Microsoft May Unlock "Hidden" Xbox One Performance Boosts Says Witcher 3 Dev

By Gerald Lynch on at

Though there's hardly anything between the PS4 and Xbox One through the first leg of the next-generation console race, the PlayStation 4 won an early victory when it was revealed to be tad more powerful than its Microsoft rival, highlighted by the resolution differences in cross platform title Call of Duty: Ghosts. But there may be more yet to come from Microsoft's machine, teased one top dev team.

Speaking to Eurogamer, lead engine programmer Balázs Török of CD Projekt (the development team behind the top-notch Witcher games) revealed that over time Microsoft "opened up" ways of squeezing more power out of the Xbox 360. It's something he expects could happen again.

"I saw how Microsoft opened up certain parts that they hid before from developers," he said. "They opened them up, like, 'OK now you can have this back door, and it's risky but you can do this and that...' This is how developers learned a little bit more and more every step. From Microsoft it was a good way to do it - to always let the developers do a little bit more."

With CD Projeckt's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt landing on both Xbox One and PS4 next year, Török can't predict whether or not Microsoft will open up the Xbox One's capabilities further in time to benefit his game's release.

"I don't know because we are not at the stage where they would open up something new. We have what we have right now, and maybe we will have some more low-level access in the future.

"It's not like they would open up new hardware or anything - there's nothing new in there. It's new ways to do something. Both companies are already using all the knowledge they have from previous products to make the API tailored to games ... so I expect that they will do something like, 'OK now you can do this; it's extremely risky - only do this if you know what you're doing! But you can do this.' It will happen, eventually, but right now we are preparing for it."

With Microsoft devoting some of the Xbox One's system memory to the always-connected Kinect sensor at all times, it's been suggested that developers could squeeze more from the console should Microsoft ever allow the sensor to be "switched off", so to speak. Considering the Kinect's core presence in all Xbox One marketing thus far, that's unlikely any time soon however. [Eurogamer]