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Xbox One Dev Kits Now Have More Graphics Power, Yes, It’s From Dropping Mandatory Kinect

Achievement unlocked: 1080p.

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“No, your console doesn’t have more graphical power. Mine just has a lot of untapped potential. You’ll see,” the argument that is as old as gaming goes. Well, in the case of the Xbox One, it’s actually kind of true. Now that Kinect is no longer mandatory, developers have some extra graphical power to work with that was previously sealed off.

The new came last night from Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, on Twitter:

Ever since Microsoft announced that Kinect would no longer be required to play Xbox One and didn’t need to be sold with the console, it’s been speculated that the move would unlock resources on the console that had previously been designated for Kinect and system functions only. That’s exactly what Microsoft did, as they confirmed to Eurogamer last night:

Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 per cent additional GPU performance. 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.

So, the extra power is optional, and developers can work in Kinect wherever they see fit. But, if outrage over differences in resolution between the PS4 and the Xbox One have been any indication so far, not many developers are going to look at that extra power and say, “You know what? 720p and 30 fps are good enough. Let’s throw in some Kinect integration instead of shooting for 1080p and 60 fps.”

RIP, Microsoft’s futuristic, voice controlled utopia. We hardly knew ye.

(via Eurogamer, image via Microsoft)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.