Xbox One Has More Power at the Cost of Kinect Functionality
The latest Xbox One software development kit allows more computing power for the Microsoft console by limiting its Kinect 2.0 functionality.
Game creators now have access to more computing power in the Xbox One based on a detailed analysis of the system's latest software development kit, Polygon reports. Originally, Microsoft only had the first six Xbox One cores opened up for developers, but a recent hack of the Xbox One's latest SDK shows there are in fact almost seven that games can tap into. Not only does this additional core offer developers more in terms of performance, it may explain why some of the games that came out in late 2014 seemed to have an advantage over the PlayStation 4 games that only utilize two cores.
The change came when Microsoft decided to alter the amount of cores the Xbox One uses for its background operating system during gameplay. It used to use up two full cores, but now it's allowing developers to utilize 50-80% of its seventh core, which games previously did not have access to use. The trade-off with this new utilization is that games can't use custom voice commands and the Kinect 2.0 loses some of its functionality during gameplay. That's fine by us -- we don't use it that much when there are controllers in our hands. There's also the possibility that whatever the developers put on that extra core could be accidentally overridden by "system-related voice commands."
Microsoft recently decided to discontinue the manufacturing of its first version of the Kinect for Windows, which is the kind of sensor we saw debut with the Xbox 360.
We'll just have to wait a while to see how future games tap into this extra processing power on the Xbox One.