Xbox One devs will now be able to utilize that extra processing power previously reserved for the Kinect.
If you've been following Microsoft's Xbox One, you'll know that the Kinect quickly went from "integral part of the system" to "optional extra" since the console was first unveiled last year. As a final nail in the coffin of the camera, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison has told Game Informer that Xbox One developers can now shut off the Kinect's functions completely - making use of the processing power that was previously reserved for the camera however they see fit.
"The simple summary is that we've put those choices in the hands of the developer, rather than being reserved by the system," Spencer said. "We think that's the right balance." This of course means that simple Kinect commands such as "Xbox - record that" or "Xbox - go home" won't work at all if developers decide to utilize the extra resources elsewhere.
When returning to the home screen, those resources will be returned to the camera, but it also means that you won't be able to snap functions like Skype if a developer chooses to shut them off.
"It will give up to 10 percent more performance, and developers are already telling us that it's having a material impact on their gameplay and game visuals," Harrison says. "Our committment is to continue to do that. It's not just a one-time thing. Our platform engineering teams will continue to eke out every bit of performance they can, handing that over to the developer as efficiently as possible."
10 percent more performance is always welcome for a machine that is really struggling to hit that 1080p/60fps benchmark on newer titles. I feel kind of bad for all of you guys who got the Xbox One at launch, now that Microsoft seems intent on completely abandoning the Kinect.
Source: Game Informer