Microsoft has opened up the amount of computing power developers can access in the Xbox One, according to an analysis of the console’s software development kit (SDK) by Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry.
The SDK was made public earlier this week by hackers, who did so in the name of “creativity and research.” Digital Foundry peeked inside and noted that Microsoft has recently opened access to an additional processing core (of the Xbone’s eight).
Digital Foundry noted that originally, the Xbox One reserved two cores for running its background operating system (like the PlayStation 4 does). In the latest software development kit, deployers may access “50 to 80 percent of a seventh core.”
This “may partly explain why a small amount of multi-platform titles released during Q4 2014 may have possessed performance advantages over their PS4 counterparts in certain scenarios.”
The extra power comes at a cost, however. Games can’t use custom voice commands, and some functions of the Kinect 2.0 sensor are disabled. Accessing the seventh core is risky because system-related voice commands can take up half of its capability, overriding whatever else has been assigned there.
Digital Foundry gave a very detailed explanation of the SDK and the changes, and they mean for Xbox One games. As of whether the software development kit’s leak could affect the system’s security.
“The truth is that Xbox One is just as secure now as it was before the leak.”