Developers currently working on Xbox One games received some good news today: A new version of the Xbox One software development kit gives them access to increased graphics processing bandwidth.
The update was announced this week by Phil Spencer, head of Xbox:
June #XboxOne software dev kit gives devs access to more GPU bandwidth. More performance, new tools and flexibility to make games better
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) June 4, 2014
Where does this magical graphics juice come from, though? Eurogamer spoke to Microsoft and confirmed that the 10 percent boost is a result of the decision to strip Kinect from the developer requirements.
“The additional resources [previously set aside for Kinect] allow access to up to 10 per cent 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,” said the spokesperson.
Kinect is no longer an assumed part of the package when developers create games. Previously, the bandwidth required for Kinect was reserved for it, but now developers can choose to enable or disabled that functionality. If it’s not crucial to the game, it can be disabled to free up some power.
Along with the less expensive Kinectless Xbox One, the dropping of the Xbox Live paywall for apps, and the enabling of external storage on the Xbox One with the June update, which also rolled out yesterday, Microsoft’s new console is having quite a month. We haven’t even seen the E3 showing planned for next Monday, either.
In their response, the spokesperson also said that the development kit update will “include new options for how developers can use the system reserve as well as more flexibility in our natural user interface reserve (voice and gesture).” That sounds like it might allow developers to make use of voice commands without the additional processing required for video.
Either way, this boost should give Xbox owners something to look forward to. It’s under the hood, but it shows how deep Microsoft’s newly revived commitment to making gaming better on Xbox One goes.