Microsoft "fixing" the Xbox One GPU

#1 Edited by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -
#2 Edited by Sergio (2162 posts) -

Wasn't the Kinect already optional?

Edit: Read the article. I guess it was "optional" in a sense.

#3 Posted by mosdl (3229 posts) -

Sounds odd, why would the GPU be doing kinect stuff

#4 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@mosdl said:

Sounds odd, why would the GPU be doing kinect stuff

I think it's to help relieve the stress of the Operating System to assign more operating power to games.

#5 Posted by joshwent (2301 posts) -

I totally agree, but I think that would sink MS's hopes of devs eventually utilizing the Kinect because they know it's connected to every XOne sold. And besides, this doesn't seem like it would remove Kinect entirely, just allow devs to use the GPU cycles currently devoted to Kinect video in other ways for their game graphics.

Also, from what I can see, this is all still speculation. These articles all link to this one that says:

News from gaming insider Pete Doss is that Microsoft is mulling significant changes to the restrictions it places on developers regarding the Xbox One's GPU.

So saying, "Microsoft is issuing a patch..." in your OP might not be correct. Still, thanks for the news!

#6 Edited by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@joshwent: No matter the specifics this is hopefully good news to everyone to improve the Xbox One's game performance. If a cheaper kinectless model is just a dream idea I can still hold out hopes.

I had read in other articles that it was indeed a patch, however this could have been speculation or entirely made up I suppose.

#7 Posted by RonGalaxy (3225 posts) -

To people asking, the XB1 reserved 10% of the GPU's power for the kinect. Now they are only reserving 2%, which is exclusively for voice command stuff. It's up to developers whether or not they make use of this or not. Since some games will be making full use of the kinect, some of the GPU's power will be needed for kinect for those games.

#8 Edited by Chumley_Marchbanks (141 posts) -
@mosdl said:

Sounds odd, why would the GPU be doing kinect stuff

Because GPUs are really really good at video decoding/encoding.

#9 Edited by LucidDreams117 (411 posts) -

Few things to note.

As stated about, not a patch. Just a new bullet point and option for developers.

And the optional Kinect thing isn't talking about an Xbox without Kinect. Which is already optional for gamers. Nor is it about a sku that could now exist without Kinect. It's talking about again, giving developers the option to somehow tell the Xbox to not use performance for the Kinect... I think.

I like this if it means it'll actually help make games better. But I do enjoy Kinect. It's not an accessory for me. It's part of the console. I love thru voice commands, snapping a game and TV and multitasking. Telling the Xbox what do without ever turning on the controller. Signing me in visually. And it all works rather well to be honest. I don't mind having it optional in some games as long as it does something.

#10 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1151 posts) -

8% of 1.3 TFLOPs, a whopping 104 FLOPs! #GameChanger

#11 Posted by Sergio (2162 posts) -

If this comes to pass, cross-platform developers of FPS games will need to decide whether they want to add the lean-to-look-around-cover mechanic using Xbox One's Kinect or produce something that looks closer to what they have on the PS4.

#12 Edited by NTM (7490 posts) -

On the link, inside the link above, it says that it's only an eight percent jump, and that's cool, but that means (by using their example), that since Tomb Raider is 30 on Xbox One, and can dip below 20, giving it the eight percent more power, will make it so it's a steady 30 throughout, as opposed to the PS4's unlocked 60. It may have said all of this inside the link you posted, but I honestly read up until the other link and clicked that and read that instead. Anyways, I'm going to get Tomb Raider Definitive Edition on PS4. Hopefully at the very end of this month (end of the week even) I'll have an Xbox One too.

#13 Posted by Foritus (6 posts) -

It'd be ~8.8% extra GPU for the ERA VM (90% -> 98% is an 8.8% increase relative to the base amount, hooray for math), plus maybe a tiny extra bit from less GPU context switching.

Every little helps, I guess.

#14 Edited by ChrisHarris (281 posts) -

So, now Sony only has a ~50% GPU spec advantage and faster memory?

Yay.

#15 Posted by Franstone (1138 posts) -

Any confirmation on the accuracy of this story?
The tear-down of the Kinect on Tested made it seem like the Kinect pretty much handles the job on it's own rather than using more system resources.

#16 Posted by TyCobb (1973 posts) -

8% of 1.3 TFLOPs, a whopping 104 FLOPs! #GameChanger

Considering the 360 had 0.23 TeraFLOPS, I think this is a pretty big improvement. It also doesn't come out to 104 FLOPS, but rather 104 GigaFLOPS.

