Xbox One developers can now access more CPU power than before
Microsoft will now allow developers to utilize more of the Xbox One’s power which was essentially reserved for other uses such as the base operating system
Xbox One developers will now have access to more of the system’s resources which they can use to improve games’ visual. Eurogamer recently discovered a SDK leak which revealed this information. The leak states that Microsoft will now allow developers to utilize more of the Xbox One’s power which was essentially reserved for other uses such as the base operating system.
Xbox One has an eight core processor of which two are reserved for background operations which run parallel with the games. What this leak has revealed is that Microsoft has now opened up one of these cores so game developers will now have access to the seventh CPU core. Since October, Microsoft has allowed developers to use between 50 and 80 percent of the seventh core. So this could explain some of the higher quality visuals seen on Xbox One multi-platform titles lately.
But the additional CPU power will come at a price. Developers will now have to disable Kinect-related features which rely on this reserved processing power. These include game-specific voice commands and the infrared and depth functionality of the Kinect sensor. Also using system related voice commands (like “Xbox record that” and “Xbox go to friends”) will increase the CPU usage for the seventh core by 50 per cent thereby diminishing the benefits gamed by games that use it.
Also, there is no way to tell which games have utilized the seventh core processing power so far. So it is hard to compare how much the game has improved after utilizing the seventh core. But there are still some examples of marked improvements such as Assassins Creed: Unity which seems to run smoother on the Xbox One than it does on PS4. This could be due to the increased CPU power.
Differences can also be observed in multi-platform titles that released around launch and ones released today which shows a clear improvement.