Microsoft to unlock more GPU power for Xbox One developers

EG:Xbox One reserves 10 per cent of graphics resources for Kinect and apps functionality, Digital Foundry can confirm, with Microsoft planning to open up this additional GPU power for game development in the future. This, and further graphics and performance-based information was revealed during our lengthy discussions with two of the architects behind the Xbox One silicon.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
majiebeast1119d ago

Wouldnt this destroy the balance?

Magicite1119d ago

The less time for xbone launch, the more surprises M$ is announcing.

Lalanana1119d ago

i got no complains with this. the more power the better. Keep it coming MS.

pedrof931119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )


Actually no.

Its the same power, that was reserved to the kinect, and in the future will go to the games, its not more tflops.

georgeenoob1119d ago OffTopicShow
Dlacy13g1119d ago

As long as the increases that come can't be detrimental to the hardware I don't have any issue with them

Lalanana1119d ago


so less power is better? Am i missing something..

why no? I do not understand why it would be no :-/

Kayant1119d ago OffTopicShow
awesomeperson1119d ago


I believe what pedro is saying, is that this is actually confirmation there is *less* GPU "power" at launch than what was previously announced.

Microsoft are currently withholding 10% of their GPU for apps, to be given back later when this can inevitabley be optimised. We take the previously announced 1.31 TFlops and remove 10%, giving only 1.18 TFlops.

So Microsoft are shipping with a weaker GPU than specs say (1.18TFlops), and in the future devs will be given back some of that power (between 1.18 TFlops and 1.31 TFlops).


Even though you're simply a troll, of course this doesn't reduce any sort of performance gap between the two. It actually works in Sony's favour.

Overall - this article is written by Leadbetter. Take it lightly. It is deliberatley worded to sound as if it is in Microsoft's favour, when it is not.

And for those thinking that if the Xbox One has this performance restriction, than the PS4 does aswell, this is due to the use of the Snap feature and similar apps. PS4 does not have such ability, and its reliance on a single OS (instead of 3) will likely lead to a much, much lower overhead.

SilentNegotiator1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

"I love that MS is actively eliminating any advantage competition might bring"

They brought up the clock slightly and want to unlock a sliver reserved for Kinect. They didn't "eliminate" the 50% power advantage; they shrunk it slightly.

Developers can't even use this 10% until Microsoft, you know, ACTUALLY unlocks it as opposed to just making a promise. So enjoy seeing that tiny increase in 2+ years.

P0werVR1119d ago

Microsoft without a doubt has the capabilities and know how to provide necessary resources to all developers.

All is left now is to invest more into first party development, especially for using every bit of their hardware, in contrast to current gen.

JokesOnYou1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

hmmm just let micro handle their business, everyone pretends to be experts on hardware they have never touched, while engineers who created the architecture continue to prove them wrong. As I said before alot of folks are going to be surprised when they see just what the customized X1 hardware is capable of, well yeah but they will still downplay the results. I mean look at the launch games already instead of pushing upgraded graphics some are doing some things that really feel next gen, and in game tech for overall better games so early in this gen while still looking amazing.

Blackdeath_6631119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

you are not gaining power, you are just loosing less of it to apps,OS,kinect and other function. increased clock speed however is always a good thing you just need to keep in mind overclocking/upclocking any device reliability takes a hit sometime this can be a big and not worth it sometimes its a little hit i don't imagine there will be any issues though i think MS are working on optimising the XBone more than anything i'm guessing they were playing it safe at first but are stepping it up and taking chances to compete with opposition

devwan1119d ago

Is this really a surprise? We always knew there was going to be a performance hit on the xbox one with the way it snaps and multitasks secondary software. The 10% figure was even rumoured/guessed at before.

What we might not have expected was for Leadbetter to come along and spin the whole thing as a positive to look forward to in future, when it's clearly an admission that, you know, this console that's already quite underpowered vs the ps4, the one they've been desperately trying to play the numbers game with, well, you can forget 10% of the GPU numbers because the game devs don't have them... but one day that might not be as bad as 10%, they might make it less.

The fact is, if they wanted to create a set top box that could do all the extra stuff -and- play games as good as the competition, they needed to be producing hardware that was at least 1.5 times stronger, not fairly substantially weaker... xbox one is clearly not the choice for gamers, it's for couch potatoes who might like to play a game now and again take it or leave it.

n4rc1119d ago

Why do people always look at things in the most negative way possible?