#17 Edited by TheStandardToaster (149 posts) -

So does this mean that towards the end of this generation, we will have to unplug our kinect in order to play some games similar to having the large installs for games on the 360 (battlefield 3 and 4, GTA V, etc..)?

#18 Posted by Marokai (3074 posts) -

I kind of love how, after many people poo-pooed the idea that the Kinect would draw resources away from game performance on the Xbox One, it has not only turned out to be true, but Microsoft has even been forced to address what many people knew would be an obvious weakness.

Whenever I do my usual "re-listening to old Bombcasts out of horrible boredom" trip, hearing Brad imply that forumers saying things like that don't know what they're talking about is going to be a rough listen.

#19 Posted by SSully (4239 posts) -

@marokai said:

I kind of love how, after many people poo-pooed the idea that the Kinect would draw resources away from game performance on the Xbox One, it has not only turned out to be true, but Microsoft has even been forced to address what many people knew would be an obvious weakness.

Whenever I do my usual "re-listening to old Bombcasts out of horrible boredom" trip, hearing Brad imply that forumers saying things like that don't know what they're talking about is going to be a rough listen.

In Brad's defense, that statement was pretty true for previous gen consoles. This gen has been fucking crazy with such all of the leaks that have happened, most of them being true.

#20 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1151 posts) -

So does this mean that towards the end of this generation, we will have to unplug our kinect in order to play some games similar to having the large installs for games on the 360 (battlefield 3 and 4, GTA V, etc..)?

It means that the Kinect that comes at a $100 premium is going to be useless, since developers will opt to use the added 104 GFLOPs and drop Kinect alltogether.

#21 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Well that's good and bad I guess.I actually enjoy the Kinect in most cases and I hope developers can still utilize it in some interesting ways in the future.

#22 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@thestandardtoaster said:

So does this mean that towards the end of this generation, we will have to unplug our kinect in order to play some games similar to having the large installs for games on the 360 (battlefield 3 and 4, GTA V, etc..)?

It means that the Kinect that comes at a $100 premium is going to be useless, since developers will opt to use the added 104 GFLOPs and drop Kinect alltogether.

Yeah, the Kinect kind of became pointless after they announced you don't even have to keep it plugged in. They'd probably be smart to announce a cheaper SKU to compete with the PS4 because apparently, they seem pretty desperate to cover up the power differences between the consoles.

#23 Posted by Meptron (1087 posts) -
#24 Posted by shinjin977 (789 posts) -

@deranged: So here is the thing with that desperation to cover up the power differences. This will not help to close the gap in anyway, instead of marketing what about the kinect sets it apart from ps4 (personally don't like the kinect btw), now they have officially enter a fight they can not win. Not with the current hardware/price at least. With every piece of news, it just looks like Microsoft is still in disarray and we need them to give Sony a fight because apparently Nintendo won't.

#25 Posted by crithon (3347 posts) -

hmmmmm, wasn't this always the case? Like since day one, they said that would help run the OS, and making sure you could handle things smoother. Like if lets say Epic said "this extra processor is important because we need it for the UE4 engine" then I'd totally understand it's more an issue. I can't help but wonder we might see this on the next slim xbone.

#26 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@deranged: So here is the thing with that desperation to cover up the power differences. This will not help to close the gap in anyway, instead of marketing what about the kinect sets it apart from ps4 (personally don't like the kinect btw), now they have officially enter a fight they can not win. Not with the current hardware/price at least. With every piece of news, it just looks like Microsoft is still in disarray and we need them to give Sony a fight because apparently Nintendo won't.

Oh, I never argued that it would make any sort of difference and it's disheartening to see Microsoft so quickly giving up on Kinect over 8%.

#27 Posted by Nashvilleskyline (205 posts) -

It's a great news, but sincerely I don't care. I bought the xbox one to have the kinect and the whole experience. Even if it means having games that run at 30 fps sometimes. My gaming machine isn't a beefed up pc, it's an entertainment device for the living room and I'm perfectly happy with the way it works right now, and the potential it may bring. PS3 has been providing games for 5 years with lower frame rates than the xbox360 even if the console was "suppposed" to be way more powerful and launch rockets into space. Were Sony fans unhappy with their console? nope, they liked the overall experience better than what the competitors had to offer. So, launch window is not reprensentative of the lifetime of a console. On that note, it's the last post I make about fucking GPUs and FPS and Kinect and Bluefuckingtooth. Enjoy this thread.

#28 Edited by Nhoj_Sllew (180 posts) -

@deranged: giving developers the option to disable skeleton tracking that they might not even be using for more power is giving up on Kinect?


