Carmack talks Xbox One’s DRM policies, upgraded GPU, and graphics

By Prarthito Maity , Updated Aug 07, 2013 08:06 AM EDT
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Here’s a huge prediction: The controversies surrounding Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One regarding its highly controversial and criticized DRM policies will still linger on long after the Xbox One has been released and has reached a number of fans all around the world. While all this seems a bit too much to digest at the moment, based on the way the Xbox One’s release is panning out, it certainly points toward that direction.

Recently, Id Software co-founder John Carmack spoke out against all those who have been criticizing Microsoft for its controversial digital rights management policies. Carmack was recently present at Quake Con 2013 where he played out his role as the keynote speaker, while also taking the opportunity to voice his opinion on the matter.

"I think the witch hunt was a little bit unjustified there," Carmack said during this keynote address at QuakeCon, as scripted by Gamespot. "I personally am extremely fond of having all of my digital purchases in a curated garden. All of my iTunes, all of my Amazon stuff, all of my Steam things. And it's a positive thing."

He added that the days of physical media is about to run out and that a digital-only future is perhaps the only clear way to the top. "Yeah, you can have better and worse ways of doing that, but we are very quickly going to be past the age of having a game that you hold in your hands on optical media," Carmack said.”

"It probably won't be many years before we wind up with SKUs that just have the optical drives deleted and everybody will just be getting it through the net. The future is obvious right there and it will be good for us in general."

Over the other criticism for the Xbox One, related to the device’s Kinect attachment, with fears that it may snoop into the users' personal lives, Carmack assured: “If you go back 10 years, the idea that everyone would carry around a phone that has your GPS-located position at all times would cause the tinfoil hat crowd to go absolutely crazy."

He did specify that in the near future, it is possible that the government will acquire small windows in the users’ lives owing to technology like smartphones and potentially Kinect, and will track consumers, but then again, as he said, "that's pretty much the situation…we just kind of carry on." He then went on to compare the situation with that of the existing cameras on laptops.

“We'll get used to it," he further assured all those present at the event.

On a similar note, it has also been revealed via a senior Microsoft executive that the clock speed of the Xbox One graphics processing unit has been further increased.

Corporate vice-president Marc Whitten was recently on a podcast with Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, where he claimed that the device’s speed had been augmented from 800 to 853mhz, presumably providing a 6 percent increase in the One’s graphical output.

"Since E3, we've dropped in what we internally call our mono driver," Whitten stated, as scripted by The Guardian. "It's our graphics driver that really is 100% optimised for the Xbox One hardware. You start with the base DirectX driver, and then you take out all parts that don't look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have really picked it up now, and I think it's made a really nice improvement.”

The Xbox One is currently set for a November 2013 release.

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