In a rather detailed and thorough examination of the underlying hardware running both of the next generation consoles, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has found that Sony’s next console will offer half as much extra raw graphical power over Microsoft’s.
While both systems are similar with regards to general specifications, Digital Foundry believes that the PlayStation 4 has the edge – thanks to a better GPU and tighter memory architecture. While I recommend you read the entire tech analysis, this is the juicy bit.
“We know that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are based on Radeon GCN architecture and we also know that each compute unit is capable of 64 operations per clock," said Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter.
"So, again through a process of extrapolation from the drip-feed of hard facts, the make-up of the One’s GPU is confirmed – 12 compute units each capable of 64 ops/clock gives us the 768 total revealed by Microsoft and thus, by extension, the 1.2 teraflop graphics core.”
"So that’s another tick on the Durango leaked spec that has been transposed across to the final Xbox One architecture and the proof we need that PlayStation 4’s 18 CU graphics core has 50 per cent more raw power than the GPU in the new Microsoft console."
Now of course, the PlayStation 3, on paper, offered considerably more power than the Xbox 360 – but it was such a headache to develop for that only Sony’s first party developers were able to do anything with it.
And that creates yet another problem for the Xbox One; it’s going to be slightly more complex to code for. While the PS4’s hardware architecture is pretty straight-forward and heavily optimised, the Xbox One has an extra hurdle; “32Mb of ESRAM is added to the processor die, along with "data move engines" to courier information around the system,” a necessary addition because of the older and slower DDR3 RAM. It does actually give Microsoft’s console slightly lower memory latency – at the cost of being trickier to develop for.
E3 has now become vitally important for Microsoft; it’s up to the games they show there to win back the gamer sentiment they’ve squandered with their frankly poor reveal.
Last Updated: May 23, 2013