Microsoft perhaps surprised everyone yesterday by announcing a Kinect-less Xbox One for a June release. It's a bold statement by a company previously convinced that the Kinect was essential to the future of gaming.
Now a new report pours further doubt on the future of the motion controller, with Microsoft in talks with games publishers to see what they can do with the extra GPU capacity that will be available when there is no Kinect device or it is disabled.
It has become apparent since both next-generation consoles launched that the PS4 has an advantage in graphical processing power. Many equivalent titles that have been released have had higher resolutions on Sony's machine than Microsoft's, in order to preserve frame rates.
With the extra graphical power unlocked, the disparity could be eliminated.
Currently, a fixed portion of the GPU is closed to developers as it is dedicated to Kinect functions, such as its ability to listen for voice commands, whether in game or out. Eurogamer claims that 10 per cent of the graphics resources are reserved.
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But Xbox executive Yusuf Mehdi told Polygon that the company is looking to ways to use that power, but it will depend on the concept of Kinect being put aside. "We are in discussions with our game publishers about what we might do in this space and we will have more to talk about soon," he said.
With a new release of the console without the Kinect, it is clear which direction the company is taking.
We expect a formal announcement around E3 time in June.