It seems that there was a reason behind the hazy specifications that Microsoft released for the Xbox One – it’s not quite up to snuff compared to the PlayStation 4. The ever reliable technology gurus over at Digital Foundry have stripped back both consoles and come up with some fascinating conclusions – namely that Sony’s system has a GPU roughly 50 per cent more powerful than its counterpart.
“We know that both Xbox One and PS4 are based on Radeon GCN architecture and we also know that each compute unit is capable of 64 operations per clock," explained author Richard Leadbetter. “So, again, through a process of extrapolation from the drip-feed of hard facts, the make-up of the One's GPU is confirmed – 12 compute units each capable of 64 ops/clock gives us the 768 total revealed by Microsoft, and thus, by extension, the 1.2 teraflop graphics core.”
He added: “That's another tick on the Durango leaked spec that has been transposed across to the final Xbox One architecture, and the proof that we need that the PS4's 18 CU graphics core has 50 per cent more raw power than the GPU in the new Microsoft console."
Of course, it’s not the only advantage that Sony’s system holds. The PlayStation maker is using significantly faster RAM than is found in the Xbox One, which Leadbetter hypothesises is the result of a fortuitous gamble. It also seems that the PS4 will have a much smaller system footprint, with roughly 1GB of the console’s memory being reserved for system tasks, while Microsoft’s machine will supposedly require a whopping 3GB.
It’s not entirely clear what impact this will have on multiplatform games, but you can probably rule out shoddy PS4 ports at this point in time. There’s plenty more technical information available through here. It’s a fascinating read – well, if you’ve got a degree in computer science, anyway.