Microsoft will allow games developers to access a pool of GPU power currently reserved for Kinect and apps functionality in the future, Digital Foundry reports, which could offer up to a 10 per cent performance boost from the graphics hardware.
The news was revealed by Microsoft engineer Andrew Goossen, who explained that "Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing.
"This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode. The current reservation provides strong isolation between the title and the system and simplifies game development - strong isolation means that the system workloads, which are variable, won't perturb the performance of the game rendering.
"In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality."
It's difficult to determine from Goosen's comments whether the unlock will lead to a boost in the Xbox One's GPU speed or – more likely – that the current reservations on the existing 853MHz hardware will be lifted in future.
Xbox One has been built with a higher quality upscaler than Xbox 360, Goosen adds, offering developers the opportunity to deliver games at sub-1080p without such a significant trade-off in image quality.
"We've chosen to let title developers make the trade-off of resolution vs. per-pixel quality in whatever way is most appropriate to their game content," Goosen adds. "A lower resolution generally means that there can be more quality per pixel. With a high quality scaler and anti-aliasing and render resolutions such as 720p or '900p', some games look better with more GPU processing going to each pixel than to the number of pixels; others look better at 1080p with less GPU processing per pixel."
Xbox One launches on November 22.