A Closer Look at the Xbox ONE June Update

Microsoft intends on letting developers bring more power out of the #XboxOne console by disabling some #Kinect features... 



" What was announced?

Kareem Choudhry (Director of Development): Just as we continue to innovate on the features we offer to our fans, we also are continuing to innovate for developers. Just as with Xbox 360, over the life of Xbox One, the team will continually strive to enable title developers to access additional potential on the Xbox One platform. We continue to optimize the platform, make new technology investments, and give titles increased flexibility to use the features that best meet their needs. We’ve offered new updates to developers since the launch of Xbox One and the recent availability of the June XDK for developers offers developers more access to GPU bandwidth, which provides more performance, new tools and flexibility to make games better.

What is the benefit of this change?

Kareem: Developers have more choice and flexibility to manage the resources of the Xbox One to deliver bigger and richer game experiences.  Previously, 10% of the GPU was reserved for system level processing which included Kinect-related skeletal tracking data.  With this change, titles that are not using skeletal tracking with Kinect can choose to use that portion of the system reserve for other purposes.  We have also optimized the entire system so that titles have access to 100% of the Xbox One GPU for increased resolution and graphical effects.

What features are lost if developers use the extra GPU performance?

Kareem: Kinect Depth and infrared sensors which enable biometric sign-in skeletal tracking, controller pairing, etc. will no longer work for these game titles.  Developers can choose to disable Kinect depth and infrared sensing in different parts of their titles.  The full Kinect experience including skeletal tracking is automatically re-enabled when the user switches back to Home (or other applications), even while in the middle of a game.

 What about Snap, Broadcast, Voice commands and other system features? Will they still work if a game uses the extra resources?

Kareem: Yes. Platform level voice commands such as “Xbox On,” “Xbox, Record That,” and “Xbox, Go Home” will continue to work as they do today, as will any in-game speech commands or Snap mode. The Kinect (RGB color) camera will still continue to work, so your friends can watch you while you’re playing your favorite games. Snap mode for TV, Achievements and other features will continue to work.

 Do I have to unplug my Kinect for my games to get more GPU?

Kareem: No.  Whether a Kinect is attached or detached will not impact extra GPU processing capability.  It is up to developers to utilize the June XDK for games in development to take advantage of these additional GPU resources.

Will games I already own now get 1080p if I just unplug Kinect?

Kareem: No. It is up to developers to utilize the June XDK for games in development to take advantage of these additional GPU resources.

What’s your commitment to Kinect?

Kareem: We continue to believe that Kinect delivers a premium experience for Xbox One, and we’re committed to Kinect. Kinect games will still have full Kinect support, and we will continue to have the $499 (USD) bundle with Kinect available for people that want the complete Xbox One experience.

 What games plan to take advantage of the extra GPU or resources?

Kareem: We’re working with developers that have games in development to help them understand and take full advantage of what these changes have to offer. Several titles have already publicly stated they intend to benefit from the extra performance, including “Destiny” and “Sunset Overdrive.”  
" - Via Xbox Wire 

My Concerns... 
While Microsoft does state that they are committed to the Kinect I feel they are putting it on the back burner. The Xbox One will sell more consoles now that the kinect isn't required, but development teams may choose not to utilize the Kinect for the extra GPU power. 


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