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Microsoft: Making Kinect Optional Frees Up To 10 Percent More GPU Performance

by Mike Futter on Jun 05, 2014 at 03:29 AM

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Yesterday, we reported that the June Xbox One update opened up more GPU bandwidth for developers working on the platform. Today, we know exactly how much more power studios have at their disposal.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft confirmed the new power is tied to removal of Kinect as a mandatory accessory. A representative confirmed that up to 10 percent more GPU performance to be used however the developers see fit.

We initially inquired about the connection between the Kinect unbundling and more resources for developers when we interviewed Phil Spencer following the decision. You can read our full analysis and interview here

[Source: Eurogamer]


Our Take
What this likely means is that the developers will have the ability to shut off some of the Kinect sensor functions when in-game. Whether Microsoft will still require the microphone to be on (in order to execute commands like “record that”) isn’t clear, but we expect that processing power won’t be freed up.

Instead, this will likely allow developers to turn off the camera and its related processing functions. We’ll be speaking with Microsoft at E3 to learn more, but I’m most curious about how this will intersect with Twitch broadcasting, which benefits from use of the Kinect camera while playing.

We're seeing some people panicking that having the Kinect attached will yield poorer performance in some games down the line. That's not how it's going to work. The software will likely handle shutting off unnecessary Kinect functions.