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Destiny Xbox One resolution is higher because it doesn't use Kinect, says Microsoft

Unlocking reserve power doesn't require you to unplug Kinect, reiterates Phil Spencer

Microsoft's decision to "unlock" Xbox One system resources formerly set aside for Kinect is already paying dividends - according to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, Bungie will use the additional power to raise Destiny's resolution on Xbox One, while Insomniac Games plans to make the world of Sunset Overdrive more "vibrant and alive".

Speaking to Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb in a podcast, Spencer was careful to explain that all this is part of the usual hardware optimisation process. "This was a point where we actually looked at the GPU reserve that we had set aside when we launched," he said. "And you always set aside these reserves not exactly knowing how people are going to use the reserves, and we've got more work to do to bring the reserve down as we get more efficient with stuff we're doing in the platform."

He also reiterated that you won't have to unplug the Kinect in order to play games that take advantage of the bonus grunt - the system will scale the sensor's share of the processing allowance up and down automatically.

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"This was a time when we wanted to give developers a choice on how much of the reserve, the Kinect reserve, they wanted to leave in the system," Spencer continued. "If they know how they're going to use Kinect, or if they're going to not use Kinect in their game, we wanted them to have the option at a game side to decide how much of that reserve will wait - will remain.

"Now I saw, as you did, that some of the press picked up that this had something to do with Kinect plugged into the machine... and it has nothing to do with Kinect being plugged in, in fact everyone should leave Kinect plugged in, because as soon as the game isn't running anymore, you quit the game, you go back to the dash, you are going to have all the great Kinect functionality that you ever had, and you can boot a Kinect game and the Kinect will continue to work - it'll have no impact on the game that decides off the back end that it's going to lower the reserve that's set in."

According to an earlier statement, removing Kinect from the equation allows for 10 per cent more GPU performance - no small gain.

"I think about games like Sunset Overdrive, that's going to take advantage of the June [software development kit]," Spencer went on. "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."

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