Look at the games now... They look awesome and have sold a ton of preorders based on them.. And they are saying there is 10% more power to be unlocked..

So how is that a negative? We don't play tflops..

darthv721119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

if all of this power unlocking is done via software then wouldn't it be akin to the performance gains that video cards get with new drivers?

Also, not to take away MS thunder but....wouldnt the PS4 be able to achieve similar things via software as well?

gaffyh1119d ago

It's like with PSP when Sony announced the up clock, but they were smart enough not to mention it before the thing even launched lol. Still at least this shows that MS are thinking of future proofing to an extent.

FlunkinMonkey1119d ago


If your comment is 'well said' like someone has implied by bubbling you up, then i am Vishnu's granddaughter ..

hazeblaze1119d ago

Lol... Because they're basically trying to say there is the possibility for XBone to only be 30-35% less powerful than the PS4!

princejb1341119d ago

lol MS seems desperate to catch up to ps4 power
didnt they learn from this gen that rushing products out without testing can lead to failure * cough cough red ring cough cough*

MazzingerZ1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

They make it sound like increasing over the known specs but actually it rather means getting close to what the machine can not sure where the good news are

It's like saying, you are getting 10 GB extra on your HDD, it wouldn't mean the xbox shipping with 510 GB HDD but rather the reserved space in the HDD for the OS has been reduced 10 GB

By the way, the X1 info states that the OS reserved memory space represents a "considerable" part of the HDD space...any specific news about that? PS4 hasn't being specific about this matter either

NewMonday1119d ago

Nice spin going on here

This actually confirms the PS4 Has even more power with a 60% advantage

lawgone1119d ago


I just wanted to take a moment to salute you for being so clever and original. The way you take the abbreviation for Microsoft - MS - but use a dollar sign instead of an's brilliant! M$! It's like you're saying that they are a corporation and care about profits whereas Sony is an honest, gamer-loving entity that does not care about profits. So deep man! :)

Magicite1119d ago

Better now?

black0o1119d ago

miss leading title .. it should be like ''MS will allow devs to use 100% of the gpu sometime in the future''

UnholyLight1119d ago

Im really not all that surprised by the constant stream of info rolling out. It was always the plan leading up to launch..Even Sony..That you sort of "trickle feed" the masses every couple of weeks until launch to keep people talking about the consoles.

thexmanone1119d ago


Enjoy your 60% Slower PSN and more powerful PS4.


Anarki1119d ago

But they have already started mass producing them? can this be simply upgraded via update?

miDnIghtEr20C_SfF1119d ago

Very impressive and show's how this sites fanboys run who gets bubbles and "well saids" and "trolling"

You have 21 more agrees than disagrees and you were able to say "xbone" and "M$" together in your once sentence post.

I wish this sites founder could see this shit.

Kryptix1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

According to the article, 10% of the Xbox One's GPU power goes exclusively to the Kinect, OS features, and apps. Problem is that how will developers fully access that whole 10% without hindering Kinect function? I'm guessing the coding can become more simplified and sped up to use less space which leaves more room for in-game graphics processing. What they fail to mention is that not all that 10% will be accessible because the Kinect will still need some of that power for it to function. We might only see a %5 improvement in graphics and 5% still reserved for Kinect, OS features and apps. After the overclock and now this, you can't deny Microsoft is only playing catch up to the PS4's power. Even the article makes it clear that the PS4 still more powerful than the Xbox One.

"PlayStation 4's 32 ROPs are generally acknowledged as overkill for a 1080p resolution (the underlying architecture from AMD was never designed exclusively just for full HD but for other resolutions such as 2560x1400/2560x1600 too), while Xbox One's 16 ROPs could theoretically be overwhelmed by developers."


"They are constantly listening to complaints on the Internet and quickly acting on it."

I see you're still living in your own world up in the clouds. Funny how the whole Xbox community was complaining about always online 2 months prior to the reveal and Microsoft didn't give two shits about them. If your bubble hasn't popped yet and your mind brought back to logical understanding then you really are completely blind and therefore an Xbot.

Hellsvacancy1119d ago

"hmmm just let micro handle their business, everyone pretends to be experts on hardware"

Read your own words buddy and take note!

