Microsoft Allows Developer Use of Kinect-Reserved Shaders
Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2014 - 08:32 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, xbox one, xbone, gpgpu, GCN
Shortly after the Kinect deprecation, Microsoft has announced that a 10% boost in GPU performance will be coming to Xbox One. This, of course, is the platform allowing developers to avoid the typical overhead which Kinect requires for its various tasks. Updated software will allow game developers to regain some or all of that compute time back.
Still looks like Wall-E grew a Freddie Mercury 'stache.
While it "might" (who am I kidding?) be used to berate Microsoft for ever forcing the Kinect upon users in the first place, this functionality was planned from before launch. Pre-launch interviews stated that Microsoft was looking into scheduling their compute tasks while the game was busy, for example, hammering the ROPs and leaving the shader cores idle. This could be that, and only that, or it could be a bit more if developers are allowed to opt out of most or all Kinect computations altogether.
The theoretical maximum GPU compute and shader performance of the Xbox One GPU is still about 29% less than its competitor, the PS4. Still, 29% less is better than about 36% less. Not only that, but the final result will always come down to the amount of care and attention spent on any given title by its developers. This will give them more breathing room, though.
Then, of course, the PC has about 3x the shader performance of either of those systems in a few single-GPU products. Everything should be seen in perspective.