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New Kinect-free edition unlocks memory bandwidth reserved for Microsoft's camera sensor

Given Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) supply struggles, sales struggles, and privacy concerns regarding the Xbox One's "Kinect" video and audio sensor, it's perhaps unsurprising that Microsoft decided to at last offer a cheaper ($399) SKU of its console without the sensor.  Now that decision has brought about an interesting twist -- Xbox One users who ditch the Kinect may be able to enjoy better graphics performance.
It turns out that Microsoft's always-on sensor reserves as much as 10 percent of its graphics hardware's memory bandwidth and processing resources for watching its user(s).  Comments a Microsoft spokesperson to Eurogamer:

Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 per cent 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.

According to Eurogamer and The Verge, Microsoft will for the first time be allowing game developers to use these freed up resources to enable special "Kinect-free" enhanced graphics settings.  While that's good news for Xbox One gamers, it also adds an interesting extra nuance to an already heated debate.

Xbox One Kinect

Microsoft's Xbox One has trailed its rival Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) console after committing a number of missteps, including initially planning to use DRM to ban used games and threatening to make users' consoles unplayable offline.  While it later recanted on each of these controversial terms, the console has continued to struggle through a number of controversies.  To add insult to injury, Sony recently announced that its rival offering, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) was already profitable.
Nonetheless it has moved millions of units and isn't too far behind Sony's PS4 in lifetime sales.  Microsoft has remained very committed to its console, releasing a major update in April.
The future of the Xbox One should be elucidated at next week's 2014 E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), which is being held in Los Angeles, Calif.  Stephen Elop, the new executive vice president of Microsoft Devices (which makes the Xbox), is expected to present his vision for the future of the console along with new Xbox chief Phil Spencer at Microsoft's Monday, June 9 press event.

Sources: Eurogamer, via The Verge, Microsoft

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RE: Options
By Mitch101 on 6/5/2014 3:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
Fail again.

We have a One because of kinect. My family likes the dance games plenty of posts about it. I don't find playing at 960p or even if it were 720p a problem because its not 1080p. You hate Microsoft because you think gameplay is somehow effected by resolution.

I like Windows Phone because between the several devices my wife an I owned Windows Phone never crashed and black screened ever. ALL our Android devices needed regular reboots because of glitches and issues.

I like Windows OS even 8 because I'm smart enough to install a free all that fixed the start menu instead of predicting the end of the world.

This place is close to seeing your Reclaimer light.

RE: Options
By retrospooty on 6/5/2014 4:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I gavbe you my reasons and you gave me yours. Nothing wrong with either.

"You hate Microsoft"

Uhh... I like Microsoft, alot. That is the whole part you are too fanboybutthurt to grasp. I like MS and use and enjoy their products every single day of my life at work and at home . I am even very much looking forward to the Win8.2 fall update that adds the hybrid start menu. You are so stuck on stupid with your "fanboy illogic" that you cant even see the obvious.

RE: Options
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Options
By Mitch101 on 6/5/2014 4:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
The real fanboism is consistently coming to a Windows based article to only try and negate everyone's comments who purchased an XBox One.

All I care is are the games fun. Yes they are. My family enjoys the Kinect case closed thats not being a fanboi.

The only negative I have to say is for pushing the Kinect I would like to have more titles that use it but in due time.

RE: Options
By retrospooty on 6/5/2014 5:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ya didn't read a word did ya?

"My family enjoys the Kinect case closed thats not being a fanboi."

So does mine. I have a 360 w/ Kinect. And no, that isn't being a fanboy. Getting all upset anytime anyone doesn't like something MS did, THAT is being a fanboy.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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