Posted: Jun 06 2014
by: Neal Haworth

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Xbox One Is Now 10% Faster Without Kinect

Tech junkies and gamers alike have questioned whether or not the Xbox One would run faster without Kinect. The general belief was that the motion-sensing device drew resources from the Xbox One's graphics processor unit (GPU); thus, negatively impacting other functions such as frame rate. Well, it looks like Microsoft has confirmed this theory, saying the Kinect uses about 10% of the total GPU power.

"Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance. We're committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One games even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their games," said a spokesperson for Microsoft during a Eurogamer press interview.

Microsoft took to Twitter to provide further details on the Kinect's power usage. According to Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live, the new developer kits released by Microsoft allows video game companies to toggle the Kinect's GPU usage on and off. In other words, gamers can soon reap the benefits of a 10% boost in GPU power while their Kinect is still connected -- assuming the game developer took advantage of this new feature.

Will an extra boost in GPU power be enough to overtake the Sony PlayStation 4 as the leading next generation gaming system? The PS4 has blown the Xbox One out of the water in terms of sales. This is due in part to the PS4's ability to run games with higher resolution and faster frames per second. Watch Dogs, for instance, runs at 900p on the PS4 and 792p on the Xbox One -- both at 60fps. Granted, that's not a huge difference, but it's still enough to convince some gamers to choose Sony over Microsoft.

Microsoft isn't giving up the fight just yet. Last month, they begin offering a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One for $100 less, hoping this would attract a more budget-conscious group of gamers. The company has been criticized for trying to force its motion-sensing Kinect on gamers, with many people claiming the move was a direct violation of their privacy.

Micorsoft has also added the Xbox One to its Games For Gold program, releasing 2 free Xbox One Games to paying subscribers of Xbox Live. Assuming they continue listening to gamers and making changes when needed, the Xbox One may still hold its own as a viable gaming/media entertainment center.

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