There’s no doubt that on paper, the way Sony’s designed the PS4 and the AMD components it’s selected offer 50 per cent more power in the GPU department over the Xbox One. But does it really make any difference when you get down to playing a game?
That’s the question Eurogamer and Digital Foundry set out to try and answer by using PC components as close to the AMD parts that the two new consoles will come packing. Of course, off-the-shelf stuff didn’t quite cut it, so a little bit of clock-speed modification was required, and even then the parts didn’t exactly match those of the consoles.
However, looking solely at the GPU performance differential between the two consoles, Eurogamer managed to hack together a decent theoretical comparison, and the results might surprise you.
It’s well worth reading the whole in-depth article for a complete breakdown of what’s what between the PS4 and the Xbox One, but I’ll give you the crib notes here.
It turns out that despite having 50 per cent more power in the GPU department, the in-game graphical performance of the surrogate PS4 only managed around 25 per cent faster frame rates, like-for-like in the gaming benchmarks. The interesting thing here is that the homebrew Xbox One test rig kept up with the PS4-like kit if the resolution was turned down from 1080p a smidgen, which makes me think that on the whole the two are going to be very evenly matched.
In fact, it’s likely that on launch, cross-platform titles are going to be practically identical between the two systems. Only once programmers have properly gotten to grips with the extra horsepower available will the games start to look any different on the PS4, which is something the PS3 was saddled with before it. The Cell chip at the heart of the PS3 was technically more powerful than the Xbox 360, but it took almost the complete lifecycle of the console for developers to really get the most out of it.