When speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft’s engineer Andrew Goossen said that 10% of the console’s GPU resourced are reserved ffor both graphic processing for Kinect and rendering Xbox One’s app.
“The current reservation provides strong isolation between the title and the system and simplifies game development – strong isolation means that the system workloads, which are variable, won’t perturb the performance of the game rendering,” he said. “In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality.
“Xbox One has a conservative 10% time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode.
“We’ve chosen to let title developers make the trade-off of resolution versus per-pixel quality in whatever way is most appropriate to their game content. A lower resolution generally means that there can be more quality per pixel. With a high quality scaler and anti-aliasing and render resolutions such as 720p or ’900p’, some games look better with more GPU processing going to each pixel than to the number of pixels; others look better at 1080p with less GPU processing per pixel.
“We built Xbox One with a higher quality scaler than on Xbox 360, and added an additional display plane, to provide more freedom to developers in this area. This matter of choice was a lesson we learned from Xbox 360 where at launch we had a Technical Certification Requirement mandate that all titles had to be 720p or better with at least 2x anti-aliasing – and we later ended up eliminating that TCR as we found it was ultimately better to allow developers to make the resolution decision themselves.
“Game developers are naturally [incentivised] to make the highest quality visuals possible, and so will choose the most appropriate trade-off between quality of each pixel versus number of pixels for their games.”
Microsoft has made a lot of changes to Xbox One lately and we’re not quite sure that everything they plan will be set in stone for the future. But we can at least hope they will be keeping their words when it comes to good things.