Phil Spencer: DirectX 12 Won’t Change Xbox One’s Hardware and Graphics Capabilities – Talks About Backwards Compatibility and Cloud

Microsoft has done a lot to push its latest Xbox One video game console to the fore since it was launched almost a year ago, and the manufacturer’s continuous struggle has somewhat given a boost to the console’s appeal. However, the Xbox One still suffers from quite a few caustic issues that are hindering its progress, such as its incapability to run next-gen major triple A video game titles at fully optimized settings. Recently the boss at Microsoft’s Xbox division talked about the same and while sharing some details about the console’s cloud and backwards compatibility, he gave a somewhat honest answer about the upcoming DirectX 12’s impact on Xbox One.

DirectX 12 Xbox One DX 12

Xbox Boss Clarifies DirectX 12 Implementation Won't Change Xbox One's Hardware and Graphics Capabilities - Talks About Cloud and Backwards Compatibility

One of the things that Microsoft learned after the Xbox One reveal event back in May 2013 was apparently that taking the fans’ feedback into account and coming back to it will profit the Xbox One greatly in getting high on charts. Listening to fans’ feedback, the company gradually started to make changes in its policies after the launch of the console, and now the console is going somewhat smooth in the market. However, there are some issues that still affect the Xbox One, such as its slightly lower hardware capabilities that don’t allow it to run most of the latest major video game titles at full HD native 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second.

Microsoft’s Xbox division boss, Phil Spencer, was recently interviewed by the good folks over at The Inner Circle podcast, and he shared a lot about the future of Xbox One. Starting with backwards compatibility, he said that he is listening to users’ feedback, and that he is trying his best to come up with a solution:

“Back compat is always a hot topic at the turn of a generation, and I get why, especially on 360 so many people bought so much digital content and it means that a lot of us are holding on to our 360s. I get the question. I totally respect the question. There’s nothing I can say now, but I’ll just say “I hear you.” I definitely hear you and I’ll continue to try to work to build something that can help people out.”

He then turned to the Xbox One cloud, explaining how the technology can be useful for online video game media content in future, and what will users’ be able to expect from it as developers gradually adopt it.

“On cloud, and I don’t know, people always make fun of me when I say cloud, I need to come up with another word (laughs). Just like with dedicated servers and people playing multiplayer, but people don’t think of that as cloud because everybody does it, and I get that, but I think I looked at a stat the other day, and I bet it’s gonna be 34 to 40% of the games live this holidays are gonna be using the cloud technology that we put out in some way.”

“When you look at something like crackdown, you’re picking up something that’s trying to jump a leap ahead and do some things that people haven’t done before. Titanfall did some of this with the AI stuff that they did. [...] Halo 5 is gonna be something that’s obviously making use of the technology.”

“In any kind of these technologies, you kind of do a little on the techology platform side, then you get some studio to try to use the tech, they tell you what’s working and what’s not working, the platform makes more progress, and you kinda iterate over time. [...] Definitely from first party and third party we’re seeing more and more people look at the technology that we’re putting out there and use it. Maybe we should think about how to talk about it with consumers better.”

Eventually, Phil moved on to talk about one of the most hot topics in the industry, and gave a very straightforward statement on how DirectX 12, the upcoming highly anticipated next iteration of Microsoft’s DirectX graphics API, will affect the Xbox One console, and whether it will serve as a game-changer by somehow giving a boost to the power of the console’s graphics processing unit. He clarified that DirectX 12 will surely improve next-gen games' quality on the Xbox One, but it won’t change the console's graphics capabilities as its CPU, GPU and the memory would not change with DirectX 12 implementation. He said:

“On the DX12 question, I was asked early on by people if DX12 is gonna dramatically change the graphics capabilities of Xbox One and I said it wouldn’t. I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s parade, but the CPU, GPU and memory that are on Xbox One don’t change when you go to DX12. DX12 makes it easier to do some of the things that Xbox One’s good at, which will be nice and you’ll see improvement in games that use DX12, but people ask me if it’s gonna be dramatic and I think I answered no at the time and I’ll say the same thing.”

What do you make of Spencer’s statements? Share your thoughts in the comments section below

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