stated that it was not the result of new hardware, but new software that allows the developers to avoid the GPU overhead the Kinect typically uses.

In an interview with Eurogamer, a Microsoft rep said, "Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance. We're committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One games even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their games."

This does represent a massive departure from Microsoft's previous policy and strategy for the new gaming console. Previously, the company had alleged that the Kinect was an absolute necessity, and that it was the keystone for their entire media-focused next-gen experience. Even so, the market has spoken, and Microsoft has begun to adapt to that demand.

Still, the new extra power isn't automatic. Developers will need to take advantage of that extra 10 percent by re-optimizing current games and planning future titles around the new standard.

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Add your comment Display 33 Comments.
  • -4 Hide
    fandroid , June 6, 2014 8:13 PM
    Still slower than a PS4 and more expensive even with the price cut (PS4s are $379 all over the place) and now lacks its supposed selling feature.
  • -1 Hide
    rayden54 , June 6, 2014 8:24 PM
    Out of curiosity, what'll happen to all the people with the old Xbox One when/if games are optimized to actually USE that extra 10%? Will they just have to disable Kinect to play them?
  • 11 Hide
    darkguy2 , June 6, 2014 8:29 PM
    Quote:
    Out of curiosity, what'll happen to all the people with the old Xbox One when/if games are optimized to actually USE that extra 10%? Will they just have to disable Kinect to play them?


    I would guess that it would just disable the kinect when you play the games.
  • -7 Hide
    Martell1977 , June 6, 2014 9:21 PM
    So they took the same attitude with Kinect that they did with Windows 8's Metro interface and both burned them in the end. Sales of Windows 8 were/are slow and the sales spike of the Xbone was short due to hardcore XBox fans. Once the hardcore people had theirs, the sales trailed off.

    At what point will MS start listening to customer feedback BEFORE finalizing the designs and going to retail? How bad does it have to get?
  • 1 Hide
    Darkk , June 6, 2014 10:07 PM
    Quote:
    So they took the same attitude with Kinect that they did with Windows 8's Metro interface and both burned them in the end. Sales of Windows 8 were/are slow and the sales spike of the Xbone was short due to hardcore XBox fans. Once the hardcore people had theirs, the sales trailed off.

    At what point will MS start listening to customer feedback BEFORE finalizing the designs and going to retail? How bad does it have to get?


    Remember money talks so whatever hurts their wallets will make them listen.

    Right now it's marketing that is shoving this down everybody's throats and customers are starting to rebel by disconnecting the kinect device.

    I have one for my Xbox 360 and while it's a great item but it wears off over time.
  • 1 Hide
    PlayerTwo , June 6, 2014 10:24 PM
    So their motion capture device was a constant 10% drain on the GPU resources even when not being used? I don't think so. I bet that MS rep gave himself a pat on the back for coming up with that "positive spin".
  • -9 Hide
    CaptainTom , June 6, 2014 11:30 PM
    Yay so now it almost fully utilizing its 7770 while the PS4 is sporting a 7870! The gap is almost closed! /s
  • 8 Hide
    jasonelmore , June 7, 2014 4:55 AM
    Quote:
    Out of curiosity, what'll happen to all the people with the old Xbox One when/if games are optimized to actually USE that extra 10%? Will they just have to disable Kinect to play them?


    No it's smart software. When a game loads, the Xbox One OS will ask, "Are you using Kinect video and mapping features?"

    If the game says yes, then the extra 10% is not given.
    If the game says no, then the video mapping features of kinect are disabled and the game is given 10% more gpu resources. Audio features still work.

    When the user snaps back to dashboard, the system takes back those 10% resources while the game is suspended.

    It's a smart and flexible system, and this is how it should have been done to begin with.
  • 3 Hide
    zhunt99 , June 7, 2014 7:14 AM
    So 10% better rendering of Laura Croft's better half? I can't argue with that marketing.
  • 8 Hide
    invlem , June 7, 2014 8:16 AM

    Quote:
    So their motion capture device was a constant 10% drain on the GPU resources even when not being used? I don't think so. I bet that MS rep gave himself a pat on the back for coming up with that "positive spin".


    I'm pretty sure they had the resources reserved on the OS level regardless if the kinect was being used by the game or not.

    The original plan was to have every xbox have a kinect, so it does, in fact make sense that that 10% reserve would be enabled 100% of the time regardless if the game made use of the kinect or not.

    Seems like now they're just enabling the developer to gain access to those reserved resources.
  • -4 Hide
    10tacle , June 7, 2014 8:28 AM
    It's been a year since E3 last year when Microsoft had probably one of the biggest fails ever in a new product introduction, by backing off several things they were going to be requiring (the console to be online even if you are playing single player and don't want to be online, you must log in every 24 hours, restrictions on used games and game swapping with friends, etc.). Now they are taking away kinect to boost performance.

    Microfail, I would strongly suggest for your next generation of console you actually LISTEN to your users.
  • -9 Hide
    Zeh , June 7, 2014 8:42 AM
    Microsoft is so full of promises, it reminds me of politicians during elections.
  • 11 Hide
    eklipz330 , June 7, 2014 10:25 AM
    even though many of you guys are right about microsoft's backpeddling, let's all remember that they have a new ceo, and many of the decisions made in the past few months were definitely influenced by him.

    he may very well begin to listen to consumers. let's all see.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , June 7, 2014 2:15 PM
    I hope the new MS ceo really listens and correct the prev clowns mistakes - After all the customers are the ones purchasing the products and if you forget about them... they sure will forget about your company!

    The fall of big company's happens when they listen to little or sometimes to much... at the wrong people!
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