The ongoing battle between Xbox One and PS4 for which console can output the best quality game visuals just got more interesting with the news that Xbox One developers will have access to more of the system’s resources going forward. This revelation comes from Eurogamer, who discovered the information in the recent SDK leak. Essentially Microsoft has once again allowed developers to use more of the Xbox One’s power for their games, instead of reserving it for other uses, such as the base operating system.
To elaborate, the Xbox One has an eight core processor with two of them being reserved for background operations. This has changed with recent updates though as Microsoft has opened up one of these cores for use by developers. This change came in October, and allowed devs to utilize between 50 and 80 percent of the newly available core. As Eurogamer points out, this may explain some of the higher quality visuals we’ve been seeing on Xbox One multi-platform titles as compared to their PS4 counterparts.
Unfortunately, this additional power doesn’t come for free, as developers will need to disable other options that would have relied on this reserved processing power. These seem to be Kinect-only features though, such as custom, game-specific voice commands, and the infra-red and depth functionality of the Kinect sensor. Using other, more system focused voice commands, such as “Xbox Record That” will start to use this processor core, thus diminishing the benefits gained by games that use it. One issue that might pop us is game stuttering when players use these types of commands as the developer can’t tell when or if they will need to use the core.
Unfortunately there is no way to tell which games took advantage of this additional processing power and which ones didn’t. This means we can’t really compare how much it has improved games. However, just looking at the difference between multi-platform titles around launch and ones released today shows a marked improvement. Hopefully we’ll see even greater parity between Xbox One and PS4 releases going forward as it only serves to benefit gamer.