Skip to main content

Xbox One Gets 10% Power Boost by Ditching the Kinect

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.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • fandroid
    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.
    Reply
  • rayden54
    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?
    Reply
  • darkguy2
    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.
    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    huge burn on anyone who bought an xbox one already
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    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?
    Reply
  • Darkk
    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.
    Reply
  • 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".
    Reply
  • This actually reminds me of the tale of that optimist who loses a leg but says it's okay because now he will only have to polish a single shoe.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    Adding a peripheral causes extra work for the system? Big shock, same thing applies for anything else you plug in. You may get a boost by removing it but technologically it is a step backwards. The voice and motion control is great for fat lazy sofa-tards, surely the Americans should be lapping if up?
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    Yay so now it almost fully utilizing its 7770 while the PS4 is sporting a 7870! The gap is almost closed! /s
    Reply