Microsoft has admitted that its Xbox One performs better without its Kinect motion-detection peripheral attached.
GPU performance can be increased by 10 percent by removing the peripheral, which has this amount of processing power set aside to run its motion detection algorithms.
Microsoft also has confirmed that it will be opening up access to this extra performance via its Xbox One SDK so although a little late to benefit games that have already been launched, it will ensure future games that don’t require the Kinect can take advantage of the extra processing power.
“Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 per cent additional GPU performance,” said Microsoft in a statement to Eurogamer. “We’re committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One gamers even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their games.”
The news comes as Microsoft is preparing to sell versions of the console without the Kinect, having previously insisted the peripheral should be included.
“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).”
The initial insistence on Kinect is particularly surprising as the Xbox One has famously been derided for its slower GPU compared to the PS4, with many games having to run in resolutions well below the console’s rated 1080p output. With such power on tap, it seems strange that Microsoft would choose not to use it, even if it’s just to boost framerate and not resolution or detail levels.
In other Xbox One news, the June update started rolling out this week, bringing hugely anticipated features like external hard drive support to the console.
Microsoft has also removed the Xbox Live Gold paywall for entertainment services including Netflix.