#29 Posted by Veektarius (4932 posts) -

I guess the most optimistic way to look at this is that people focused on making cross-platform games will not strap in mostly vestigial kinect support and those that actually want to do something with the hardware don't have to worry about competing with the PS4.

#30 Posted by Aviar (446 posts) -

I'm not really sure that this 8% Microsoft is trying to squeeze out is going to make that much of a difference. I always read that the PS4 was going to be a little more powerful but right now with the cross platform games coming out it seems that Sony has a definite advantage here. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does with their first hardware revision and if there is anyway they can correct this discrepancy in power.

I'd also like to see if there is anything that the developers can learn over the next year to make the games a little more on par with each other across the two platforms. Since the hardware appears to be a deciding factor here, I'm not too confident that over time things will be getting any better for Microsoft.

#31 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@deranged:

giving developers the option to disable skeleton tracking that they might not even be using for more power is giving up on Kinect?

Unless I misread something (which I probably did), I assumed they were basically reallocating all that extra power save for 2% to keep up voice controlled commands.

#32 Posted by Freshbandito (689 posts) -

@deranged:

giving developers the option to disable skeleton tracking that they might not even be using for more power is giving up on Kinect?

It sets a situation up where developers who would not be using kinect as a core part of the experience will always see favourable results from disabling kinect features. With that being the case why would tent pole games looking to really show the power of a system want to incorporate the kinect when they could get better performance without it? Those games have then eschewed what is possibly the largest thing that sets the Xbox One aside as unique compared to the more powerful Playstation and it would be easy to imagine then that this new kinect very quickly goes the way of the old kinect instead of being an integral part of the Xbox One gaming experience.

#33 Edited by Deranged (1837 posts) -

It sets a situation up where developers who would not be using kinect as a core part of the experience will always see favourable results from disabling kinect features. With that being the case why would tent pole games looking to really show the power of a system want to incorporate the kinect when they could get better performance without it? Those games have then eschewed what is possibly the largest thing that sets the Xbox One aside as unique compared to the more powerful Playstation and it would be easy to imagine then that this new kinect very quickly goes the way of the old kinect instead of being an integral part of the Xbox One gaming experience.

#34 Edited by Nasar7 (2735 posts) -

@deranged said:

@nhoj_sllew said:

@deranged:

giving developers the option to disable skeleton tracking that they might not even be using for more power is giving up on Kinect?

Unless I misread something (which I probably did), I assumed they were basically reallocating all that extra power save for 2% to keep up voice controlled commands.

It's a software solution to a hardware problem. In other words, they are not disabling the kinect from using that 8%, they are just giving devs the opportunity to use the extra power for their graphics if they want instead. Results will vary on a per game basis.

#35 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@nasar7 said:

@deranged said:

@nhoj_sllew said:

@deranged:

giving developers the option to disable skeleton tracking that they might not even be using for more power is giving up on Kinect?

Unless I misread something (which I probably did), I assumed they were basically reallocating all that extra power save for 2% to keep up voice controlled commands.

It's a software solution to a hardware problem. In other words, they are not disabling the kinect from using that 8%, they are just giving devs the opportunity to use the extra power for their graphics if they want instead. Results will vary on a per game basis.

Then I don't see what the problem is. I'm pretty sure there were statements and speculation Microsoft was eventually going to unlock that extra power eventually. Apparently, it's sooner than later.

#36 Posted by Nasar7 (2735 posts) -

@deranged: Right, there's no problem and most will be pleased by this news but, like @freshbandito said, it will create an environment that encourages a de facto abandonment of kinect.

#37 Posted by Elyhaym (229 posts) -

While I understand the reasons for doing this, it just seems like Microsoft needs to figure out what they want to do with the Kinect.

A: Kill it off - don't ship it with new Xbox One units

B: Commit properly to it.

This mix and match, half and half shit doesn't serve anyone. How are the developers and consumers supposed to take the Kinect seriously when Microsoft keeps flipflopping its position on the matter.

"Hey, we think the Kinect is great and we're gonna make sure everyone has one" / "You know what? We're cool with people not using the Kinect, even though we priced and marketed the Xbox One on the principle that everyone should use it".

#38 Edited by ericdrum (405 posts) -

We can talk raw numbers and specs all day long, but Sony and MS putting time into their respective APIs is where both consoles have huge amounts to grow. Neither of these consoles has a game on it right now that is anywhere close to unleashing the full capacity of what is possible. Before I left the game development for other software ventures, I was able to see the PS2/Xbox generation development wind down and the PS3/360 cycle ramp up. Stuff changes so drastically early on and it takes the devs time to learn a lot of the ins an outs of what's even available with existing APIs and how to bend certain things to your will.

