Windows 10 UWP games on Xbox One will soon be more powerful

While Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform has largely been welcomed on the apps side of the business, it has been eyed with suspicion on the gaming front. Epic Games' Tim Sweeney minced no words in criticizing UWP's chilling effects on PC gaming, warning of how it could be used to turn the culture into a closed one. On the technical side of things, he points out how UWP severely limits how much of the hardware games can access. Microsoft is partly addressing that last part, but only if you're targeting the Xbox One. In the upcoming Fall Creators Update, perhaps the worst-named update, UWP game developers will have access to more of the Xbox One's hardware, paving the way for possibly more sophisticated, and resource-intensive, cross platform games.

Unlike its predecessors, the Xbox One is pretty much a custom-made x86 PC, with some pretty beefy hardware to boot. But like any other console platform, and thus unlike PCs, the Xbox One has very hard rules in how much of that hardware can be used by a game. Those limits are even harder for UWP games, which is part of the reason why they have the image of being simply "casual" games.

That image will hopefully change by the time Windows 10 Fall Creators Update rolls around. Developers will be able to access more CPU, GPU, and memory than ever before. For example, instead of just 4 CPU cores shared with other programs, a UWP game can use 6 cores exclusively. From 1 GB of RAM, developers will have access to a whopping 5 GB instead. And instead of being able to utilize only half of the Xbox One's graphics capabilities, a Windows 10 UWP game can have full use of the GPU, but only if they are using DirectX 12's Direct3D API.

This new found freedom could give UWP games the boost they need to break free of stereotypes. Provided, of course, there are developers willing to take advantage of that. The current roster of UWP games that straddle both PC and Xbox One worlds might not be that convincing for now. It's a chicken and egg problem that Microsoft is now working to resolve on its end.

SOURCE: Microsoft