Sep 17, 2013
Sources have recently arisen stating that the PS4 may be 50% more powerful than Microsoft’s rival console, Xbox One. If this were to be true, it could prove to be an interesting competition between the two companies.
As far as the console war goes, this could have a significant impact. Developers have stated that the difference is noticeable, and if this is the case, then gamers could be swayed to go for the PS4. The memory read speeds are 50% faster, alongside the Arithmetic Logic Unit. The hardware is fairly similar, yet Sony seemingly make superior use of what is on offer. The 8GB of RAM within the PS4 is high-bandwidth GDDR5 memory, superior to the Xbox’s lower-bandwidth DDR3.
If true, the gaming experience could be noticeable, in that the frames per second could be comparably lower on the Xbox One, dropping from 30fps in 1080p to 20-odd in 1600×900 on the Xbox One. The driver’s on Microsoft’s console are called ‘horrible’, as the PS4 has a processer with greater graphics processing units. If developers are already stating such things, could be a weak spot for the console. Potentially, this means developers could choose to release their games on the PS4, if given the choice, or at least release a superior version on Sony’s console. This could prove trouble for Microsoft. This is also comparable to how currently, developers stated the PS3 was horrendous to develop for, and Sony have listened to them for the next generation; and it appears to have paid off.
Would gamers really go for a console based solely on performance? The past proves otherwise. In the last generation, the Xbox had better graphics, and was more powerful than the PS2, selling 24 million consoles. However, the PS2 sold nearly 155 million units (albeit selling for a longer period), but eclipsed the Xbox in sales. The current gen also shows a similar trend, as the Wii outsold both it’s rivals, with a total of 100 million units sold, and is vastly less powerful, more similar to the sixth generation in terms of graphics. Xbox 360 has sold 78.3 million thus far, alongside the PS3 at 75 million, at a more equal standing now. Yet in the beginning of the race, the Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 quite significantly, and appeared to be the winner in the war, despite it being the less powerful system, with fewer features.
Taking this into account, it cannot be for certain that consumers will purchase a Playstation 4 over the Xbox One purely because of power. Third party games will still appear on both consoles (at least until there is a clear winner), and if true, the PS4 editions will likely be brought down to Xbox’s level. The PS3 is currently capable of far greater graphics than the Xbox 360, as Uncharted or God of War have proven, yet third party games do not take advantage of this; merely porting the same copy which appears on the 360.
With less games appearing as exclusives these days (remember when Grand Theft Auto was a PlayStation exclusive?), the better visuals of the PS4 may not appear too often, and thus this difference in power would be negligible. But if developers did make use of this, or the Xbox One games do appear remarkably worse, it could be a deciding factor down the line, when gamer comments come out after release.
All out war
Microsoft’s cloud service could also prove to win over some fans, as the PS4 service could be a way away yet, aiming to launch by 2014 in the US. Exclusives may also play their part, with current Microsoft fans awaiting new entries from Halo and Gears of War, alongside Sony exclusive games such as Infamous. If there is a huge difference between consoles, I’m sure it will arise shortly after launch. If not, then when developers truly grasp the platforms, we will see any remarkable gaps between them. But for now, I think it is a matter of personal preference: whether you like the idea of Kinect, which exclusives you want, and which generally seems to be the more appealing console.
There is no doubt this news of a more powerful PS4 will damage Microsoft’s already bad reputation for the Xbox One, but I don’t think that will be the deciding factor for too many fans. But it could be the nail in the coffin for those on the fence. The potential the PS4 offers could be enough to persuade gamers into Sony’s army for the next console war.