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Microsoft ramps up the Xbox One’s GPU clock speed to 853MHz, starts internal beta period

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The Xbox One still isn’t due out for another few months, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from kicking the console’s GPU clock speed up a notch from 800MHz to 853MHz.

Marc Whitten, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Live at Microsoft, revealed the tidbit during a podcast with Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb earlier today. The change has been instigated since the company’s E3 press conference in June.

“We’ve tweaked up our clock speed on the GPU, from 800MHz to 853MHz,” he said. “Just an example of how you really start landing the program when you get closer to launch.”

Whitten also revealed that the Xbox One has released its “mono driver” to game developers.

“It’s our graphics driver which really is 100 percent optimized for the Xbox One hardware,” he added. “You start with the base DX driver and then you take out all the parts that don’t look like Xbox one, and you and in everything that really optimizes that experience.”

Whitten also confirmed that an internal beta is currently underway within Microsoft, and that developers have now been given final dev kits ahead of the console’s public release later this year. Major Nelson added that he is involved in the beta and has an Xbox One sitting at home. No surprise there really.

All of this is rather technical, but the underlying message is that Microsoft is desperate to reposition the Xbox One as the superior console ahead of its one-on-one knockout bout with Sony’s PlayStation 4 console.

Early analysis has revealed that the PlayStation 4 is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One, although the difference during gameplay is likely to be marginal. Cross-platform titles in particular should show negligible differences.

Nevertheless, pushing the Xbox One hardware to its limit can only be a good move for Microsoft. It means video game developers get more power to play with, inevitably delivering higher quality experiences to the player.

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Published August 2, 2013 — 13:43 UTC