According to a (now removed) report over at Gamespot Japan, the Xbox One's graphics processing unit has been upgraded since Microsoft's E3 show. It now has a clock speed of 853 Mhz, a 53 Mhz bump, and the software drivers have been optimised for better performance.
Update: Microsoft has confirmed all this to Kotaku, which has a transcript of Nelson's podcast. "Since E3, an example is that we've dropped in what we internally call our mono driver," Marc Whitten observes in the piece. "It's our graphics driver that really is 100 percent optimised for the Xbox One hardware.
"You start with the base [DirectX] driver, and then you take out all parts that don't look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have really picked it up now, and I think it's made a really nice improvement."
"This is the time where we've gone from the theory of how the hardware works - what do we think the yield is going to look like, what is the thermal envelope, how do things come together - to really having them in our hands. That's the time where you start tweaking the knobs. Either your theory was right dead on, or you were a little too conservative, or you were a little too aggressive.
"It's actually been really good news for us, and an example of that is we've tweaked up the clock speed on our GPU from 800MHz to 853MHz."
Original story: Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb is apparently set to announce the boost in a forthcoming podcast featuring Marc Whitten, chief product officer. It's not clear whether this is a response to market developments - Sony's PS4 is, of course, the elephant in the room.
Microsoft has already hinted that a specs upgrade is in the works. Not so long ago, Xbox product planning manager Alfred Penello suggested that both Xbox One and PS4's published specs "might not tell the whole story on performance". "I would like to pose this question to the audience," he wrote. "There are several months until the consoles launch, and [as] any student of the industry will remember, specs change.
"Given the rumored specs for both systems, can anyone conceive of a circumstance or decision one platform holder could make, where despite the theoretical performance benchmarks of the components, the box that appears "weaker" could actually be more powerful?
"I believe the debate on this could give some light to why we don't want to engage in a specification debate until both boxes are final and shipping."
A recent Digital Foundry report also claims that Xbox One's memory performance has been hugely underestimated, citing a number of unnamed developers.
Interesting times, eh? Thanks GameInformer.