Microsoft hasn’t said its Xbox One entertainment system is just as powerful as Sony’s PS4. A new software upgrade and Crackdown 3 details indicate, the company could have every reason to do so in the very near future.
In an interview with 1080players developer Dylan Browne of Incandescent Imaging hints at the Direct X12 technology coming to the Xbox One with Windows 10 giving the system a much-needed performance push. Incandescent Imaging is working on a game for the Xbox One, PC and PS4 called Caffeine.
Brown says that he has access to the new Unreal Engine and Direct X12 technology already. “Usually you’re seeing a 20-ish percent performance increase in most cases. So it definitely boosts the FPS which would allow to increase, especially on Xbox, which is a little more under powered obviously then your PS4.” Browne goes onto clarify the statement, saying that those are just the performance upgrades he’s seen on the PC. Allegedly, the Xbox One consoles will see even bigger improvements since Xbox One games don’t have to account for different hardware.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said publicly at GDC 2015 that users can expect a 20% increase in performance with games developed in Unreal Engine 4 and Direct X12. Direct X12 is the set of APIs and instructions for games that Microsoft builds into Windows. The Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One also use Direct X to power their game experiences.
These comments about Direct X12 come on the heels of Microsoft showing off the power of its Xbox Live Compute service. Using servers Microsoft owns, developers are able to offload rendering and tasks when users have an internet connection. This gives developers the power of multiple Xbox consoles. Cloudgine, Crackdown 3’s developer uses Xbox Live Compute to render a fully destructible world in the game’s multiplayer experience.
Xbox Live Compute isn’t technically unheard of or now, the service powers Microsoft’s Forza 5 and Horizon 2 Drivatar system too. When users are away from those games their character continues to run races against their friends, letting them earn in-game extras. First-person shooter Titanfall “uses the power of Microsoft’s cloud” to handle some of the calculations it needs. Titanfall is multiplayer only.
Microsoft and hardcore Xbox One fans are hoping that Xbox Live Cloud Compute and Direct X12 will allow the Xbox One to compete head to head with the PS4 when it comes to graphics. By all accounts, the Xbox One is less powerful than the PS4. Having less power means that some Xbox One games don’t look as detailed as they do on the PS4.
The difference in looks and performance first surfaced in the lead-up to Assassin’s Creed Unity. Before the game arrived a developer at Ubisoft confirmed that it was locked at a 900p and 30 frames per second. Many assumed that the Xbox One was holding back the PS4 version of the game. Ideally, the 1080p and 60 frames per second would give users the best looks and presentation possible.
Too boost performance, Microsoft now lets games that don’t use the Kinect 2 sensor stop monitoring for gesture commands. Developers can then take that processing power and apply it to their games.
Direct X12 is set to début on the Xbox One along with what Microsoft is calling the New Xbox One Experience. The New Xbox One Experience will offer a simpler, easier way to navigate the Xbox One’s interface regardless of whether a user has a controller, a remote or a Kinect 2 sensor connected to their Xbox One.