Anonymous Developers Claim That The PS4 Is “50% Faster”
Yes, we’re here again. Even I thought that after all these reveals and the fact that we’re two months away from the launch of next-gen hardware would slow down the barrage of PS4 and Xbox One speculation, especially in terms of raw power comparisons. Sadly, that’s not the case, and a new report by Edge claims that the PS4 is up to 50% faster than it’s main competitor, the Xbox One.
Speaking anonymously to developers who have had access to both consoles, Edge reports that a few developers claim that the Xbox One is quite behind in terms of power. Well, in one out of a few thousands aspects at least.
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Our contacts have told us that memory reads on PS4 are 40-50 per cent quicker than Xbox One, and its ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) is around 50 per cent faster. One basic example we were given suggested that without optimisation for either console, 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,” concluded one developer.
Over the course of last week, Microsoft was rather vocal about comparisons such as these, stating that figures such as this were often blown out of proportion, and that faster speeds in one area of the console’s hardware doesn’t in any way translate to a clear cut advantage. In fact, Microsoft have even taken steps to increase the clock speed of the Xbox One, but developers have stated that the boost is so minor that changes are hardly even noticeable.
The most interesting, and controversial, statements made by these anonymous sources presented the idea that cross-platform PS4 games would look and perform worse than they possibly could due to the fact that developers will need to develop for what sounds like the lowest common denominator between the two consoles.
One source even suggested that enforcing parity across consoles could become a political issue between platform holders, developers and publishers. They said that it could damage perceptions of a cross platform title, not to mention Xbox One, if the PS4 version shipped with an obviously superior resolution and framerate; better to “castrate” the PS4 version and release near-identical games to avoid ruffling any feathers.
As expected, Microsoft didn’t take this kind of publicity lying down, releasing a statement to Kotaku a few hours after their story went live.
“Ten years ago, you could argue that a console’s power was summed up in terms of a few of its specs, but Xbox One is designed as a powerful machine to deliver the best blockbuster games today and for the next decade.
Xbox One architecture is much more complex than what any single figure can convey. It was designed with balanced performance in mind, and we think the games we continue to show running on near-final hardware demonstrate that performance. In the end, we’ll let the consoles and their games speak for themselves.”
Of course, comparisons such as this can still only be taken as pure speculation, and the fact that these “anonymous” sources don’t have the guts to step forward and put a name to their claim is suspicious enough already. In fact, until both consoles release in just two months, we can’t really say anything for sure. And even then, launch games are usually not the best comparison tests, with developers only getting really comfortable with the hardware a few years in.
In short, comparisons such as this aren’t really relevant in this day and age.