How Microsoft is improving the Xbox One with “Kinect GPU Reservation unlock” till DX12 and Cloud arrives


Microsoft has released Kinect GPU Reservation unlock that allowed the developers to disable the 10% GPU Power reserved to the Kinect. With these changes developers like Bungie managed to to achieve 1080p resolution with Destiny. Other developers are also starting to update their games so the 10% power unlock allows them to reach their goals either it’s 60 FPS or 1080p resolution.

But fans have been wondering how does this GPU Kinect Reserve works and recently Microsoft Studios creative director Ken Lobb told Eurogamer how the system works.

kinect-xbox-oneHe revealed that even though the reserve is unlocked, players can still for example say “Xbox Record that”, and once players go back to the Dashboard by using the Xbox Button the Kinect will be fully activated.

“Lots of people ask, ‘so, you’re taking back the GPU reserve for Kinect. Well, does that mean I can’t say, ‘Xbox, record that?’ No. You can always say that,”

“So if someone says, ‘Xbox record that,’ it will work on 100 per cent of the games, if you have a Kinect.”

Basically the Kinect Voice commands are active in game, while the gestures and motion is only activated on the dashboard & apps and on special Kinect Games, in the end of the day it’s up to the developer.

“You have more GPU, so go ahead and use it how you want,” Lobb said. “It’s more GPU plus more bandwidth to the GPU, so they both matter. So for some games it might be resolution, it might be frame-rate, or it might be, let’s throw in more enemies.”


The Kinect GPU reserve unlock is just one of the many improvements Microsoft is doing to improve the Xbox One, this change will definitely help the developers who need more horsepower to run their games at their goal like I’ve stated above.

But why this change? It’s quite simple, since the Xbox One hasn’t shipped with fully powered cloud support that will help Game Developers to stream either data, physics or destruction it seems the console feels a bit weaker compared to the Playstation 4.

It also seems DX 12 will work like mantle, that will improve performance (by 50%) to the games unlike anything we’ve seen so far on the Xbox One like I’ve mentioned in my previous article.

Till the Cloud Streaming and DX12 arrive, the Kinect GPU Reservation unlock will give the developers 10% more power for their games, but has this recent change came to late?

For what is this of the cloud that we hear from from Microsoft, well I could explain you highly detailed but you rather see a video right? Do you remember the Crackdown presentation in E3 2014? See the video below to understand a bit more about the cloud and how it could become just like Movie Streaming but instead in Gaming, big things have small beginnings after all..

Not at all, the console shipped last year and this changes are more than welcome it wasn’t late but could have been done since the start to avoid games running last generation 720p resolution.

But what we could ask ourselves is.. Was this change decided by Phil Spencer the new head of the Xbox Division? Ever since his promotion, Phil is showing the Xbox fans that the Xbox One is the platform that they want to play in.

The new head of Xbox had few months to prepare radical changes like we’re seeing each month on the Xbox Monthly Updates, without even taking in account preparing an E3 that was 3 months away right after he was promoted.


So far it seems Phil Spencer has got the Xbox One back on track , and I personally can’t wait to see what we got in store in the future.

What’s your thoughts on the current Xbox One situation?


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Author: Pedro Relvas View all posts by
Hey guys, I'm the Editor in Chief of Pure|News ! Feel free to send me a tweet at @JohnnyRelvas! Let us know your opinion about the website and it's content on the comment section! Also don't mind the grammar we're from Portugal, and we're doing our best to improve it! :)
  • phil spencer

    thats right…10% of 7790

    • Pedro Relvas

      It is a good card the 7790 ;)

      But the 10% did make an impact in Destiny.