Microsoft maintains that’s “it’s all about the games”.
Not too long ago leading industry website Edge-Online heard from developers who are working on both PS4 and Xbox One, that Sony’s new machine was about 50 percent more powerful than Xbox One, and that the latter console’s ESRAM was a “pain” to use.
“Our contacts have told us that memory reads on PS4 are 40-50 per cent quicker than Xbox One,” the site said, “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.”
That being the case, Edge decided to speak Microsoft’s Phil Harrison and Sony’s Fergal Gara to get their own feedback on the hot article and the notion that PS4 is far superior, and the answers the publication received were quite interesting.
Here’s Microsoft’s Phil Harrison:
“Well I think there’s a couple of things I would say, one is that every platform I’ve ever been involved in somebody has said ‘oh, this has got more gigaflops or more teraflops than the other one,’ and at the end of the day it never really matters,” he said. “It’s all about having the best games and having the most impressive experiences, and clearly Xbox One has the best games. So that would be my first response.”
“The other is that any time that you ask a developer – including, by the way, our own internal studios – in the run up to launch of a console you’re going to get a slightly nuanced answer because the operating system’s not finished, the performance of the machine’s not locked, and as you may be aware we can increase CPU and GPU capability on Xbox One,” continued Harrison. “So I think it’s impossible to draw any conclusions from that based on pre-launch unfinished hardware and unfinished operating systems.
“My main response is going to be always that it’s about having the best game experiences and the widest possible set of content that people want to play.”
And here’s Sony’s Fergal Gara:
“We are getting similar feedback, and the overwhelming thing is that developers are delighted with PlayStation 4,” he told Edge. “It’s a big step on for us from PlayStation 3 which was less easy and there was a lot of work to be done post day one. This time we’re in very very good shape.”
“[Developers are] such an enormously important community to the success of the device,” he continued. “You heard Mark Cerny say back in February that it was five years of listening and responding – it has got to yield a good result, so having the developer at the core of your thinking right from the start has delivered that spec, and delivered the development tools that they’re all finding so easy.
“So yes, there’s no glass ceiling in terms of what [developers] want to do, and it’s easy to do it. They are two incredibly strong bits of feedback and we’re really proud of it.”
So it’s interesting that even Sony has been receiving the same feedback that Edge-Online received from developers, however the only way for such an advantage to manifest itself is by developers utilizing the full potential of PS4 and not being too worried about console parity.
From Microsoft’s perspective, raw power doesn’t matter, but games do — and they’re hoping Xbox One’s launch lineup will sway gamers their way.