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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:54am 01/07/13 | 16 Comments
There's no denying this forthcoming generation has reached slinging match levels of 90s SEGA vs Nintendo in the playground proportions, and it's beginning to polarise consumers tired of unfounded attacks, or unbelievable retorts.

The age-old argument of hardware power versus software quality is currently front and centre, with Xbox One planning head Albert Penello responding to a recent Digital Foundry side-by-side comparison of the PS4 and Xbox One hardware, telling OXM that such comparisons are "meaningless".

"The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless," Penello said. "As a matter of fact they actually go out and they talk about how proud they are about their off-the-shelf parts. Our guys'll say, we touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance.

"For me, I'd rather not even have the conversation, because it's not going to matter," he continues. "The box is going to be awesome. The games are going to be awesome. I heard this exact same argument last generation and it's a pointless argument, because people are debating things which they don't know about. They're not [head silicon engineer] Nick Baker or [corporate vice president of IEB hardware Todd Holmdahl], and I'm not [lead PS4 architect] Mark Cerny, so why are we having this discussion?"

There are arguments for and against in most aspects of this new console war, and Sony's PS3 was arguably more powerful than the Xbox 360 yet both machines found visual parity after most devs worked out each machine's kinks (Naughty Dog efforts aside), and software is a major factor, but scrutiny will reign supreme early on in the life of this next generation. What are your thoughts on the PS4's new developer-friendly hardware specs, and the console war, thus far, in general?

ps4ps3xbox 360xbox onesonymicrosoftnext generationconsole war

Latest Comments
Posted 12:39pm 01/7/13
this guy sounds like an a******.

anyway, if this reddit post is to be believed, there's a huge difference between the consoles, which could very well affect the quality of the games.
Posted 04:48pm 01/7/13
I haven't had a console since the Nintendo Cube but, won't developers kinda just develop for the lowest common denominator?
Posted 05:15pm 01/7/13
this is the sort of thing you'd expect to hear from the loser
Posted 05:48pm 01/7/13
@jayman whilst that is true, the disparity between the two is quite large and might be noticeable when playing the game. If that reddit article is to be believed you'd be looking at a much better playing experience on the ps4 vs the xbone with upwards of 20 to 50% more FPS.

Also you'd have to consider exclusives - look at what uncharted/last of us has done just recently for the PS3. If the disparity is really that much and they have 50% more power to work with .... well yer the exclusives, in theory, should look much better than MS can put out.
Posted 05:55pm 01/7/13
I just want one. BECAUSE I CAN.
Posted 06:11pm 01/7/13
Naughty Dog is the sole reason I will buy another console. Anything on top of that is a bonus.

I find Xbox360 exclusives so unappealing.

Posted 06:18pm 01/7/13
better playing experience on the ps4 vs the xbone with upwards of 20 to 50% more FPS.
But most software devs these days just end up capping the FPS at 30 anyway even on PC (you know it's a sad time for gaming when the ability to have more than 30fps is actually listed as a "feature").
Posted 08:39pm 01/7/13
Whoop's got a point.

I seem to recall a lot of talk of "the goal is 30fps at 1080p" for next gen consoles.

Not sure if that's for EVERYTHING, but that's what everyone seems to be aiming for.

And about the PC fps thing, it's usually 60 :P Though hopefully with the consoles becoming so much closer to PC's with this gen, that should hopefully mean that it should be far easier to port without s*** like capping frames to prevent animations freaking out (ala dark souls)
Posted 08:47pm 01/7/13
On a TV, lets say that some games can run at 60 frames, will it look smoother than 30 frames?? Similar to PC gaming where there is noticeable difference between 60hz and 120hz monitors?
Posted 11:22pm 01/7/13
He sounds like a douche, but he has a point, people did have this exact same argument last generation, claiming how much more powerful the PS3 was on paper. When in practise, they're essentially the same.

Even if there is a huge disparity, its probably only going to be really noticeable in the platform exclusive games, cos multi-platform games will just be made with the lowest common denominator in mind. But I guess the PS4 has some pretty meaty exclusives, so thats not a small point to ponder.
Posted 12:47am 02/7/13
For this generation this is just an argument coming from the second place. If performance of the consoles didn't matter then why have a new generation at all instead of sticking with the current? There have been a few truly wonderful games released this year on the current gen.

Last generation the consoles had very different architectures which made them hard to compare real world performance especially since the PS3 was significantly more difficult to program for than the xbox 360.

This generation the 2 consoles are almost identical architecturally, both have AMD x86 64bit 8 core CPU, both have an AMD GPU with similar tech and both have 8GB of RAM but the PS4 is faster on the RAM and GPU. It should be fairly easy for developers to have their games scale up to use the PS4 hardware effectively especially considering they already do this on PC. At very least I would see the PS4 giving better frame rates than the Xbone if they didn't bother to do any scaling at all.

Another hit against the Xbone is for this generation it is actually the harder console to work with to get the best performance because you have to write specifically to use the 32MB of ESRAM to get your performance where as the PS4 has simpler architecture.

@WhilWind I have heard a lot of talk about 60fps, especially for the first person shooter games.
Posted 12:50am 02/7/13
@maRz considering most modern TVs (LCD/plasma/etc) would be 60hz jumping from 30fps to 60fps would be noticeable.
Posted 09:58am 02/7/13
Another hit against the Xbone is for this generation it is actually the harder console to work with to get the best performance because you have to write specifically to use the 32MB of ESRAM to get your performance where as the PS4 has simpler architecture.

I'd imagine it'll be abstracted and pretty easy to use from an API point of view though, MS have traditionally had far, far superior APIs than Sony. The PS2 and the PS3 were dogs to program for.

Just have to wait and see, but I reckon when all is said and done they'll just end up being the same.
Posted 03:19pm 02/7/13
Microsoft does traditionally make pretty good APIs but this isn't something your gonna be able to easily abstract away and expect to squeeze any significant performance out of it. You will need to make specific decisions on asset to put that RAM rather than the system RAM.

It isn't a huge issue and I would expect a lot of developers to be able to manage it pretty easily as they have been doing with the Xbox 360 already, which had a similar setup, but the PS4 looks like it will be significantly faster by default with it being pretty easy to scale games to higher quality to use the hardware.
Posted 03:45pm 02/7/13
this from an interview between ausgamers and BF4 producer:

Aleksander: That’s right. The next gen consoles will have 64 players, so finally you’ll be able to experience that true land, sea, air, epic-scale battles colliding at once. Yeah, we’re bringing that to the console audience, which is a big thing for us, together with the 60FPS stuff we’re having for the next-gen consoles too.

64 players for consoles @ 60FPS???
Posted 04:58pm 02/7/13
BobaFaux, do you develop for XboxOne and PS4?
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