The Xbox One is already proving more powerful without Kinect

The Xbox One is already proving more powerful without Kinect
Kinect needs a hero

Update: Microsoft has confirmed to TechRadar that developers are in fact able to access a full 10% more power, previously reserved for Kinect and apps functionality. A spokesperson told us:

"We've talked a lot about constantly delivering new features and improvements to our fans on Xbox One. We are committed to doing the same with our development partners to make sure Xbox One and Xbox Live allow them to create the games they've dreamt of making. With this update we are giving them more access to an additional 10% of the GPU processing power."

They also added, "Simply unplugging Kinect will not impact the performance of Xbox One. Accessing the additional GPU resources is done by the developer, and how developers choose to access the extra GPU performance for their games is up to them."

Original story below...

Developers are already managing to get more out of the Xbox One thanks to the June development kit update, which unlocks resources previously reserved for Kinect.

Bungie is one developer that's already made good on the new power advantage. Spike TV's Geoff Keighley tweeted that the developer has hit 1080p, 30fps with Destiny on Xbox One thanks to the boost, putting the title on an equal footing with the PS4 version.

Speaking in a podcast this week (as spotted by Total Xbox) Xbox head Phil Spencer explained the changes.

"I think about games like Sunset Overdrive, that's going to take advantage of the June [SDK]," he said. "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."

But Spencer added that gamers won't need to unplug Kinect to see the difference.

The Destiny of Kinect

Microsoft announced it would be freeing up more GPU for developers in its June update. Soon after that we heard rumours that developers would be able to disconnect Kinect entirely, freeing 10% of reserved power.

However it's unconfirmed whether devs have been able to use this full 10%. We've asked Microsoft and we're currently awaiting a response.

Kinect's lack of presence at E3 2014 was definitely noticed. While Microsoft's heavy focus on games was, we hoped for some time put aside for Kinect following the announcement of an Xbox One package that didn't include the peripheral.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.