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Microsoft Details June XDK Changes

Xbox One

Microsoft will soon be releasing a new Xbox Development Kit, offering new tools and tricks that developers can use to get the most out of the Xbox One console. The kit will be the first released since the company’s decision to offer Xbox One without the Kinect, and it will allow devs to leverage some of the system’s power that was previously dedicated to the sensor.

An Xbox Wire interview with Kareem Choudhry, the Director of Development, Xbox Software Engineering, revealed that ten percent of the system’s GPU, previously dedicated to skeletal tracking through the Kinect, can now be used for game development. The XDK will optimize the entire system, giving titles 100 percent of the GPU for better visuals. Developers that choose to use this ten percent will lose access to Kinect features like controller pairing and biometric sign-in, but other features, like Snap and voice recognition, will still function.

Xbox Wire asked if users will have to unplug their Kinect to see the benefits from this change, and was told they will not. Choudhry also stated that unplugging the Kinect while playing existing games won’t increase their performance or graphical fidelity.

While this XDK is clearly geared to complete the Kinect’s transition from a crucial part of the Xbox One experience to an optional accessory, Choudhry reasserted the company’s dedication to the controversial sensor, stating, “We continue to believe that Kinect delivers a premium experience for Xbox One, and we’re committed to Kinect. Kinect games will still have full Kinect support, and we will continue to have the $499 (USD) bundle with Kinect available for people that want the complete Xbox One experience.”

Choudhry finished by mentioning that several studios have already indicated that they intend on using the extra ten percent for their games, specifically Destiny and Sunset Overdrive.

Next: New Entertainment Apps Coming to Xbox Systems

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