Xbox One Could Be More Powerful Without Kinect

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Xbox One Could Be More Powerful Without Kinect

Xbox One Console

Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi has confirmed that removing the Kinect could leave the Xbox One with more processing power for games.

Microsoft pleased more than a few potential Xbox owners yesterday when it announced that will be releasing a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One this June that will retail for hundred smackeroos less than the current $499 version. That being the case, recent comments from Microsoft executives has indicated that dropping the Kinect could improve more than just the console's price.

According to Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's corporate vice president for devices and studios, the reversal of the company's mandatory Kinect policy could potentially lead to the console having more processing power to divert toward games. This boost would come from parts of the Xbox Ones's architecture that, currently, are devoted to running the Kinect. With the Kinect now an optional peripheral, the company is apparently considering new ways to use up the space previously devoted to it.

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

Despite this, Mehdi also affirmed that Microsoft is very much still devoted to the Kinect and its original vision for the Xbox One. "We remain deeply committed to the Kinect as a core component of a next-generation console," he said. "We think that the bio-metric sign-in, voice controls of the menu, ability to say 'record that' and capture a moment of gameplay are all critical to the experience. We have never wavered from that since the launch."

Suffice it to say we'll be interested to see how strong this commitment remains if the $399 Xbox One sells better than its Kinect-equipped counterpart.

Source: Polygon

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This thing's become the Jar Jar Binks of the console wars.

with this news, i don't think microsoft will take long before they finally drop the whole "xbox one is better with kinect" attitude. the reports for its processing capabilities (or lack of, according to the how watch dogs will run) means they need to use all the power they possibly can to make this gen last as long as they predict.

i won't say they aren't greedy, but so far they have (slowly, i'll admit) listened to feedback about priorities - no/less DRM, no kinect option, no gold sub needed for certain services - and i don't think they'd be stupid enough to ignore a boost to performance when they want this gen to last as long as possible. they could prove me wrong, but i really hope they realise that extra power is probably more important to a lot of gamers than motion controls

Then... thats a horrible design flaw to begin with. Not a good idea to sacrifice gaming performance for a peripheral that not a lot of people wanted in the first place. Not that it will make the Xbone that much more powerful, I'm sure plenty have already turned off their devices with minimal difference. If anything games will now likely be on par with PS4 games. Maybe getting their resolution up to 900dpi at best.

I think this may be my last console generation. Unless the PS5 has some super mega exclusives I might just stick to PC gaming... if I still have a job by then... or still be alive... who knows.

BWAHAHAHA! This is reaching epic proportions of hilarity.

Just how much did the kinect gimp the XB1? Just how much of a failure was the damn thing?

I'm fucking speechless at this point.

How in the world did they fuck it up so bad? It's been an year, a whole year from the last E3, and while they need to stick to the console's design, just what in the world is going on with their PR? How have they not learned their lesson by now?

Before anyone asks: This would free up CPU time, not GPU time. Expect better AI, not higher resolution or framerate.

P.S. Thanks

This would really kill the Kinect. Now your games actively run better if you don't support it?

It's a stupid, flaky gimmick to begin with, but at least you could ignore it.

They already freed up some allocation previously, though if I remember right, it was a small amount. Still, this baffled me and continues to do so. The shared resources on the 360 was a huge issue for Kinect, so you'd think they would have worked around this. And you can say "maybe they really thought Kinect was that integral" but if people are running into resource issues already I'm pretty sure they either needed a different route or needed to scrap their "vision."

dragongit:
If anything games will now likely be on par with PS4 games. Maybe getting their resolution up to 900dpi at best.

Mmm, nope. While it's true that it's likely to free up processing power, it's CPU power that's being freed up and will have little to no bearing on actual rendering performance. In other words, you won't get noticeably higher framerates. This is a marketing ploy to make people think what you just did.

Denamic:

dragongit:
If anything games will now likely be on par with PS4 games. Maybe getting their resolution up to 900dpi at best.

Mmm, nope. While it's true that it's likely to free up processing power, it's CPU power that's being freed up and will have little to no bearing on actual rendering performance. In other words, you won't get noticeably higher framerates. This is a marketing ploy to make people think what you just did.

no, I'm aware it's complete and utter BS. but I'm just saying it's not going to be spectacular. we're not getting 1080p like we assumed this generation any time soon. I'm not getting an Xbone and I'm already regretting my PS4 a bit.

If that's the case, I may consider buying an XB1. I never wanted the Kinect, so why would I want it to be included?

To quote Zero Punctuation, "It's like tying your breakfast to a plague rat."

Mehdi also affirmed that Microsoft is very much still devoted to the Kinect and its original vision for the Xbox One

Well that would be believable if they hadn't already deviated so far from that 'original vision'. Unless he means TV of course.

Does anyone know about this Directx 12, whether it will be an update for the XB1 in the future and if so will it improve the graphics capabilities on the xb1?

Unless Microsoft comes up with a patch that would remove the need for Kinect for early adopters, this is irrelevant. Because game developers will still have to code their games having in mind early adopters with mandatory Kinect.

SonOfVoorhees:
Does anyone know about this Directx 12, whether it will be an update for the XB1 in the future and if so will it improve the graphics capabilities on the xb1?