+ Show (26) more repliesLast reply 1119d ago
OlgerO1119d ago

The Spin on this is Glorious!! this means that 10 percent of the existing GPU is used for OS and kinect making the power difference even bigger in playstations favour. they simply stated that they will try to reduce the amount of GPU needed for kinect and OS over time.

RenegadeRocks1119d ago

Bingo ! Another PR move by MS ready to get messy ! This console launch is so enjoyable !

lfPetrini1119d ago

Of course this favours PS4 even more, everybody knows while Xone will use part of its hardware for the OS, PS4 is gonna use 100% of its for the games, the OS is probrably gonna work under alien technology.

cellfluid1119d ago TrollingShow
pyramidshead1119d ago

Pretty much, not to mention a weaker GPU at that. Judging by the comments the koolaid is in full flow.

The Ps4 will obviously use some but for only one OS whereas the Xb1 has three.

nypifisel1119d ago

It really is lol. "Unlocking more power" when what the article really told us was that the advantage of the PS4 GPU was even greater than we though. X1 GPU just went from 1.31Tflop to 1.18 Tflop meaning the PS4 GPU is 56% more powerful.. Oh boy, that Kinect just gets worse by the day!

xKugo1119d ago

I'm curious, though. How are they going to do this without sacrificing resources for the "Snap Mode". Does this mean good-bye snap because you can't free up GPU usage without taking it from a previously used source. I my opinion, this is just confirmation that the system was not built with games in mind because if it was, it wouldn't have 10% of it's most important component taken up by some crap add on camera.

n4rc1119d ago

By your logic... Then how do you explain the minuscule gap in games when its actually 10% bigger difference?

What are we up to now with you.. 60% weaker?

Funny... Games look pretty damn equal to me

Lykon1119d ago

I'd rather have a bmw than a tarted up nisan micra

deadfrag1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

what this seems to mean is that future wise kinect will most likely not come bundle with the X1.If they are taking the 10% of gpu power that kinect uses and give it back to the machine than whats the use of kinect?

"Xbox One reserves 10 per cent of graphics resources for Kinect and apps functionality,"

So what will happen to kinect and the apps without the 10%..........Simple shovelware will die and M$ can finally give me an X1 without shovelware kinect at a better price.Or this is actually BS talk from Microsoft again!

Ju1119d ago

"Funny... Games look pretty damn equal to me"

In Youtube videos. In reality it's somewhere [email protected] vs. [email protected] (oh, right. This was a design choice).

thekhurg1119d ago

My favorite part of the article is how they actually try to defend 720p and 900p as being as awesome as 1080p.

Tooly1119d ago

exactly reduce those Tflops

n4rc1119d ago

Wtf are you talking about ju?

I can point to x1 games running 1080-60 and ps4 games that can't reach it...

Whats the point? selective reasoning is a bitch.. Lol

Ju1119d ago

I can point to a PS3 game which runs [email protected]..Riiiidggeee Raaaccerrr...

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1119d ago
RenegadeRocks1119d ago

This will be to balance the balance that might get disbalanced when PS4 versions of games start performing better :P !

torchic1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

do you have to wear wear New Balance sneakers while working at Microsoft? what about a balanced breakfast? do Microsoft engineers drive cars with adjustable brake balance? how many times do they check their bank balance?

I love balance.

BlueShirt77491119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

Maybe joining here was a mistake with stupid posts like this one.

Nah I'm just really going to enjoy bubbling down people!!

guerojose1119d ago

So, the system is perfectly balanced, with 300% more power from the cloud, and is not under powered in any way? And they're increasing clock speed, and decreasing system overhead, all to provide even MORE power?

Sorry, it's getting hard to keep up with all the spin.

Beastforlifenoob1119d ago

Guys if you are hating on specs lets all hate the WII U because it has the WORRRRRRRSTTTTT specs and features of any game console beign sold today.

Lets let that piece of junk burn (the wiiu)

bednet1119d ago

I see it like a drag race between a corvette (PS4) a mustang (XBOne) and a civic (WiiU).

Everyone knows the corvette will smoke the mustang, but it's still a nice race...while everyone ignores the civic.

Then on the sidelines, you've got the Ferrari (gaming PC), rolling its eyes.

sonarus1119d ago

lol @ destroying the balance. I love how microsoft will say one thing yet do another. Still kudos to them for realizing they are lagging behind in the graphics department and taking the necessary steps to try to upgrade that

devwan1119d ago

The necessary steps seem to amount to promises of vague possibilities down the line... that's not taking necessary steps, that's leaving people with baseless hope and setting them up for disappointment.

