Following the leak of Microsoft official Xbox One development tools last week, interested parties have been poring over the released material in hopes of learning more about Microsoft’s console.
According to a report from Eurogamer, updates to the development tools this fall gave developers access to seven of the Xbox One’s eight cores versus the previous six. Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One use six cores for gaming and 2 to run the operating system in parallel.
The change is somewhat underdeveloped right now, however. While developers can indeed access that seventh core, they don’t have a good way of telling how much of it is in use at a time, which Microsoft plans to improve on in later SDK updates.
Eurogamer’s report goes into depth, examining information released by Ubisoft Montreal as it worked on Assassin’s Creed Unity showing the Xbox One processing its cloth simulations at a 15 percent advantage. The presentation was given at the 2014 European Game Developers Conference and shows the advantages of moving certain processes off of the systems’ CPUs onto its Graphics Processing Units. The presentation suggests that not only can this give new consoles a much bigger advantage over their predecessors than we’re currently seeing, but that apparently the PlayStation 4 is almost twice as fast as the Xbox One in this department.
Regardless of which system is faster, this is yet another example of ways Microsoft is working to squeeze every ounce of power out of the Xbox One, optimizing the operating system that much more. As I mentioned, the operating system currently occupies two of the eight cores. Could further updates get it down to one? Either way, more power for our developers is never bad, and it’s likely we can expect to see some of the effects of this in games as early as this spring.