Microsoft claims that Dx12 will double the performance of Xbone GPU. That is a lie, of course. Everyone who knows anything about computer hardware and software can tell you as much. They are simply counting on that lie to spread to a lot of ignorant people in hopes of them never questioning it. Fanboys, mostly. Furthermore, Dx12 seems to be copying Mantle. And if Dx12 can do something, so can Mantle. And Mantle can be used on the PS4. Which means that if Microsoft can boost the power of Xbone (without it bursting into flames), then Sony can do the same with the PS4 only using Mantle, or even a lower level variant of OpenGL API. Whatever happens, there's not even a believable theoretical possibility that the Xbone can ever match the PS4.

This would be an actual screw you to all the Kinect users out there. Since he's only saying 'we'll see' I'm going to put it down to marketing hype. Maybe at some point they'll make a big deal out of some ineffectual change to make the Xbone seem like a better console.

To be fair to them, I don't think the difference in hardware is worth worrying about. To me consoles are meant to be about stability and consistency over pushing polygons, and the Xbox One is totally adequate. It's just they screwed up so bad and so hard it's made every little failure seem so much worse

I get what they were going for. Really, I do. In concept, the Kinect could be really cool, and if it worked perfectly, it'd be a great step towards that nifty sci-fi star-trek digital interaction. And hell, we're even getting close with the technology (The kinect 1 was a buggy mess, but the 2's accuracy was almost usable). The problem is that gaming is a precision hobby, 90% of the time. Buttons on a controller are infinitely better than wild gestures for just about everything. This sort of crap only works when it's incidental and practically transparent, rather than a $100 albatross stealing table space.

the cinical in me thinks they also are scratching the Kinect because of the supposably supported languages and accents, they couldn't make it work

Wasn't it already known since last year's E3 that part of the processing power was going to the Kinect? I remember reading something along the line of 1/3 of the resources were being used for the Kinect and the TV apps, so wouldn't that make it obvious that without the Kinect the console would be more powerful?

I think the funniest thing is that the Kinect isn't even that bad, it's actually a really cool piece of hardware.

It's just that every single instance of it being cool had absolutely nothing at all to do with the XBox, every single instance was in relation to some whacky use some tinkerer found for it in relation to basically everything but the XBox.

They should never have coupled the damn thing with the XBox to begin with. They should have released it as a stand-alone peripheral with a strong SDK (Software Development Kit) supported on as many platforms as possible and endeavored to create a healthy developer market around it with many apps making use of it's capabilities.

Because the Kinect just isn't that good at games yet, not now, not without further development of itself and in related fields. But at this point it is really good at other things, things you currently only see in crazy YouTube videos and not in the general market.

dragongit:
If anything games will now likely be on par with PS4 games. Maybe getting their resolution up to 900dpi at best.

No, ultimately the only way the Xbone would reach parity with the PS4 would be new hardware internally, there is no way to 'fix' having a slower GPU and RAM beyond overclocking it and hoping for the best, Microsoft already know how that story goes.

I think with Kinect 2.0 Microsoft had their eyes on targeted advertising rather than user convenience. If they'd been able to push through their online requirement and people had bought the hardware in larger numbers they would have had free unlimited access to people's complete entertainment habits. TV, streaming, games, they would have a track of it all and with the Kinect they would have been able to (sort of) accurately track what got the most reliable reactions and attention from users. Selling that data on would have been worth billions.

Also, in the last year Microsoft have been filing patents on some of Kinect's broader features, so I would have guessed that they were planning to roll out the data gathering techniques to computers and smart phones too. My conspiracy theory is that Microsoft were trying to be the new Nielsen and rivaling Google for ad revenue.

It would seem that low Kinect uptake and usage have put even the potential for that plan on hold.

Oh god... my speculation and the speculation of those who analyzed the way thr AMD Jaguar CPU threads worked were 100% correct. I never thought Microsoft would just come out and say it... i just... wow. So yes, the kinect actively made the Xbone a worse platform. According to analysis done by rock paper shotgun and other people up to 50% of CPU resources at one time could be devoted to the background operations and the Kinect because of how the thread allocation works on the mainstream PC versions of the AMD Jaguar. (The AMD jaguar is a low power lower heat GPU destined for net-books by the way, go figure)

Being made of stock parts i suppose it wasn't that hard to guess but the accuracy with which the astute PC gaming community was able to suss out both the Xbone and PS4 was pretty impressive. This the reality, the switch to x86 architecture makes a lot of their bullshit and guff easier to disprove since there isn't some crazy proprietary architecture with three different types of RAM and weird bandwidth throttles developers have to learn how to use.

The Xbone is a PC. It even runs DX11. With that i mind is it such a surprise that if you turn your fancy webcam off you improve performance?

Oh Kinect! You are like the sixth toe on a foot.

Hagi:
I think the funniest thing is that the Kinect isn't even that bad, it's actually a really cool piece of hardware.

It's just that every single instance of it being cool had absolutely nothing at all to do with the XBox, every single instance was in relation to some whacky use some tinkerer found for it in relation to basically everything but the XBox.