In fact there's so much coming to xbox one in the years after this year's launch that maybe they should have taken another year to get things in order first? Might have avoided at least a few of the weekly PR disasters.

Animal Mutha 761119d ago

Based on the text it's more balanced because it's freeing up unused cycles not used by apps when possible.

So no it wouldn't.

cell9891119d ago

this will in fact disrupt dat balance

Beastforlifenoob1119d ago

Id tap dat balance
subskrib 2 mi utube

Beastforlifenoob1119d ago

Id tap dat balance
subskrib 2 mi utube

GribbleGrunger1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

So basically this article confirms that the X1 holds 10% of the GPU power in reserve for Kinect and snap mode ... and it 'might' improve in the future. All this confirms is that the gap between the consoles is MORE than 50%. Keep quiet MS, you're making it worse.

wsoutlaw871119d ago

ya they never should have said a thing because when people were talking numbers they were counting 100% but now its more like 90

pyramidshead1118d ago

lol exactly. Anyone thinking this is good news is kinda washing over the facts a little.
Looks like I got marked for trolling for telling the truth apparently :x.

DJMarty1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

MS Console failures expected to rise to 70%+ as usual..........LOL

Evilsnuggle1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

Wow all the xbone one 80 rumors seem to be true. This was a old rumor that xbone OS used 6% of its GPU. This is more than the old rumor this 10% .this is not good news for xbone it means xbone os is a resources hog.

donman11119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

And the XboxOne will also cook you dinner. Microsoft seriously... give it a rest and send your PR guys on vacation.

KiLLeRCLaM1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

Xbox is Windows and Windows is PC but I wouldn't pick a xbox if I already have a PC.. PS4 is where it's at..

BoriboyShoGUN1119d ago

What happen to the "all mighty cloud" thought it was going to give it all the extra power it needed?????
This XBOX news just gets funnier by the second.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 1118d ago
grassyknoll1119d ago

I love the way Microsoft are so desperate to be seen as the most powerful console. They could have been $150 cheaper if they didn't include Kinect. What a mess they've created for themselves.

XB1_PS41119d ago

Or even cheaper, there was an article a while back saying the Kinect is almost the same cost to manufacture as the Xb1 itself.

GrandTheftZamboni1119d ago

And it still needs GPU resources from the main box...

grassyknoll1119d ago

It wouldn't surprise me. A think a Kinectless SKU will be out within a year & a half max.

Blachek1119d ago

I thought most the computational requirements needed for the Kinect were housed within the unit itself.

I imagine the 10% they have partitioned is a conservative value that just determines how the kinect inputs directly to the console, not how it runs.

devwan1119d ago (Edited 1119d ago )

@Blachek No...

""Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode," Microsoft technical fellow Andrew Goossen told us."

The Kinect doesn't process the signal, it packages up the data and gives it to the xbox one to work on. It's using the GPU for GPGPU processing and it's doing this using all cores for 10% of the frame along with snap functionality, not a constant 10% of 8 cores all the time.

They do it that way because it's far simpler for them and devs to manage, it's always there and always locked off. Going the other way, where they aim to gain back a portion of this 10% of GPU power, can be achieved in a few ways, the simplest of which would be to have more efficient code... but that's not going to add up to much unless the existing routines are massively wasteful.

Another way would be to allow devs to completely lock out snap and Kinect processing, by user request, in order to allow the game to have much more of that 10% back... but then that would make a mockery of the system's ethos.

A third way would be to cleverly interleave the GPGPU into the frame where there are GPU idle times (there are a surprising amount of these during the frame). The problem here is that it's not possible to do this wholesale, it'd have to be done by hand for each and every game on a game-by-game basis . The real problem here is, the xbox one is already a more difficult machine for developers to work with due to the esram... this kind of additional work is only really practical for first party studios that are working closely with microsoft's engineers and who have budgets that aren't as tight as typical 3rd parties.

This is why ever seeing a 10% hike in GPU performance down the line is highly unlikely (and this 10% is obviously 10% of the actual figures microsoft have bee throwing around recently, not an additional 10% on top). It'll only be a percentage of that 10% and, in the real world, probably won't even register as a blip compared to other improvements in efficiency gained a few years down the line when devs better understand how to deal with the esram headaches.