Microsoft shows how they'll bring gaming to Billions with Xbox and Windows 10

Win10_Xbox_Devices_PrintMicrosoft has held their keynote earlier today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and have announced some pretty interesting things Xbox and Windows 10 related. 

Microsoft’s vision of Windows 10 is starting to become clear to both developers and consumers, and with the new universal app platform, Microsoft is pushing with full force to achieve the goal in attracting as many developers as possible to create experiences for the Windows ecosystem. 

Here is what Microsoft announced today at GDC:

  • Xbox Live SDK Available for Windows 10: In January, we announced our commitment to bringing Xbox Live to Windows and today we announced that the Xbox Live SDK for Windows 10 is currently in the hands of managed partners to create new games. Soon it will be in the hands of a broader set of developers. This SDK will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store. We are also committed to making Xbox Live accessible to all game developers, regardless of size, which is why we’re introducing a new tier of Xbox Live that is designed to allow any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community.
  • Windows Universal App Platform: Windows 10 brings together one core operating system, one application platform, one gaming social network, one store, and one ingestion path across all Windows PCs, Tablets, Phones and Xbox One consoles – that’s more than 1.5 billion people. With the Universal App Platform, any developer can create a single project to target multiple devices. It will be easier than it has ever been to bring content to PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles, and future Windows 10 devices like Microsoft HoloLens. Developers will be able to do this and more when Windows 10 is available this year.
  • Windows Store: With the Windows Store, Microsoft is committed to delivering best-in-class scenarios for gamers and game developers. For developers, the promise of one store across devices means they will now have the ability and flexibility to deliver content across PCs, console, tablets, and phones, easily and quickly. Similarly, by enabling new experiences such as cross-buy, developers now have more flexibility on the features they deliver to gamers across Windows devices.
  • Universal Development Center: The Universal Development Center is the developer portal to building and delivering games to the Windows Store. It provides fast, lightweight game submission and update capabilities within the developer’s direct control, as well as access to key metrics to understand their game’s performance. Improvements in platform, tools, and Xbox Live services, while reducing overhead of publishing, will foster more compelling game content and a richer, more engaged gaming community.
  • DirectX 12: DirectX 12 enables PC developers to have a new level of power and control and is a single API developers can access across Windows devices. As shown with Fable Legends running on Unreal Engine 4, there has been a 20% improvement in performance. And as announced today, Epic is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which sets a new bar for visual fidelity in PC gaming.
  • Accessories: All wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, we’ll be delivering a Wireless Adapter that will let you use current Xbox controllers and future devices wirelessly on your PCs.

Source: Xbox Wire



With heavy Kinect optimization, Xbox One will receive more power for games


Phil Spencer tweeted a few days ago that an update to the Xbox software development kit has enabled an extra 10% boost in the GPU.  However, this is an incomplete story and Microsoft just confirmed that “additional GPU resources were previously reserved for Kinect and system functions.”

“For consumers,” the representative said, “simply unplugging Kinect will not impact the performance of Xbox One.”

As it turns out, Microsoft has heavily optimized their new development kit to allow for the extra horsepower boost.

“Yes, the additional resources allow access to up to 10 percent additional GPU performance,” a company representative told Eurogamer

“We’re committed to giving developers new tools and flexibility to make their Xbox One games even better by giving them the option to use the GPU reserve in whatever way is best for them and their games.”

Microsoft is working on  a new version of DirectX, which will reportedly give it a significant performance boost, and having an additional 10% prior to the release of Direct-X12 games (which are set to debut in 2015) is a welcome bonus. Although you may be hard pressed to tell the graphical difference in many of the platform games released on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the latter has been outputting games at slightly higher resolutions, and in some case twice the resolution. Microsoft has promised to address this issue with heavy software optimization, and it looks like it is starting to happen.

Source: Polygon