News Article

PS4's Power Advantage Over Xbox One Is Irrelevant, Says Pachter

Posted by Sammy Barker

Doesn't influence purchasing decisions

It didn’t take long for the PlayStation 4 to be crowned the king of next-gen consoles. Speculation regarding the power advantages of Sony’s system was rife prior to release, but the story really exploded when it was confirmed that blockbusters such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts would run at a higher resolution than the Xbox One on the Japanese giant’s device. That narrative has continued well into the New Year, with titles such as Trials Fusion demonstrating advantages on the PlayStation maker’s latest platform.

Despite the console’s install base pulling away from its closest competitor, though, outspoken industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t believe that the power differentiation is a factor in the sales disparity at all. “I think that it’s funny,” he told Gaming Bolt. “I think that the distinction between these two consoles in terms of power is really [more of] a headline than it is a practical matter. It’s not like anybody says, ‘Oh, I can play the game side by side, and the PS4 game plays better.’”

He continued: “Maybe it looks better, or that’s what some people say, but they generally run at the same speed, so I don’t really understand how people can say that one looks better than the other. I don’t believe them, and I know that everybody loves to say that they can tell [the difference], but I am sure that the average customer can’t. So, I don’t think that it makes any difference at all, and I don’t think that Microsoft is going to try to bring in the ‘power of the cloud’ to make up for anything.”

In a sense, we think that Pachter’s accurate: the average consumer almost certainly can’t tell the difference. However, we think that the issue is more profound than that, as there’s now a mainstream perception that the PS4 is more powerful than its counterpart. And that’s influencing decisions – especially seeing as Sony’s system retails at a lower price point than the Xbox One when stores aren’t slashing its price. Do you agree that this stigma is adversely affecting Microsoft machine? Let us know in the comments section below.


User Comments (43)



B4SDR4G said:

If I had made my decision solely on specs, I'd go with PC. I mainly chose PS4 for my friends and the price as well as availability.



yamipuff said:

The difference in power between the Xbox One and PS4 actually made the decision for me to get a PS4. I believe it is an important factor to take into consideration. Tomb Raider was a last gen game and the Xbox One couldn't perform it at 60fps and sometimes had to drop quality in favour for performance. If the Xbox One can't handle performing last gen games at a high level then I don't want to think how it will cope 3 years in with games designed for this generation.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

He's an idiot. It might not be noticeable now but few years down you will. We've only had two proper ps4 games in shadow fall and second son, a case can be made for mgs but its not really a full game.



ZeD said:

@yamipuff another example is the Amazing Spider man 2. No release date for Xbox One yet and it is probably due to performance issues. Last gen it was the ps3 developers struged with, this time it is Xbox. It's a mad mad world



adf86 said:

I think Sammy makes the more important point which is "perception" cos right now the narrative is the PS4 is more powerful and is selling far better, which makes it more likely that will be swayed to buy a PS4 over Xbox One.



Filfield said:

Who is this Patcher guy. I'm sure he originally predicted a landslide for Microsoft last year.
I don't really respect his opinion.
Surely performance IS a factor when choosing your new console, the FACT that multi platform games look better on PS4 is impacting sales figures. Especially when that is the vast majority of games available for both systems?



Munkyknuts said:

The fact it was made widely known that the PS4 is the more powerful has to have some impact on's somewhere in any interested parties mind that the Sony console has more power....As Sammy said, it's down to perceptions. The power thing didn't influence me but I was aware of it, I was always going to choose the PS4 but I know plenty of people who left Microsoft this generation...and they would have been aware of the Playstation 4s superior performance too.



Munkyknuts said:

Also I don't read much gaming news really...but everything this Patcher bloke says seems to be the spoutings of someone who appears to be a bit of a ****.



Cowboysfan-22 said:

I think the PS4's advantage in power might have affected some sales but the number is probably irrelevant when we're talking about 7 million sold. I'd say it's probably about the same as the number of sales affected by the DRM situation. How many Microsoft people actually jumped ship?



