Keen-eyed new-gen console gamers who put an emphasis on the importance of resolution have been driven to the PS4 for the majority of cross-platform games, so far. Many people assume that will be the case when it comes to Bungie’s upcoming first-person shooter Destiny, as well, but it seems like the resolution for the Xbox One version of the game will actually be much higher than originally planned.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer joined Major Nelson for a pre-E3 2014 podcast last night in anticipation of the upcoming Xbox presentation this afternoon. During the chat, June’s software development kit, which removes the usual allocations of GPU reserved for the Kinect, became an interesting topic of conversation. Xbox had already admitted that the change could lead to the development of more Xbox One games, but Spencer went further this time and spoke to how the additional memory available could change what the games will be capable of.
Spencer gave some specific examples of titles that he thinks will be able to take advantage of the newly available GPU reserve…
“I think about games like Sunset Overdrive, that’s going to take advantage of the June (SDK)… And they’re going to use the increased capability that lowering the reserve will have to actually make a more vibrant and alive gameplay space, so that’s where they’re going to invest.
“Even our friends at Bungie, and I’ve been spending a lot of time down there, they’re going to pick up the June SDK update for Destiny, and they’re going to up the resolution of Destiny based on this change. So I think it’s just a great time for us.”
Sunset Overdrive and Destiny may have just been the first two power-intensive games that came to Spencer’s mind when he was listing ideas, but it seems unlikely that he would talk about the games not using the Kinect unless he knew that they were taking advantage of the extra power. As the conversation continued, he explained that the new development kit gives game creators all the decisions about how much or little they want to utilize the Kinect and its GPU power reserve…
“We wanted to give developers a choice on how much of the reserve, the Kinect reserve, they wanted to leave in the system. If they know how they’re going to use Kinect, or if they’re going to not use Kinect in their game, we wanted them to have the option at a game side to decide how much of that reserve will remain.”
Putting power and decision-making in the hands of software developers seems like a very smart for move for Xbox and hopefully it will lead to the development of some impressive games for the console in the coming year.
Spencer went on to remind listeners that they don’t need to unplug the Kinect in order to capitalize on the extra GPU reserve. As a matter of fact, he recommends that users don’t unplug it, to make for a more seamless transition when they land back on the dashboard…
“It has nothing to do with Kinect being plugged in, in fact everyone should leave Kinect plugged in, because as soon as the game isn’t running anymore, you quit the game, you go back to the dash, you are going to have all the great Kinect functionality that you ever had, and you can boot a Kinect game and the Kinect will continue to work – it’ll have no impact on the game that decides off the back end that it’s going to lower the reserve that’s set in.”
That said, Spender may not recommend unplugging our Kinects, but recent energy research suggests that keeping the console in standby mode, with the Kinect listening for a command, may be driving up your energy bills every month.
Check back for more Xbox One news as the E3 2014 Xbox presentation kicks off shortly.
How much use are you getting out of your Xbox One Kinect, so far? Would you rather have voice commands and motion control in a game or a higher resolution? Let us know in the comments.
Destiny launches September 9, 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.
Source: Major Nelson