Phil Spencer apparently spoke wrongly.
Phil Spencer recently made waves when he stated on the record that Microsoft’s much vaunted DirectX 12 update to its software development kits won’t make much of a change (the Xbox One’s graphics currently are under fire for always being weaker than their PlayStation 4 counterparts; at least, as far as the multiplatform software goes). Today, the CEO of Stardock, the man who originally stated that the update would be a game changer, and who should generally know what he is talking about (considering that his company makes graphical benchmarks), took to Twitter to clarify the matter, at least on his end.
“[Phil Spencer meant] development is basically the same,” tweeted Wardell. “My general impression is that Mantle is higher perf but DX12 is slightly “safer”. It’s less API and more implementation. I wish the people arguing this topic were more technical. It’s pretty simple.”
So the way it seems like is, Phil Spencer just worded his statement poorly- DirectX 12 will in fact make a tangible difference to the graphics, although the development process itself should be largely the same as it was.