WWammy said:

People want the best value for money so when the Xbox one costs more and is less powerful than the PS4 people perceive this as less value for money.
If they had launched at the same price point there could have been that argument where there's not much difference in power however it's a stinger when you pay 100 more and get a less powerful console with a lot of games already showing the capabilities to be better.
For me PS4 equals more value for money because I get more for less than what Xbox is offering and I don't like kinect



Carl-G said:

I laughed HARD the other day while playing 'Trials Fusion' thinking "Why can't the Xbox ONE do this game to in 1080p & 60fps"



lacerz said:

Pachter is an idiot. He predicted the Xbox One would come out priced at $399 and that it would be the stronger console. He might as well be looking at tea leaves.



baconcow said:

He is essentially saying 720p and 1080p have no differences. On my 55" plasma, they are night and day different. If I wanted 720p, I'd just stick with my PS3/Xbox 360. Power didn't make the choice, I wanted Sony games more. However, the disadvantage the Xbox One has won't have me buying it as a tertiary console anytime soon. He is a poor analyst. If the Xbox One had far better performance than the PS4, it would have sold better. Once my friends (who own Xbox 360) heard it was the weaker console, they all decided they would get a PS4 for Destiny, instead of an Xbox One.



OhioGamer said:

5 years from now we will be looking at a huge difference. Look at the New tomb raider game now. They both look similar on each console but the ps4 gets way better frames. If I can have better frames and better graphics for $100 less. That's a no brainer. Also there's PlayStation plus. Which is still $10 cheaper than xbl and with tons of deals and free games.



ReigningSemtex said:

The reason I got ps4 over XBone was
Cheaper price
Better performance
Better exclusive games.

And I believe most games console consumers think about these things (as well as what console their friends have got).
I look forward to the day that Patcher is irrelevant to gaming news.



N711 said:

Pachter is irrelevant. Its well known now that PS4 is the more 'powerful console' like advertised too. Doesnt matter if you can see it or not you just want whats best. Or else its just personal choice and preferences either controllers,or Kinect stuff (somehow I think more women like that but I may be wrong)



get2sammyb said:

I do think he's got a point - the average person can't tell the difference. As pointed out in the article, the problem is that it's widely known that PS4 is more powerful, and that does make a difference.

PS3 faced the same problem, although it was a bit different, as while some third-party games performed poorly on the PS3, the exclusives always looked above and beyond anything else out there IMO.



Chouzetsu said:

It does seem to affect certain people. I think Sony's going to exploit the hell out of it... Of course at least someone is going to buy the more powerful console, not because it is an inherently better experience but because of the numbers they saw on TV.



mitcHELLspawn said:

It's pretty much the main reason I'm starting to buy more games for my ps4 than my Xbox One. Also, I love the dualshock 4. can't believe I'm actually saying I like the playstation controller better than the xbox one. times surely have changed.that and better games coming.. hell bound by flame isn't even coming to xbox one and watch dogs has exclusive content as well as destiny. it hurts to pretty much abandon my achievement hunting since I don't find the trophy system as good. it's crazy realizing how addicted to the achievement systrm I really was.. for the first few months I still bought the xbox versions of games even though I knew the ps4 ones ran better. They knew what they were doing when they made that achievement system.



memoryman3 said:

I actually switched my Wii U at one point to 720p and didn't notice after a day.

Then I turned it to 1080p....The UI showed a night and day difference.



memoryman3 said:

Resolution also turned me off from the Vita, too many games run at sub-native res. Go play Modnation, then switch over to a native-res title such as Sonic Transformed. Monumental difference.



charlesnarles said:

I do think the average gamer can tell between 720, 900, and 1080 res, and also 30fps vs 60. If you can't, you're weird. And yeah nobody (in their right mind) bought both consoles, but duh there are comparison split screen videos clearly showing exactly what the difference is, which is substantially noticeable. It comes down to FLOPS, man: PS4 has more floating points!



JaxonH said:

First, let me say I am not particularly fond of MS, although I do plan on buying an X1 at some point. Still, this needs to be said.

I think Patcher's right, for once. Sure, having a little extra power's nice, but it certainly didn't factor into my decision to buy a PS4, not even a little bit. What I considered was A) PRICE B) EXCLUSIVES and that's pretty much it. My buddy at work is buying an Xbox One this summer to go with his Wii U. He knows it's slightly less powerful, but what does that matter to him when he wants to play Killer Instinct?

Price and gaming library are the two biggest factors people consider when choosing a console. Fanatics like to blow the specs difference out of proportion. I mean look- I bought a PS4, but even if X1 and PS4 traded places and PS4 was the weaker of the two, I STILL would have bought it. Why? Because I don't give a rat's a** about running at 1080p as opposed to 900p, what I care about is the console's a hundred bucks cheaper and has more exclusives I want to play.

Do people even realize how little of a difference there is? I promise you, if you had both consoles running the same game side by side in a store demo station, most people who walk by would NEVER tell the difference. I'm all in favor of having games run a tad better, but let's not pretend this is a big deal when it's really not. Sure it's nice, but it means little. The difference is negligible.

