Numerous Improvements Set For Xbox One; Too Little, Too Late?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Numerous Improvements Set For Xbox One; Too Little, Too Late?

While Microsoft's position in the latest round of the console wars is perhaps best described as weak against its chief competitor Sony, Microsoft certainly isn't down and out yet. In fact, a couple of new developments are poised to emerge that could give Microsoft a bit of advantage as we carry on down the next round of the console wars. So what are these two happy developments? A bit of augmentation in the visual presentation, and a whole new feature of sorts besides.

The news came in two parts, which is how some of the best stories come around. One came from a report from Xbox's Boyd Multerer, director of development, saying that developers would start reaching 1080p resolution on the Xbox One fairly soon, as said developers get better used to the hardware and its operations. While games have been coming out in 1080p for PlayStation 4 for some time now, Microsoft has been a bit behind the curve. Even "Titanfall" only brings out 792 lines per frame, still a bit off par. Multerer points to things like Microsoft's unusual graphics processor and improvements in software optimization. Some might brush that aside as a mere excuse, but it makes a note of sense given how different the graphics processor is this time around.

But that wasn't the only bit of news to perk up the Xbox One's future: further word, this time out of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco where Microsoft offered up some discussion of the DirectX 12 API, a new update that's set for release later this year that will give developers more of a hand in how the hardware shows the visuals in game. That's going to be a big help in getting games to the 1080p point, which is going to prove a serious help in terms of getting Xbox One games running at the same resolution as the PlayStation 4.

These two points together work together with a point I raised in yesterday's article. See, if Microsoft wants to really compete in this generation of the console wars, it has to not only match what Sony's offering right now, it has to exceed that. With these developments, Microsoft is that much closer to meeting Sony, and the faster it can do that the better, especially with new games likely to follow in the short term. There are still some other issues to be addressed here, most notable among these the substantial price discrepancy between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, but as more games emerge for both systems, that may well be next on the block.

With virtual reality systems likely to come to both consoles, it's not exactly a long bet to say the two systems are really going to be working to get the fence-sitters into one camp or another. Given that there are plenty of fence-sitters out there to account for between the two systems, we may be seeing big moves from both camps, and soon. So to answer the question in the headline, no, it's not likely to be too little too late for Microsoft. But Microsoft will have to put on a sound followup to this development lest it end up being too little to fend off the advantages Sony has right now.
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