Digital Foundry: Microsoft to unlock more GPU power for Xbox One developers

I'm still here, reading with great interest. I stated very publicly I wasn't going to chime in on these posts, but I read them.

When I see a question, I still try to answer if I can.

At this point, most everything is known about the system so the need for me to post is reduced - it was more interesting back when we weren't being very clear on some points.

Just the fact that we're 2 months from launch means there's less for me to say. But I'm around.
Can you talk about this part from the article
We'll be publishing the entirety of our interview with the Xbox One architects this weekend, covering off topics including the Xbox 360 post-mortem, Microsoft's approach to GPU compute, the innovative approach to virtualisation, the choice of CPU architecture and much, much more
"much, much more" part. any hints?
 
I'm still here, reading with great interest. I stated very publicly I wasn't going to chime in on these posts, but I read them.

When I see a question, I still try to answer if I can.

At this point, most everything is known about the system so the need for me to post is reduced - it was more interesting back when we weren't being very clear on some points.

Just the fact that we're 2 months from launch means there's less for me to say. But I'm around.
When are we getting those UI demos? Kinda want to see the Kinect gesture stuff in action.
 
When are we getting that chart Albert Penello about which Kinect voice features work in which launch countries?

That's a promise kind of a long time coming, considering. If you already did post such a chart my apologies :)
 
Can you talk about this part from the article


"much, much more" part. any hints?
I wasn't on the call. Nick and Andrew did an interview on the architecture with Richard. I know there was a very lengthy conversation, but obviously I have no idea what he's going to write, or use, or how. Just like any interview we do, it's up to the journalist what to publish. So I really don't know what's left from the interview or how he's rolling it out.
 
When are we getting that chart Albert Penello about which Kinect voice features work in which launch countries?

That's a promise kind of a long time coming, considering. If you already did post such a chart my apologies :)
Full disclosure on this one, and I know it will sound like I'm passing the buck - but honestly the Marketing team owns all the website stuff. I was told they were going to put something up, but that's on their timetable.
 
Full disclosure on this one, and I know it will sound like I'm passing the buck - but honestly the Marketing team owns all the website stuff. I was told they were going to put something up, but that's on their timetable.
I believe you. You should probably pass along that it's a bit of good face to be forthright about this subject and very clear so consumers in any country are not disappointed when they're surprised to find something missing, but ultimately that's a decision out of your hands as you say...
 
I wasn't on the call. Nick and Andrew did an interview on the architecture with Richard. I know there was a very lengthy conversation, but obviously I have no idea what he's going to write, or use, or how. Just like any interview we do, it's up to the journalist what to publish. So I really don't know what's left from the interview or how he's rolling it out.
Thanks for the answer.
I have another one, are ROPs are directly connected to eSRAM?
 
Either way, we can all agree that it's a good thing that they're "unlocking" this for the developers. It's truly best for EVERYONE.

I'm a little sad right now since the new healthcare law just hit me again so next-gen consoles are iffy for me right now. Clearly I need to spend my money on Mountain Dew and Taco Bell's box for my next-gen future. Then again, my nickname in the military wasn't Murphy's Law for nothing so I imagine the only thing I'll win from those contests is extra weight in my belly.
 
I think Richard Leadbetter is doing MS no favors with these attempts at PR. Just this week, it seemed like actual PR from MS themselves has come across as much more honest and open about the problems/challenges they faced. It was very refreshing, and now Leadbetter not only makes it seem that MS's spinning PR is continuing, but also confirmed another perceived weakness about the system. If you actually read the quotes from MS devs themselves, they are really to the point about the system's structure and capabilities, the only spin in the article is from Leadbetter's own opinions and disingenuous headline.

Sorry for bringing this up randomly, but with Albert coming in here in a civil manner and reflecting on MS's week so far, it has all been pretty good, except for this Leadbetter article.
 
I'd be worried if Penello wasn't biased towards the Xbox One. Now the problem is if that bias caused him to make inaccurate claims such as the one where he downplayed the 40% gap in performance between the Xbox One and PS4. But to me he clearly believes the gap is not that significant. I'll wait for the teardowns and benchmarks in November.
But he misled everyone on Gaf. He acted like he wasn't doing PR work for MS when clearly he was a part of a coordinated PR campaign. Gaffers aren't crazy. There's a reason for the mistrust!
 
I think Richard Leadbetter is doing MS no favors with these attempts at PR. Just this week, it seemed like actual PR from MS themselves has come across as much more honest and open about the problems/challenges they faced. It was very refreshing, and now Leadbetter not only makes it seem that MS's spinning PR is continuing, but also confirmed another perceived weakness about the system. If you actually read the quotes from MS devs themselves, they are really to the point about the system's structure and capabilities, the only spin in the article is from Leadbetter's own opinions and disingenuous headline.

