Xbox One Without Kinect To See 10% Increase In GPU Performance

By Ishaan . June 5, 2014 . 11:20am

Microsoft recently announced an Xbox One package that will come without the Kinect camera peripheral, and will cost $399. Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft have confirmed that the Kinect-less Xbox One will see a 10% boost in GPU performance.


“Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance,” a Microsoft representative said to the website.


“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.”


The representative also confirmed that Microsoft will send out new development kits to developers that will enable them to take advantage of the extra GPU resources.


“In June we’re releasing a new SDK making it possible for developers to access additional GPU resources previously reserved for Kinect and system functions,” the rep stated.


“The team is continually calibrating the system to determine how we can give developers more capabilities. With this SDK, we 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). We’ll continue to work closely with developers to help them bring great games to Xbox One.”

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  • So we went from 792p to 900p essentially and told the devs that Kinect’s not a good idea now since this will discourage it.


    • rurifan

      Fine with me, I can do without token kinect BS in every game.

      Now if only there was a reason to discourage devs from using the retarded controller speaker and touchpad on PS4…

      • I wouldn’t discourage the implementation. But I’d penalize them hard if they incorporate those controls unintuitively. Ever since the DS first came around, and Touchscreens became a thing, many Game Developers tend to feel pressured about the new control scheme of the moment, and just tack something on to use it. Well, look. That’s the Cardinal Mistake #1 in Game Design. If a game mechanic doesn’t fit a control scheme, do NOT jam it into the game!

        A good, recent-ish example is Dynasty Warriors NEXT for the Vita, which had that Duel System and other Mini-Game-like events. Those were completely uneeded. If they were optional, good. If they are done well, also good, but annoying when forced on every major outcome in a Skirmish. Which was exactly the case in DW:NEXT. Other than that, the game is a great “DW7:Empires + Xtreme Legends” title. And it has more options and content than the Console version. It’s the forced and intrusive Touchscreen-only events that knock the overall score down a tad.

        • 0nsen

          How do you penalize them? Last time I checked it was impossible to return a used game and get a refund.

          • Robert Kupper

            I think he means review wise. That games are punished for shoddy gimmicks with lower review scores.

            From what I see though, review score are more decided by hype and fandom than quality :P

          • 0nsen

            If I was swimming in billions you could call my game a piece of shit and I wouldn’t care. Heck, you could get everyone in the world to demonstrate on the streets and tell everyone to hate it and vote my company worst company of the year for every year to come… all that will accomplish is publicity and even more people will want to check out what’s all the fuss is about.

            That kind of ‘penalizing’ is called ‘advertising’.

          • Robert Kupper

            Not really. When people see bad reviews of games it is shown that they are less likely to make purchases and value the gamer lower monetarily. Bad press is in fact bad, despite what the old adages may say; the numbers are pretty clear on this and its why game companies like to schmooze reviewers and threaten to withhold advertising from their journals/sites.

            Sure, bringing up a game that normally wouldn’t get mentioned may be better than not talking about it at all, but if a major release is coming and people see bad numbers, it does effect sales.

        • Robert Kupper

          Aye, I love the touchscreen on the Vita, using it to navigate menus and the like is intuitive and easy, but I hate when I have to move my hands to swipe it or something during gameplay. It is obtrusive. Same with the DS, or with 3D on the 3DS. Just because a feature (Gimmick) is there doesn’t mean you need to force it.

          I have been okay with the PS4 pad so far, games seem to be using sides of it as buttons, which works fine for me, and I like the speaker usage in MGS:GZ. I do think there needs to be an option to play through the normal speakers instead, and I hope we don’t see any complex gestures with the pad. Holding it for Second Son wasn’t bad at all, but it had a couple lame things like ‘swipe to open door’

  • Crevox

    Now Microsoft DOESN’T want anyone to use the Kinect?

  • Shippoyasha

    They should have aimed for the stars with the specs. Now they are constantly scraping for performance. I just feel sad as a likely future owner of the One

    And kind of shocking that such an expensive Kinect didn’t have processing power in the unit itself.

    • Or you could, you know, just not buy the console.

      • Shippoyasha

        Depends on game releases I suppose. Forza games are fun and some Japanese visual novels sounds good to me. The 360 had some surprising games on it. No region locks with One is great. I will probably aim for one when it is a lot cheaper than it is now.

    • Robert Kupper

      Aiming for the stars means setting a price in the stars too. I think their biggest issues are

      1.) that they went with an architecture so close to the PS4. Makes comparisons easier, and even with a slightly higher clock speed, the numbers just *look* bad for the Xbone. On the bright side, both are easy to develop on and developing cross platform games has never been this easy. (Excluding the WiiU which is completely different.)

      2.) Huge overhead. The whole advantage of a game console over a PC is that the whole thing is spent on your games. By introducing huge overhead for kinect and simultaneous applications, they erroded that. The PS4’s leaner OS is probably a significant reason for the current batch of games looking better on PS4.