#39 Edited by Nashvilleskyline (205 posts) -

@nasar7: The kinect hasn't been integrated so well in any games yet on the XOne and I don't care. Everything else it does is absolutely great. turning on the system, recognizing who holds the controller instantly , voice controls to switch app, snap, searching for stuff. I don't care that much for motion stuff apart for xbox fitness. The kinect has litteraly been an integrated part of my experience with the console and I would miss it very much. So I really believe that they have to stick to their guns, keep that mandatory and take a hit on the selling price for the consumer, which I think, they'll eventually do sooner than later. They seem to be really pro-active and responsive to criticism, which is a great thing. It took Sony almost 4 years and a 2 months of PSN crash to finally start listening to their consumers and developers saying their machine was hard to program. At least it seems like MS is acting fast...the console has only been out for 2 months guys...

#40 Edited by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Isn't the xbox one gpu a weaker gpu to begin with? How could a software patch even fix that? Also, it has slower ram.

#41 Posted by ripelivejam (4357 posts) -

Isn't the xbox one gpu a weaker gpu to begin with? How could a software patch even fix that? Also, it has slower ram.

i'm assuming ms is counting on developers to have parity across platforms in terms of graphics and performance with multi-platform titles. i don't know how long that will last as some developers would be itching to utilize the full potential of the PS4. or maybe they'll more often than not be happier taking the road of least resistance and make it the same game on both consoles.

or maybe i'm talking out of my ass. i'm a bit tipsy.

#42 Edited by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

@ripelivejam:

Haven't all the multiplatform games been better graphically on ps4 thus far? I don't think MS can assume devs are going to make them look the same. Two gens ago xbox versions looked better than ps2 versions, and 360 versions looked better than ps4 versions. In both those cases, the better hardware received the better version of the game. And if the ONE isn't even outselling the PS4, what incentives do devs have to prioritize for it over the ps4?

IM REALLY SURPRISED MS didn't match SONY on the GPU and ram speed. As far as internal hardware and it being thought out I think SONY sort of ran circles around MS this gen and MS got lazy.

#43 Posted by Rowr (5824 posts) -

The differences talked about in his thread are irrelevant to the larger picture.

This thread seems to be a vehicle to bash Kinect and the xbone.

#44 Edited by AndrewB (7670 posts) -

@rowr said:

The differences talked about in his thread are irrelevant to the larger picture.

This thread seems to be a vehicle to bash Kinect and the xbone.

Seems like the popular thing to do on the internet. People also extend that attitude towards any article about MS tweaking something with the system or software. This is another backpedal, but it's one that people seem to have wanted (not me, apparently, since I foolishly bought at launch full-price with Kinect and without game). Limiting the video sensing and making it optional is a good way to go for multiplat titles which probably wouldn't have used the Kinect at all, though keeping the voice stuff, for as finicky as it may be at times, is a good thing.

It will probably always be a truth that PS4 games can look better than Xbox One games just because the hardware is unquestionably less, and you can't fix that without going crazy and making an Xbox One-Point-One.

The only other ace for MS would be Direct X 12 - but it's still far into the future and who's to guarantee that developing for it will be a hurdle that developers take? Plus, it's not like OpenGL can't make the same leap into lower-level programming.

#45 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

@andrewb: OpenGL already has bindless graphics and streaming textures & vertex buffers - these are most of the big improvement areas of DX12 and Mantle. It gets state changes in the gfx drivers out of the way and allows lower level access. OpenGL's problem is mostly marketing and some poor decisions around the OpenGL 3 era.

Getting rid of the Kinect requirement is a pretty great move and a big deal. I hear they are currently devoting one or two CPU cores to Kintect processing. Freeing that up for the game will help.

The GPU and memory bus are just weaker though. So short of selling a PS4 mainboard with a custom Xbox plastic shell, they just aren't going to get there.

#46 Edited by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

@rowr:

Not really. We are discussing issues with the system though that undoubtably exist.

And how are they irrelevant to the larger picture?

#47 Edited by Vuud (2033 posts) -

Are they just making you install Catalyst 13.1?

@mrfalcon I don't think Xbones explode. I picture more of a China Syndrome scenario.

#48 Posted by MrFalcon (45 posts) -

@vuud:

1. Install Catalyst Control Center

2. Enable Graphics Overdrive

3. Enjoy your Xbox until it explodes

Problem solved

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