Microsoft and publishers talking Kinect-less Xbox One performance boost

"We are in discussions."

Microsoft is now in talks with publishers about increasing graphical performance for Xbox One games running on Kinect-less consoles.

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Confirmation that Microsoft is actively discussing its ability to squeeze more juice from its machine comes from exec Yusuf Mehdi, who told Polygon that the topic was currently being broached.

"We are in discussions with our game publishers about what we might do in this space and we will have more to talk about soon," he said.

Xbox One currently fences off a fixed portion of its GPU for handling system-level Kinect functions - such as the ability to listen for voice commands and recognise gestures, whether you're playing a game, using an app, or simply sitting on your dashboard.

Digital Foundry previously revealed that Xbox One reserves 10 per cent of of its graphics resources for Kinect and apps functionality, and that Microsoft was planning to open this space up for game development at some point in the future.

With Kinect-less Xbox One consoles soon to be on shop shelves, that point is now apparently here.

"Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode," Microsoft's Andrew Goossen explained.

"The current reservation provides strong isolation between the title and the system and simplifies game development - strong isolation means that the system workloads, which are variable, won't perturb the performance of the game rendering. In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality."

Xbox One versions of multi-platform games have frequently failed to hit the resolution and frame-rates of PlayStation 4 versions. Not only is this a technical disadvantage, but a failing in the ongoing war of perception among gamers that PS4 is more powerful.

Just last night, Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs would run at 792p on Xbox One, but 900p on PS4. Microsoft will surely be keen to close this gap as soon as possible.

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