Xbox one will be powered by Windows 10

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be released virtually everywhere. The OS will be released in 190 countries and be available in 111 languages, Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of the Operating Systems group, announced today on the Windows blog.

However, what is fundamentally more intriguing are the platforms which Windows 10 will be released on which include: PCs, smartphones, tablets and even the Xbox One.

Currently Xbox One system software powers the Xbox One. However, architecturally there are no differences between Xbox One’s Custom 1.75 GHz AMD 8 core APU and the CPU in your current PC. Therefore it is not a stretch to see windows unify its hardware with its software.

What I find intriguing about this is that if Xbox One runs some version of Windows 10 and utilises DirectX to what degree could this make porting Xbox exclusive games unofficially over to PC easier? Or to what degree are the old developer excuses for not porting a game over to PC simply a total cop-out now.

I find this oddly awesome, hopefully this can give the XBOne users some PC functionality. Will it use DirectX? Will it be stock Windows 10 or a custom version, or can we connect a controller to a PC and then it functions like a stronger or weaker XBone? Will this up the 30fps limit? So many questions.

Well all Xbox One games already use DirectX as far as I’m aware. I know game engines such as Unreal Engine 4 and Luminous Studio can compile a game for all 3 platforms. And as both the Xbox One and PS4 have AMD GPU’s they are utilising DirectX 11.

I imagine as the Xbox One’s CPU is a relatively traditional 64bit PC CPU, that it will run Windows 10 as its kernel but skin it whith the current Xbox interface. I doubt you will be running word on it any time soon. Also the OS will probably be streamlined to save RAM. That’s definitely the Xbox One’s Achilles heel. Sharing its small 8GB of ram between the continually running OS and the game along with the RAM being shared between the CPU and GPU is not helping.

But here is the crunch the Xbox 360 and PS3 were two things at launch: 1.) powerful and 2.) extremely complicated to develop for.

As an example the PS3 had an interesting story about a codex of a couple of hundred pages in Japanese explaining how to program for the Power PC CPU. At launch neither of the consoles had any developer tools. This was the primary reason why in time the last gen console games got better and better. The devs were learning how the damn thing worked.

The same cannot be said for the PS4 or Xbox One, both platforms are identical to PCs and already have extensive developer tools.

The games we are seeing coming out on the Xbox being limited to 720p at 30fps is not due to bad programming, entirely, but simply because that’s what the console is can able of.

And of course we are seeing slightly better PS4 performance, 900p 60fps, because it is a more powerful console. It helps that it does not have to share its RAM to such an extent.

So will Windows 10 result in higher performance I doubt it maybe we will see slightly higher resolution, but higher frame rate seems impossible.

###Console exclusives

Games such as Final Fantasy VX are being programed in Luminous Studio,which is being used to make PC games as well as console games.

As FFVX is currently only set for a PS4 and Xbox One release I’m curious to know just how difficult it would be for either:

  • Square Enix to port the game to PC
  • A mod team port the game to PC

It’s clear that we no longer need to emulate console games on PC, as the consoles are PCs!