5. Specs

xbox-one-vs-ps4

Okay, it’s easy to list the hardware and how powerful it is, you can find this info plastered over the web like dirty posters in a teenage lad’s bedroom. That is to say, bloody everywhere. Do that by numbers alone and the PS4 wins. But when you try and actually explain what this all means in terms of performance it gets a little more complicated. More numbers equals better performance, right? Not quite, as the law of diminishing returns kicks in. It usually means more potential, but the raw numbers ignore a very significant factor which is the system architecture.

Of the previous generation, the Xbox 360 architecture was very easy to work with and the PS3 architecture proved little short of a Gordian Knot for games developers. PS3 seem to have learnt their lesson on this one and have channelled a lot into making it easier. But we come back to the question at hand: what difference does this actually make?

Herein lies the problem. We don’t know yet.

Off the bat, it would appear that given the PS4 is running the next gen games in a higher definition. But then do you remember the Xbox 360 followed up thereafter with the Xbox 360 Elite. Remember, it’s Microsoft – with the Xbox One on the table in front of them, they are likely saying “we have the technology… but let’s wait a while.” It couldn’t possibly be a highly effective marketing strategy to get people to buy a console twice… could it?

Cutting to the chase, then, compare this generation’s starting line-up to the latest releases graphically. The way developers optimise and use the platform’s muscle develops over time, so just because one has an early jump doesn’t mean the race is won yet. Really the only way to actually notice the difference is by doing squinty-eyed side by side screenshot comparisons. Do you really want to be one of those people?

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This article was first posted on November 22, 2013