Here’s how the Xbox One’s 10% GPU increase works without Kinect

By Dave Cook
17 June 2014 10:03 GMT

Xbox One bundles are going Kinect-free, and Microsoft has stated that developers can benefit from a 10% GPU increase in their games as a result. But how does that work, and what does it mean for gamers? Allow these Microsoft’s Ken Lobb to explain it for you.


Last we heard, Bungie will be taking advantage of the GPU boost to enhance the Xbox One edition of Destiny.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft Studios creative director Ken Lobb began, “Lots of people ask, ‘so, you’re taking back the GPU reserve for Kinect. Well, does that mean I can’t say, ‘Xbox, record that?’ No. You can always say that.”

It follows some confusion about Kinect being turned off completely in games that use the 10% GPU boost. Lobb’s confirmation that it won’t be shut down entirely raises some fresh questions about how Xbox One will run the boosted game and its motion sensor in tandem.

He said it can bounce between different on/off states, adding, “So if someone says, ‘Xbox record that,’ it will work on 100 per cent of the games, if you have a Kinect,” and if you don’t have a Kinect, “it’s not like you have more RAM.”

When the GPU boost is required, Kinect will pare back and come back into play once needed. If the game is entirely Kinect-free, a developer can suspend gesture and voice controls across the board if it chooses. Kinect will then reactivate once you leave said game.

Speaking openly to developers, Lobb said, “You have more GPU, so go ahead and use it how you want. It’s more GPU plus more bandwidth to the GPU, so they both matter. So for some games it might be resolution, it might be frame-rate, or it might be, let’s throw in more enemies.”

It’s certainly refreshing that studios are given the option to reduce Kinect’s GPU demands, but what do you think about the move? Let us know below.

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