The Microsoft Xbox One is set to get a graphics boost that will offer around a ten percent bump on the current configuration, although it will only be effective when the Kinect sensor is not connected to the machine. The motion-detecting peripheral, which Microsoft opted to bundle in with the console for several months before recently offering a cheaper, Kinect-free solution, is not deemed essential by some avid gamers looking for a better all-round performance to better match the PlayStation’s, and thus, this move actually makes a great deal of sense.
Microsoft’s Xbox One currently trails Sony and the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales, and it’s fair to say that the software maker dug its own grave in the run-up to their respective releases. From the ambiguity surrounding used games and region locking to the news that the Xbox One would be considerably less powerful than its main adversary, Microsoft seemed determined to make all of the wrong moves, and now, finds itself playing catch-up in a market that the Xbox 360 previously dominated.
The Xbox One with Kinect sells for $100 more than the PlayStation 4, and to even things out, Microsoft recently offered the console without the sensor for a price matching the PS4. In an extension of that, a software update will offer a rudimentary but still welcome graphics boost to the console when Kinect is not hooked up, and as per Xbox chief Phil Spencer, the GPU will benefit from increased bandwidth.
The resources that would ordinarily power Kinect are essentially transferred to the general gaming experience, and although the improvement probably won’t be all that noticeable, it’s not something that ardent gamers will be lining up to complain about.
Obviously, when the Kinect is connected, that "GPU reserve" power will be used for the Kinect itself, but all in all, this is definitely a positive move from Microsoft that will surely appease the purist.
What do you make of all this – does the Xbox One need more power than it already has? Or is this merely a token gesture from Microsoft in the ongoing and slightly irrelevant numbers game? Do share your comments with us below!
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