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Friday, 06 June 2014 09:01

Xbox One now has 10% more GPU power

Written by David Stellmack

Reserved Kinect functionality now optional

Xbox head honcho, Phil Spencer confirmed via Twitter that Xbox One developers will now have an additional 10% more power to work with. With the release of the June update to the Xbox One development kit, developers will be able to now use and access the 10% of reserved GPU bandwidth that was allotted to supporting Kinect.

Spencer says, “More performance, new tools and flexibility to make games better.” Freeing the Kinect reserved GPU bandwidth will give games a definite performance boost, but the games have to be able to support the use of this option, meaning players will not see the performance boost in already released titles unless the developers release patches to take advantage of it in already released titles.

Early world from developers that we spoke with indicate that the extra 10% of GPU bandwidth will lead to better performance, but none of the developers we spoke with would say that it would get Xbox One titles to 1080p/60fps with this extra 10% of GPU bandwidth. As one developer told us, “Yes, it will offer better frame rate performance of course, but without more testing I don’t know that it is the silver bullet to fix everything.”

When we asked a couple of developers if they thought that they would patch their already released titles to take advantage of the extra 10% of GPU bandwidth; one told us, “It is hard to say if we will revisit that already released title in an effort to boost frame rate performance. Sure, think we would like to do it, but it is always a question of resources and value. In our case we still have some DLC to release so it might be possible to work it into an upcoming patch as part of a DLC release. We will just have to wait and see how it goes.”

The news from Microsoft is good. Giving the developers the ability to use the extra 10% of bandwidth if they are not using Kinect is a good thing and could perhaps led to less comparisons between multiplatform releases if the extra 10% of GPU bandwidth is as valuable as we think it can be.

David Stellmack

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