Sorry for bringing this up randomly, but with Albert coming in here in a civil manner and reflecting on MS's week so far, it has all been pretty good, except for this Leadbetter article.
Not at all, you brought the thread back on topic.

You have a good point. Leadbetter is actually hurting the image of the brand he is so desperately trying to help.
 
I think Richard Leadbetter is doing MS no favors with these attempts at PR. Just this week, it seemed like actual PR from MS themselves has come across as much more honest and open about the problems/challenges they faced. It was very refreshing, and now Leadbetter not only makes it seem that MS's spinning PR is continuing, but also confirmed another perceived weakness about the system. If you actually read the quotes from MS devs themselves, they are really to the point about the system's structure and capabilities, the only spin in the article is from Leadbetter's own opinions and disingenuous headline.

Sorry for bringing this up randomly, but with Albert coming in here in a civil manner and reflecting on MS's week so far, it has all been pretty good, except for this Leadbetter article.
Exactly that's one of the points I've been trying to put across, some people read the article and saw Leadbetter's spinning and equated it to MS spinning.
 
I don't think they are, ROPs in GCN are connected to the crossbar iirc and the crossbar services (can service?) many memory clients.
That's what I'm thinking too, but MS could have changed it. ekim is hinting that ROPs are directly connected to eSRAM, So an answer from Penello would be great.
Hey Albert, how many of those 15 Xbox exclusives coming in the first year have we seen so far?
^This.
 
I certainly hope the people here crying about "GAF is biased against MS!!!" and "SonyGAF!!" was equally outraged at GAF when Sony was getting absolutely shat on here 24/7 from E3 2006 to sometime well into 2009.
 
But he misled everyone on Gaf. He acted like he wasn't doing PR work for MS when clearly he was a part of a coordinated PR campaign. Gaffers aren't crazy. There's a reason for the mistrust!
Please tell me how I was part of a clearly coordinated PR campaign? Because after I posted something, you saw Major or other people respond the same way?

Let me propose an alternative: I was very clear if you search back about topics I would post on. I said I would only post details on things that were public. Because of my job, I have access to more specifics about the system then many in the organization.

Major Nelson has somewhere over 500K twitter followers and he's very active online. People would see something I posted here, ask him if it was true. He would then, obviously, post the same thing.

I also don't post really anywhere but here. I don't have time. So, of course, he'd be on Reddit repeating what I'd said.

I'll accept plenty of accusations about things, but this one I will dispute. The closest thing to "coordinated" would be that I'd occasionally give him a heads-up before I posted on a topic so he would be prepared - he fields about 100X the number of questions I have to, so that was purely done out of respect. Nothing about my posts here are part of a grand plan, period.
 
Albert, I'd definitely like to hear more about NUad as well.
Well I think there's two things you're asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.

What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising - since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.

Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.

Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.

Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.

I'll say this - we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously.

Hope that helps.
 
Well I think there's two things you're asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.

What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising - since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.

Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.

Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.

Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.

I'll say this - we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously.

Hope that helps.
Very reassuring :)
 
Well I think there's two things you're asking. NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.

What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising - since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.

First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.

Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.

Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:

First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.

Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.

I'll say this - we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously.

Hope that helps.
You know I didn't quite agree with some of your earlier statements in that other thread a while back

But this does alleviate some of my concerns I had with kinect

The potential of Targeted Ads and data collection via kinect always turned me off from it
 
What will happen to my biometric data when I accept to upload it to your cloud?

There are probably a lot of users out there (the big casual crowd) that always click "I agree" and "OK" no matter what terms you present them.
How could he answer that question if he isn't even aware of any active projects at Microsoft that would use that data?
 
Five stages of Xbox fan grief:
1. Denial and Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

Long way to go till acceptance. ;)
I think most people are at bargaining or acceptance... not sure how depression applies in this case...

1. Denial: "Uhh, the Xbox One is better. You guys just don't know how good ESRAM is." "Family share was going to be awesome!"
2. Anger: "Stop calling it the Xbone!"
3. Bargaining: "Have you seen Titanfall?" "It's all about the exclusives." "Microsoft can improve the gap over time." "It's ok if indie games come out in 2014."
4. Depression: Uhmm... trying hard here. Drawing a blank.
5. Acceptance: "I'm just getting it for the exclusives." "All my friends are on it, so I'm stuck."
 
I'm still here, reading with great interest. I stated very publicly I wasn't going to chime in on these posts, but I read them.

When I see a question, I still try to answer if I can.

At this point, most everything is known about the system so the need for me to post is reduced - it was more interesting back when we weren't being very clear on some points.

Just the fact that we're 2 months from launch means there's less for me to say. But I'm around.
Did we get that list of which kinect/OS functions would be available in which countries at launch?
(Beaten by amirox)
 
So the Heise article is wrong? Xbox One will not save biometric data and will not upload it to the Microsoft cloud when permission is granted?
Probably was put on the back burner with the DRM removal as they needed the 24 hour check in to upload the data and send you new ads. Kind of glad the advertising people at Microsoft lost that battle myself. Also the privacy concerns from the NSA scandal.
 
Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.
So does this mean that you can't video chat while playing a game?
 
So the Heise article is wrong? Xbox One will not save biometric data and will not upload it to the Microsoft cloud when permission is granted?
Couple things, fair questions. First, I suggest you read this if you haven't. I bet many people aren't even aware this exists, but we have a super detailed page that outlines, in what I think is plain English, what data is collected today. It's pretty thorough, and I think it demonstrates our commitment to being open about what data Kinect gets. It's not like we hide this in some EULA somewhere.

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Kinect/PrivacyandOnlineSafety

Second: All those "biometric" features you saw demoed aren't always turned on. They are features we make available.

Third: "biometric" data is pretty open-ended. For instance, we collect voice samples today if you opt-in (just like every phone does as well) to help improve the accuracy of the voice models. This, I suppose, could be considered "biometric" data going to the cloud.
 
So does this mean that you can't video chat while playing a game?
It means that if you're video chatting, and say switch to another app, the video will stop working until you bring Skype back into focus.

Basically, we don't want a situation where a user could think they are launching something else, but didn't end the Skype call and video is still getting transmitted.

If you're "intending" to engage with Skype (so it's in full-screen or snapped) everything works great.
 
No, you understood correctly. It is just FUD.
Thanks for the response. This kind of tactic isn't really helping win a lot of people here over. I dont know how the general public perceives this but they must be confused as hell. It comes off as dishonest and after what they tried earlier with the DRM policy this is the last tactic they should have used. Whoever is/was running this campaign is bad at their job. If there is a negative MS/pro Sony vibe here it is deserved.
 
It means that if you're video chatting, and say switch to another app, the video will stop working until you bring Skype back into focus.

Basically, we don't want a situation where a user could think they are launching something else, but didn't end the Skype call and video is still getting transmitted.

If you're "intending" to engage with Skype (so it's in full-screen or snapped) everything works great.
Does voice still work if I'm in a game on fullscreen?
 
Please tell me how I was part of a clearly coordinated PR campaign? Because after I posted something, you saw Major or other people respond the same way?

Let me propose an alternative: I was very clear if you search back about topics I would post on. I said I would only post details on things that were public. Because of my job, I have access to more specifics about the system then many in the organization.

Major Nelson has somewhere over 500K twitter followers and he's very active online. People would see something I posted here, ask him if it was true. He would then, obviously, post the same thing.

I also don't post really anywhere but here. I don't have time. So, of course, he'd be on Reddit repeating what I'd said.

I'll accept plenty of accusations about things, but this one I will dispute. The closest thing to "coordinated" would be that I'd occasionally give him a heads-up before I posted on a topic so he would be prepared - he fields about 100X the number of questions I have to, so that was purely done out of respect. Nothing about my posts here are part of a grand plan, period.
Sure Albert. Whatever you say
 
At this point, most everything is known about the system so the need for me to post is reduced

Just the fact that we're 2 months from launch means there's less for me to say
To be perfectly honest there is nothing much you can say on this topic anymore. As you stated yourself most everything is known about the system, so the directx, balanced, "cloud", eSRAM or whatever PR invented talking points meant to nullify the perceived power difference between the PS4 and xbone have been debunked by those in the know. And by "in the know" I mean people who understand computer hardware and programming.

Please tell me how I was part of a clearly coordinated PR campaign? Because after I posted something, you saw Major or other people respond the same way?
I think what he meant by his post was that your explanations that were offered here were echoed by other Microsoft employees on other mediums within a close timeframe. To someone observing from the outside it sure looks coordinated.
 
So voice samples are the only biometric data that Kinect is harvesting and uploading to the Microsoft cloud?

Again, a simple Yes or No question.
First, it's not simple yes or no because we haven't clearly established what you consider biometric. Perhaps that's the source of the disconnect.

As far as I know, the only data we collect is Voice, via opt-in. If I'm incorrect on that, then I'll update when I know differently. Otherwise, I believe that the page I linked you would have the most detailed information.
 
I want to know what happens to the power gap if Sony magically decides to upclock in year 2 AND reduce GameOS GPU usage? They've made some major milestones on Vita, imagine what could happen with this.
Do you have any figures on gameOS GPU reservation? It was talked about a lot in this thread and the assumption is it is a very small amount due to no snap etc, but would be good to get some concrete info on that
 
a non-definitive answer leads me to believe Albert either has no idea or he's not at liberty to say anything, definitively. :-/
How is what he said not definitive? Not only did he give an example of biometric data that is indeed collected, he gave a link to a page that clearly defines all of the data that is collected, where's it's stored, and how it's used.
How that isn't a clear enough "Yes" is beyond me.

I'm pretty sure you won't update us. ^_^
Oh, because Wicked is being a smart ass, that explains it.