There’s been a bit of a back and forth regarding which of the next generation consoles is superior. Technically, it seems that Sony’s machine is the bigger beast – but by just how much? According to a report by Edge, quite a bit – as much as that 50% gulf earlier reports suggested.
According to Edge’s sources, the differences in performance are “significant” and “obvious.” apparently the PlayStation 4’s GDDR5 allows for memory reads that are 40-50% faster than the Xbox one, and its number-cruncher is around 50% faster too.
They suggest that “a platform-agnostic development build can run at around 30FPS in 1920×1080 on PS4, but it’ll run at “20-something” FPS in 1600×900 on Xbox One.|
“Xbox One is weaker and it’s a pain to use its ESRAM,” says one developer. The ESRAM is there to make memory transfers a little faster, but as with all custom solutions to problems that needn’t exist, it seems to be a bit of a technical hurdle. It’s apparently not the only hurdle though.
According to the same damning report, the Xbox One’s graphic drivers are “horrible,” though the same can apparently be said for the PlayStation 4’s. “The poor [graphics] drivers have made it difficult to push either of them, and the developers aren’t familiar with the hardware yet,“ says one developer.
And worst of all, is that despite the PS4’s alleged superiority, it won’t end up making much difference in multi-platform games. Developers say it might be better to “castrate” PS4 versions of games so as to not damage perceptions of the Xbox One and sour relations with Microsoft.
Another developer says that while they could probably quite easily make the PS4 versions of their games shinier than their Xbox One counterparts, it just wouldn’t make much sense. “It would be totally fine for us to make one version prettier without any political difficulties but it usually doesn’t make financial sense,” they said, “unless it’s a very simple tweak.”
If this is true, the Xbox One could actually be holding the next gen back – but I don’t think Microsoft is quite stupid enough to let that happen. I’m sure their drivers will improve, and hardware tweaks made so that whatever gulf exists between the two platforms is minimal in the end.
Last Updated: September 16, 2013