They should never have coupled the damn thing with the XBox to begin with. They should have released it as a stand-alone peripheral with a strong SDK (Software Development Kit) supported on as many platforms as possible and endeavored to create a healthy developer market around it with many apps making use of it's capabilities.

Because the Kinect just isn't that good at games yet, not now, not without further development of itself and in related fields. But at this point it is really good at other things, things you currently only see in crazy YouTube videos and not in the general market.

Its kind of sad that the best gaming use for the Kinect I've seen so far is people hacking it into Gmod lol.

marioandsonic:
If that's the case, I may consider buying an XB1. I never wanted the Kinect, so why would I want it to be included?

To quote Zero Punctuation, "It's like tying your breakfast to a plague rat."

^Seconded, while i was going to end up with one anyway thanks to Halo 5, i never wanted to get Kinect as well.

Hello Christmas Present! xD

Adam Jensen:
Unless Microsoft comes up with a patch that would remove the need for Kinect for early adopters, this is irrelevant. Because game developers will still have to code their games having in mind early adopters with mandatory Kinect.

That or they start taking advice from Sega on how to support a console.

Hagi:
I think the funniest thing is that the Kinect isn't even that bad, it's actually a really cool piece of hardware.

It's just that every single instance of it being cool had absolutely nothing at all to do with the XBox, every single instance was in relation to some whacky use some tinkerer found for it in relation to basically everything but the XBox.

They should never have coupled the damn thing with the XBox to begin with. They should have released it as a stand-alone peripheral with a strong SDK (Software Development Kit) supported on as many platforms as possible and endeavored to create a healthy developer market around it with many apps making use of it's capabilities.

Because the Kinect just isn't that good at games yet, not now, not without further development of itself and in related fields. But at this point it is really good at other things, things you currently only see in crazy YouTube videos and not in the general market.

Agreed. I have used the Kinect for several interactive art pieces, but not a single XBox game. Although it can do a LOT, it's simply not a viable alternative for a game controller.

The Xbox One: when we turns off our webcam, we gets a good computah!

wow, is almost as if the kinect was a fucking terrible idea all this time!

Of course it would be more pwoerful. it does not need to waste time processing your room in real time constantly.

Covarr:
Before anyone asks: This would free up CPU time, not GPU time. Expect better AI, not higher resolution or framerate.

P.S. Thanks

or CPU physics. because thats still a thing.

Denamic:

Mmm, nope. While it's true that it's likely to free up processing power, it's CPU power that's being freed up and will have little to no bearing on actual rendering performance. In other words, you won't get noticeably higher framerates. This is a marketing ploy to make people think what you just did.

considering the CPU chip they are using (underpowered mobile chip) it could very well have been a bottleneck.

SonOfVoorhees:
Does anyone know about this Directx 12, whether it will be an update for the XB1 in the future and if so will it improve the graphics capabilities on the xb1?

DirectX 12 will be a sucessor to DirectX 11. Currently gaming PCs run directX11.2 (if they are up to date of course) and so does Xbone. PS4 uses OpenGL. its baiscally a higher layer API to code for. PCs will get DirectX 12 most definatelly, i am not sure if the Xbox card supports it or not at the moment, if it does it could be introduced via software upgrade. From what i heard about it its going to improve performance in the graphics department, so if Xbox One gets that, it will improve its performance (but it will also improve performance of PCs the same so the only advantage here is over PS4. Then again, if OpenGL gets updated (which is an open source format, so even you and me can try) PS4 would also perform better (and PC games that use OpenGL, as rare as it is nowadays).

Tl;dr if the Xbox card supports it - yes.

/facepalm

This is abit of a shock. You mean to tell me that during all that product testing they NEVER realized/noticed that the Xbox One worked better without the Kinect? Seriously? I figure that's one of the first things one would do with an accessory or peripheral. "Let's see how the system works without connection A, now let's see how it works with connection A." Something scientific, no? They wouldn't just plop out the system without putting it through some test. At least I hope not. That aside how could they even consider saying that? A product that handicaps their system? Why would they sabotage themselves?

So how big is this jump on processing power? Are we talking the very minor differences between older Xbox 360 models and new models or is this something which could actually effect game development.

OK, just for shits and giggles at this point, someone that isn't me needs to make a timeline of Microsoft's stance with the Kinect and properly display it. Then, after the Kinect-less version is out for a little while, put up a sales chart right next to afore mentioned timeline.

Should be a kinda funny comparison, imo.

That's what we were trying to tell you all this time Microsoft, that you're stupid. And that the Kinnect is a weak gimmick that you should prove to be an improvement instead of just bundling it with the system.

I was hoping all the surprise and sarcasm would come back. Love these threads.

Covarr:
Before anyone asks: This would free up CPU time, not GPU time. Expect better AI, not higher resolution or framerate.

P.S. Thanks

GPU time, actually.

The patch they released back in January changed the 10% GPU time reserved for the Kinect down to just 2%.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2014/01/28/rumor-xbox-one-might-be-getting-gpu-performance-patch/

The Kinect could also be using up CPU cycles, but they've confirmed it uses up to 10% of the GPU as well.

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