    • Asura

      It’s not called the One. It’s called the Xbone. Call it what it is.

    • Sardorim

      Could always get a PS4 or PC.

  • Anewme…Again

    So i guess this mean in the future most AAA titles developers will have to chose between using the 10% extra to make the games look better or use the 10% to be able to use the kinect with the game.

    • Watch as the many Day 1 adopters try to revolt due to the games that
      only take advantage of the 10% Boost.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Microsoft can’t can’t make up there minds….

    • Robert Kupper

      Reversing a bad decision is a mature decision :P Its a good thing.

  • Go2hell66

    So were going to have to disconnect our kinects before playing certain games now? lol

  • AndyLC

    So, does the PS4 camera also eat up GPU performance when used?

    • Robert Kupper

      No word on the amount, but it has to. Using any device creates overhead. The difference is that the PS4 camera is only on when in use, so a game that uses it will take it into account, while a game that doesn’t won’t be affected.

      The kinect was always on to listen/watch you and take commands, so it was always taking up cycles.

      • ZEROthefirst

        It’s not so much that as Microsoft literally locked away 10% of the Xbone’s overall GPU for the Kinect. It’s not something that the console gets whenever the Kinect is turned off or disconnected either, that 10% is ALWAYS locked.

  • Leanard Snard

    Updated Quote from :Majornelson”:
    Dear Media: The GPU change was developer facing. Unplugging Kinect does not get you more HP. Devs have to code to the new specs.

    • Altin

      More like Major Bullshit, I’d say.

      • Leanard Snard

        Either you’re a flat out idiot who thinks unplugging your Kinect will boost graphics or a social reject, which one is it?

        • Altin

          No, but I can firmly believe that it is possible that if you use a Kinect, all those mandatory applications that take up some space can be reduced just by the fact that they wont be obligatory anymore, therefore granting more air for performance boosts.

          I am not necessarily saying that it is impossible, but the fact that this performance update just happens to be released under a full moon, in which also the price cut and the fact that the Kinect is not mandatory for the system anymore has been announced, may lead one or two people to the idea that both have to be somehow related. Also, no need to throw a hissy fit just because I happen to disagree with a statement, dipshit.

    • Godmars

      Same as saying new games wont use Kinect, whether its plugged in or not, because they disable it. Are coded to detect and turn off Kinect before they fully load.

  • lel

    MS will bury all of those kinects on new mexico next.

  • Yan Zhao

    lol, so Kinect made Xbox Worse, shocking. LOL @ Microsoft pushing this Kinect thing on us in its initial reveal.

  • ZEROthefirst

    I can see this going over well when developers really push that extra 10% that the slightly earlier Xbone’s won’t be able to use. I can see it now “get the Kinectless Xbone so you can play our games… or play on an early model and watch the console try to poorly process and lag with the lack of extra power behind the games.” I know they can probably release a patch that removes that 10% stuck on the Kinect, but who knows, I guess everyone will just find out when it happens.

    If anyone tries to argue that 10% won’t make a difference then you really don’t know how much of a difference a 10% GPU boost can do for computers.

  • shuyai

    that is so much bullshit, that will mean we have to disable Kinect to play any newer game which use those “extra power”. So not only Kinect which touted as selling point of xbox one became not mandatory but useless as well. i mean Kinectless xbox one is fine but making Kinect obsolete is like a fraud with a finger up the ass to launch buyer

    lol please Microsoft bury Kinect next to the ET game so i can do a documentary of unearthing it 10-20 year later

  • Mike Pureka

    Yeah, I have to echo the concerns of others in this thread. Now there are basically two different “power levels” of Xbox One, thereby ruining a lot of the point of it being a console (“Standardized hardware, so all games run on all consoles”).

    This is worrysome for Xbox One owners.

    Sony: Winning this console war because Microsoft keeps F-ing up. It’s like watching a basketball game where one team occasionally forgets which basket is theirs and does a slam dunk for the other team.

  • leingod

    I’m OK with that. There’s also a place for Kinect stuff, but that stuff usually doesn’t need as much horsepower.

  • Göran Isacson

    I see a lot of people worried that this will mean that there will be two different versions of the Xbox One, and one will be lesser than the other… but won’t that be only if they actually USE those ten percent? I kind of wonder if anyone will be interested in putting in the extra work to code games that make use of those ten extra percent when it will just lead to different versions of the game for different versions of the hardware. Kinda feels like developers (unless they are ambitious of course) will just ignore this for simplicity’s sake.

  • a round an round Microsoft goes

  • Istillduno

    So now there is either a 10% increase in GPU performance which no-one will make use of because the need to make the games to first edition specs, or first edition owners are going to have to research every game just to find out if they can run it well?

    Go home Microsoft, you’re drunk, again.

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