Uh oh Microsoft. Just when you were doing so well and regaining some ground after your horrible start to the Xbox One's PR run, Edge magazine goes and publishes something like this. Yes folks, according to a bunch of developers Edge has been speaking to, the PlayStation 4 runs most non-optimised games 50 per cent faster than the Xbox One.
According to the mag's sources, memory reads are somewhere between 40 and 50 per cent faster on the PS4 and the inbuilt Arithmetic Logic Unit is also running around 50 per cent faster. That's all well and good, but what does it equate out to? According to the devs, with an unoptimised game, the PS4 will render a high-fidelity scene at around 30 frames per second at 1920 x 1080 resolution, whereas the Xbox One will struggle to make it into the high 20s at 1600×900.
One developer also noted that using the Xbox One's ESRAM is a “pain.”
With engines like CryEngine being so multi-platform these days, this may not make much of a difference
Of course Microsoft has known about this for some time, which is most likely why it's been trying to flood the press with claims that it's been upping the CPU and GPU clock speeds by a few MHz here and there. We all know though, that that doesn't make a massive difference. That's not just my opinion, that's the devs themselves.
“The clock speed update is not significant,” said one developer. “It does not change things that much. Of course, something is better than nothing.”
Let's make it clear though, this isn't across the board; the PS4 won't be faster at everything. The Xbox One is faster off the mark with complicated stuff like raytracing and procedural generation. Also, performance at this point is severely limited on both consoles thanks to drivers being in their first few iterations. Give it time and both machines will get immeasurably more powerful. Just look what the Xbox 360 and PS3 have been able to do with eight year old hardware.
Unfortunately however, even with Sony's performance lead out the gate, it doesn't mean PS4 users will get better looking games.
“It would be totally fine for us to make one version prettier without any political difficulties,” said one developer, “but it usually doesn't make financial sense unless it’s a very simple tweak.”
Kitguru Says: Another shot in the foot for Microsoft, but I get the feeling you guys weren't going to buy an Xbox One any way, right?