Xbox One Games Might Soon Look A Little Better

Xbox One Games Might Soon Look A Little Better

Ever since launch, many multiplatform games just haven't looked as good (or run as smoothly) on the Xbox One as they have the PlayStation 4. Going forward that gap might be closed. At least a little.

From launch until now, developers had to leave some resources on the console's GPU free for Kinect integration, which had been mandatory. Now that Kinect isn't a compulsory inclusion, a recent code update for dev kits means studios are now able to free up those resources for games, which could (if used) make their titles run more smoothly, look a little sharper or even both.

Here's the relevant statement issued to Eurogamer by Microsoft

For consumers, simply unplugging Kinect will not impact the performance of Xbox One. The June SDK released to developers gives them access to additional GPU resources previously reserved for Kinect and system functions. Accessing the additional GPU resources is done by the developer, and how developers choose to access the extra GPU performance for their games is up to them.

So, as Microsoft say, how much the Xbox One's GPU performance is able to be improved in future games (remember, this has to be coded in the game itself, it's not like existing games will magically get faster by unplugging Kinect) is anyone's guess; while Microsoft tells Eurogamer this could lead to a 10% increase in GPU performance, actual gains will of course vary from developer to developer, and will depend on whether a game still needs to use Kinect or not.

Xbox One dev kits receive more GPU bandwidth [Eurogamer]


    Even if 100% of the GPU was made available to games, it isn't clear that would be enough to close the gap. A software change isn't going to negate the difference in hardware specs.

      Well it's a software change giving devs more hardware, do there's that.

      You are right, no amount of software tweaking will close the theoretical 40% (+-) gap in Gpu power and any 'optomisations' could theoretically be done on other platforms.

      And as others have said, I don't buy consoles just based on which has more grunt but for the exclusives, so I try stay objective.

      That said more power is always welcome right? :)

    Does this even matter to Xbox One owners ?
    When I purchased my PS4 I knew I was purchasing it so I can play RPG's, Fighting games and PS exclusives I enjoy. I did not know it was more powerful then the xbox one. I did not care that it can run games slightly higher res then the xbone I simply wanted it.

      You are one of the few my man. Consoles to me are to chill out on the couch and play a sub-par experience, but with it heightened by the ease of using a controller, the laid back nature of it, and immersiveness a big screen and home entertainment system can bring. If I want games to look the sharpest and best, I don't go to PS4 (Xbone owner, didn't specify that), I go to my PC. And my PC isn't even top end by any means from when it was built 3 years ago, and it will still look better than the consoles.

      Graphics only go so far. I bought the Xbox One for the integration with XBL which I was already established on, the controller, which I prefer to the thumbstick positioning of PS, and the exclusives. Nothing else.

        So does this micro GPU boost matter to you?

        Last edited 06/06/14 10:28 pm

          Not really. I bet I won't even notice it. It might be nice if it mines higher resolution at the same performance. But other than that, it won't free up that much.

            10% isn't enough to get excited about. With the hardware gap between consoles the size it is (bigger than 10%) the differences aren't massive as is. (yet anyway)

            Edit: closing the software gap may help but the hardware stays the same. Imo sony and ms need to stop telling us the hardware is powerful and just make good games to win people over. I have a pc, wiiU and ps4. The consoles specs are not why I bought them. AT ALL.

            Last edited 07/06/14 1:49 am

      Sadly these are the selling points of this generation because many look for validation that their choice is better. They focus on the pros of their own and the cons of the others because that's how it's marketed and reported.

      The unfortunate nature of a consumer society, give the people what they want after telling them what it is they want.

      Although, being equally guilty of the practice as the rest, I was surprised MS knowingly released a product that resulted in marketable differences like this.
      This is exactly why the kinect is gone and resources are being freed up. To be more competitive in an environment they played their part in creating.

      Said it before, will say it again. Gamers play games, fanboys play platforms. If people want to limit their gaming experiences let them. Just enjoy them games

      Last edited 06/06/14 10:27 pm

        I agree, it is sad. Even though I'm X1 owner I wish much success on ps4. Competition is heat hoy for the industry. BUT, a big big issue I see with sonys current next gen exclusives are that they have amazing superior graphics in a game with absolutely no depth. I'm sure they will get it right but just like you said, it's sad that a big selling piont is power related.

          Heat hoy? Auto correct!!!

          Important for the industry*

        This is exactly why the kinect is gone and resources are being freed up.

        This whole article was misleading. The extra resources have nothing to do with whether the Kinect is being unbundled or not. It frees up resources that would have been wasted on Kinect functions like 3D mapping during games. It was a scheduled patch regardless of Sony.

        That said, I love the competition. Microsoft of course had the canned PR response that they removed Kinect and gold subscription paywalls because of 'fan feedback,' but they ignored that feedback for years and happily charged people to watch Netflix. They'd continue to do so if Sony hadn't held their feet to the fire.

      I agree. It should be about what exclusives you want and/or what console your mates have.

      The whole "hurr resolution" is just a pissing contest. If a PS4 game has a slightly higher native res than the XBO version but is still under 1080p, both will look identical on a big TV when they're upscaled to 1080p. They'll both look great.

        I think up to a point you are right. But I gues it depends on TV size.

        At 720p there is a loss of clarity and a lot of pixelation. 900p looks almost identical to 1080p though. (on my 55" anyway).

        And both consoles are good enough to hit 900p at minimum if you compare them to pc.

        In the end though graphics are just graphics and I don't think they seriously hinder enjoyment of a game at all.

      Does this even matter to Xbox One owners ?

      Depends what games you want to play. I picked the PS4 time because between the PS3 and 360 I owned last gen, the games I wound up enjoying more were the Playstation exclusives. That said, if you're big on 3rd party IPs like Destiny or CoD and have no loyalty to a company, its controller or fanbase, then hardware is probably the biggest differentiator, i.e. if I only want to play CoD, I'd pick the console it looks better on, and has the more active user-base.


    You know what will boost it even more than this? The day they give up on multi platform development and just focus on current gen. Exclusives will look ah-mazing.

      So true! Was just saying this to my mate at work. So excited for Arkham Knight and Ass Creed Unity because they ARE "True Next Gen".

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