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Microsoft improves Xbox One performance with new SDK

When Microsoft Corp. formally introduced its Xbox One video game console in 2013, it faced a rather massive amount of criticism from enthusiast gamers because the system’s graphics processing horsepower was considerably lower compared to that of Sony’s PlayStation 4. Apparently, the company has taken critics seriously and is trying to fix the issue.

The latest Xbox One software development kit (SDK) reportedly features a number of performance-enhancement things that can greatly improve speed in games, but that requires additional work from game developers. Among other things, the new SDK enables better control over usage of ESRAM high-speed memory, which allows to greatly improve performance of the console’s graphics processing unit.

Thanks to performance enhancements implemented by the software giant, game developer Techland managed to ensure that its upcoming zombie survival open world game, Dying Light, will be able to run in 1920*1080 resolution at 30 frames per second on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.

“We were using the latest version just prior to the new release that came out on December 12,” said Maciej Binkowski, a lead game designer at Techland, in an interview with GamingBolt. “In terms of advantages, the main thing is just how much the ESRAM control has improved. The new API allows you to do a lot more with the ESRAM, things devs have always wanted to do but were not easily accessible. This together with better tools (performance investigator for Xbox) allowed us to really improve performance and tweak ESRAM usage.”


Performance Investigator for Xbox is a software tool that helps game developers analyze and debug their code to improve performance of Direct3D applications. Therefore, while performance improvements are here, they still depend on software makers, not the capabilities of the console itself. As a result, truly demanding games will continue to suffer from relatively low graphics processing horsepower of Microsoft’s Xbox One.

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KitGuru Says: Thanks to Microsoft’s constant work on performance improvements, the gap between PS4 and XB1 is getting narrower. Still, it is unclear how significantly can the company boost performance of the Xbox One going forward…

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