I know fans always like to flaunt the reasons their console is superior, but I really feel people should drop this whole power difference debate. Being $100 cheaper and solid exclusives is enough to argue the point. Yes, the PS4 is technically superior to X1, and yes that is a plus, but come on, there's a difference between paper specs and practicality. In theory, it sounds like a huge gulf but in action side by side, you can barely tell a difference, if at all. I really feel this isn't the bullet point fans should be bragging about. This issue seems to mean the most to the fans who are extremely loyal to Sony. To everyone else, it's just another PRO on a long list.



Gamer83 said:

No sh*t Pachter. I think price plays a bigger role at this point, and Sony built up some good momentum with how strong PS3 finished, and while I think its marketing of games (at least in NA) still sucks, the console itself has been advertised very well. To Say power is irrelevant though? Can't 100% agree. Not only is PS4 $100 less expensive but it's got more horsepower, that does mean something.

That was a factor for me as well, though I'd be lying if I said I don't want to get an X1 when Halo 5 comes out. I just hope it's much cheaper by then, that I don't have to get a damn Kinect with it and that all this DRM nonsense is put to rest.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Hes right, power isn't going to be the biggest deciding factor for most people. If it was then just about every console generation should have went in the opposite direction. Power is nice when you have it but games and price will come first, even if the Xbox was stronger would the extra $100 be worth it?

The raw power itself is might as well be meaningless anyway, what matters most is public perception. All that matters is that people think something is more powerful, it doesn't matter if it actually is.



BlueProxy said:

True the average person won't notice, but if there is technically more detail or a higher frame rate, then thats a fact. So saying "I don't believe it" is just an opinion.



ShogunRok said:

It's certainly not irrelevant when people start spreading word that various multiplatform games perform worse on Xbox One.



InsertNameHere said:

The average gamer may not be able to tell the difference, but that's what the internet is for. If someone just wants the most powerful console, then they're going to take to the internet and find out which system runs multiplats better.

Most will just ask an employee at whatever store they plan on purchasing their system from, but someone who's looking for the most bang for their buck is going to do the legwork for themselves.



Alpha said:

Dont matter i prefer Sony than Microsoft.... i prefer Nintendo and PC over Microsoft.... unless its Xbox and halo 3 on 360... thats bout it. :/ im confusing a lil bit lol



kensredemption said:

This is the same guy who said Nintendo was better off becoming a third-party developer and abandon the hardware sector altogether, even speculated that Sony wanted priority for Call of Duty DLC to get an edge over Microsoft...

Why is he still running amok? All he's doing is perpetuating nonsense.



JustAnotherUser said:

I'm afraid it is relevant.
The PS4 is more power than the XBOX ONE and easier to develop for.
If they can get Tomb Raider running on an XBOX ONE ported from a PS4 running at 720p with minimal effort why would they go out of their way to optimize it.

The same thing with Child of Light on the Wii U.



SethPuddle said:

I have both systems, and while I love them both my ps4 is my favorite. you can really tell the difference in quality. ps4 is so much better looking. and a good game is always better if it looks good as well.



GraveLordXD said:

@Gamer83 yeah I would have gotten one also for halo5 but I just can't forgive them after that fiasco. I've had the original Xbox and 360 but it stops there



goonow said:

I am sure that eventually the only difference between the two will be just the lighting. The only difference between xb360 and ps3 games is that ps3 usually has slightly better lighting. Both consoles run the same 3rd party games anyway. I wish the xb1 was on par with ps4 cause it sets a standard for what 3rd party games will look like. Developers only make games that can run on both sony and microsfts machienes.



goonow said:

@BlueProxy the i dont believe them comment sounds spiteful to me. I think hes just mad the ps4 outsold xb1cause he was probably one of the people who told ea that the xb1 would out sell ps4. I think this is just a case of sour grapes.



TheLZdragon said:

Specs alone mean nothing unless software takes advantage of them. I regard gameplay experiences above raw power. Even the Wii U is capable of providing such experiences



Rapidaz said:

The thing what screwed xboxone up was that terrible 2013 E3 , it's not about graphics , the ps3 had a lot better graphics than the Xbox 360 but a lot more people preferred the 360 . I was an Xbox 360 owner and was looking forward to the xbox one , but the whole E3 thing blew it , so now I'm a proud owner of a brilliant PS4 HAPPY DAYS

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