The June Xbox One Update Boosts The GPU By 10% If Developers Do Not Use Kinect

The latest update for Xbox One came with an additional bonus which allows developers up to 10% more GPU performance if their title does not use Kinect.

“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,” explained Microsoft in a statement to Eurogamer.

It is hoped the boost will help level the playing field and bring the system near to the power of the PlayStation 4, at present many multi format titles run in a lower resolution on the Xbox One console.

“How developers choose to access the extra GPU performance for their games will be up to them,” said Microsoft. “We have started working with a number of developers on how they can best take advantage of these changes. We will have more to share in the future.”

Will developers sacrifice the already unpopular Kinect in favour of better graphics? I think you know the answer to that question.

Source: Eurogamer




  1. Lol, such a MASSIVE turnaround. Now they’re incentivising developers not to use kinect when they forced customers to buy the thing in the first place. This is shocking news, disgusting in fact and a very large deal should be made of this. If anything they should be offering developers incentive to use kinect since they forced it onto so many people.

    • I seem to remember a lot being gutted out of the original PS3, and even HD DVDs failing on the 360 (and generally). Products/Designs come and go based on success, and in this case MS’s plan of making Kinect part of the system (instead of an accessory) just didn’t hold up.

      • Ms wanted hddvd to fail but they also wanted bluray to fail as well.

    • Alright, but the reality is that this was always on the cards as part of a programme to gradually unlock reserved CPU and GPU time. They said last year that there was a rough 10% of CPU and GPU time locked away for system functions and Kinect, but that as time passed they would be able to find ways to scale that down and optimise, unlocking more power for developers.

      It’s similar to how the PS3 came out with something like 100MB of RAM reserved for the system, but as they optimised and added features, they were also able to give large chunks of that space back to developers piece by piece.

      Of course, the initial plans were that the Kinect camera would be mandatory, which could have pushed and encouraged some developers to include certain functionality, but then it was change to no longer being mandatory before launch so that future was never really going to happen. That GPU time was simply going to go to waste in the major cross-platform games like Battlefield or FIFA, or whatever, where the developers simply had no plans for using the camera and GPU-based motion tracking.

      BUT, this doesn’t mean that more innocuous Kinect integration won’t still happen. The camera will still have the microphone enabled at all times, and this functionality lives on the CPU and the system reserved time there. Voice commands for squad orders in a shooter, FIFA telling you off for swearing etc. etc. those things will live on, but arm gestures, which were always very, very niche, won’t.

      So to sum up, this GPU time was always going to be returned to developers and it will only really affect motion controls rather than voice controls. All that removing the Kinect from the box has done is allowed Microsoft to move faster on this point and put more power and flexibility in the hands of developers.

      • Have they even started selling kinectless xboxones yet? My point is they forced people (and maybe still do) to buy the kinect on the premise it’d be central to the core experience now they’re incentivising developers to do away it, essentially robbing customers of their cash on a product that was originally touted as essential and now cast away as superfluous. Pretty shitty.

      • Tony, it looks like xboxone with be available Kinect-less in a few days. It’s currently available for pre-order.

    • I agree with Tony on this one

  2. I love that all the pre-launch guff was spouting on about how intrinsic Kinect is to the xbone experience.
    How many parts of the original announcement have been reneged now?
    It doesn’t make M$ look good

    • It’s disgusting, they’re like politicians who announce their manifesto then deliver on none of it when they get in power.

    • You spelt ms wrong.

  3. Why don’t they keep the Kinect and use the power of the Cloud…?

  4. Is this ‘good’ or ‘bad’ bone news? I need to know so I can call Tuffcub out for being unprofessional. HELP

    • Oh just do it anyway.

      • You are an unprofessional slob who is also stupid and no girls like you.

        Good day sir.

      • I think TC’s absolutely fine with girls not liking him.

      • lol!

        Just reviving the wisdom another member used to talk in TC xbox articles. (I miss him)

    • What’s unprofessional about the article, or are you just referring to TC as a whole as being unprofessional?

      • I’m with Amphlett’s implied post. The article is strangely professional. :-)

  5. So essentially MS have just killed Kinect. According to Phil Harrison “Xbox One is Kinect. They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem.”
    How many devs will choose using Kinect over getting more power? I’d be very pissed off if I’d have bought an X1 with Kinect.

  6. Do they put “Better without Kinect” on the boxes?

    • PMSL, Post of the year right there surely!

    • Hahahaha. Mr Fodder is a winner!

  7. Looks like they found the secret sauce! I’d choose 1 extra pixel over using connect on any game.

    • XBox1, now supplied with a BONUS pixel.Developers, please use it wisely!

  8. Can someone explain the actual impact of this? Does this mean that, in games that use this extra 10%, you cannot use Kinect for voice commands etc?

    • I recall it was something like 8% camera and 2% for audio, etc. I assume they can knock the camera (metaphorically speaking) on the head – when coding a game, leaving voice control and commands switched on.

      Thing is, I’m not sure what visual benefits we’ll see but every little helps.

  9. They’re just releasing a new SDK to devs this month so it will probably be next year before any benefit will be seen.

  10. Right, came home, stuck on a brew, thought i’d pop online, check a few sites, see whats new like.

    2 stories hit my eye, 1st, Xbox One developers to get upto 10% extra GPU power if they develop a game for a ‘Kinect-Free’ Xbox One (and yet i’m still no clearer just how this will actually manifest itself, 900P+ resolution, rock stead 45 FPS instead of 30 FPS, better lighting/particle effects etc, seems developers have freedom to decide where best to use the extra power), but all’s good, should be getting better performing Xbox One games….

    2nd story:Xbox One Forza 2 to run at 1080P, 30 FPS, so 50% the frame rate of the 1st Xbox One Forza, even with the extra GPU power freed up…or not?…

    Again, this internet reader 100% confused.

    MS, just give me my f*cking phone call…

    Sorry a clear idea of what your hoping developers use the extra power for.Are you ‘advising’ they go for extra resolution so you can get in a p*ssing contest with Sony over the whole 1080P thing or are you just saying, here you go kids, extra 10% to play with, spend it wisely…

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