Developers Claim Differences Between Xbox One and PS4 are ‘Significant’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated September 14th, 2013 at 4:31 pm,

PS4 Xbox One Differences Significant

Just last week, Microsoft Senior Director Albert Penello addressed performance comparisons between his company’s next-gen console, the Xbox One, and the PS4 saying there are things about their system that are “not fully understood.” In essence, he was trying to say that, although reports suggest the PS4 is 30% more powerful than the Xbox One in terms of raw power, those differences might be negligible when it comes to running games.

However, several anonymous developers with close ties to next-gen development disagree. They believe that the differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One are “significant.”

According to these sources, who spoke to EDGE magazine, everything from read/write speeds to general gameplay performances is superior on the PS4. For example, a game that runs at a solid 1080p30 (1920×1080 resolution and 30 frames-per-second) on the PS4 runs at a noticeably slower 1600×900 with a framerate somewhere in the 20s on the Xbox One.

Microsoft is well aware of these issues, though, and have taken strides to improve them. Just recently they bumped up the speed of their CPU, but apparently that wasn’t enough. According to one of the sources, “The clock speed update is not significant, it does not change things that much.”

Still, both Microsoft and Sony are constantly changing things, updating graphics drivers and improving CPU and GPU speeds. Unfortunately, when it comes to updating drivers, Microsoft, again, has been a bit behind the curve. They say that Microsoft “has been late on their drivers and that has been hurting them.”

PS4 Xbox One E3 2013

It wasn’t all-bad, however, as the developers questioned did have some positive things to say about the Xbox One as well.

“Let’s say you are using procedural generation or raytracing via parametric surfaces — that is, using a lot of memory writes and not much texturing or ALU — Xbox One will be likely be faster.”

Unfortunately, the lack of up-to-date graphics drivers has put developers at a disadvantage. While they may want to push games to their limits, unfamiliarity with the hardware is holding them back. Many of the developers interviewed surmised that, given a little time, developers will find better ways to leverage each consoles’ quirks.

At the same time, the developers do hint that one console might be capable of delivering superior games, but they strive for parity for financial reasons. Presumably, if one version were superior to the other, then gamers would be discouraged from picking up the inferior version, perhaps even skipping the game altogether. And since the end goal for publishers is to sell as many units as possible, it’s smarter to keep multiplatform titles on an even playing field.

With only a few months before the launch of the PS4 on November 15th, and the Xbox One release a week later on the 22nd, we don’t expect comparisons regarding the two consoles to stop. Rather, we wouldn’t be surprised if they continued right up until they hit store shelves.

Clearly, some developers feel that what Sony is doing with the PS4 is better for games, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft can’t catch up. Also, we have no way to confirm these comments, and we won’t until multiplatform titles like Assassin’s Creed 4 or Call of Duty: Ghosts hit.

The next-gen console war is here, and it’s only heating up.

What do you think about these anonymous developer comments? Is the Xbox One lagging behind because Microsoft is rushing to finalize specs, or is it something else?

Sony’s PS4 launches November 15, 2013. Microsoft’s Xbox One launches November 22, 2013.

Source: EDGE

TAGS: Microsoft, PS4, Sony, Xbox One

  • Shalkowski

    Sounds to me like the Xbone is holding back the PS4. For multiplatform games of course.

    • Rad

      Welcome to where PCs have been for years…

      • anon

        Direct X is better than Open GL

        • reno2200

          But is Xbox One’s (probably somewhat custom-built) version of Direct X better than PS4’s (no doubt tweaked and optimised) version of Open GL? Frankly, it’s still difficult to directly compare the two until a released game is available on both and even then, it’s difficult due to prejudices.

          For example, Call of Duty will probably look better on Xbox One since CoD has a long standing relationship with Xbox (early access, PS3 versions were a bit meh compared to 360). Assassin’s Creed IV and Watch Dogs will probably look better on PS4 due to Ubisoft’s preference for Sony’s consoles (e.g. exclusive content).

          • Shalkowski

            What? They dont change the quality of the graphics because the dev favors that console over the other. Also, CoD still looks better on the PS3 than the 360. But thats not saying much since CoD has looked inferior since Black Ops.

          • reno2200

            They don’t actively try to make a game look worse, but some developers prefer a certain console to the others or just find it easier to make a game for it. CoD usually has more technical issues on PS3 compared to 360. Mafia II doesn’t have grass on the PS3 despite having it on the 360.

            A more recent (and more subtle?) example would be Grand Theft Auto V. It looks good, right? Well, you’ve only seen the PS3 version. All footage shown so far is from the PS3 build. Rockstar say it’s identical to the 360 version, but if that’s the case, why only show the game running on a PS3?

  • nick

    “For example, a game that runs at a solid 1080p30 (1920×1080 resolution and 30 frames-per-second) on the PS4 runs at a noticeably slower 1600×900 with a framerate somewhere in the 20s.”

    Shouldn’t it be xbox one runs at a noticeably slower speed?

    • michael


    • Jeff

      That’s what it says, it just has horrible wording.

    • Imateria

      It’s assuming that since it mentions the PS4’s speed you know the other figures are going to apply to the Xbone.

      • KING p†ouɹ∆

        all it needs to say is, on the “xbone” at the end.

        • dan

          Careful, you don’t want to hurt Microsoft’s feelings or they’ll get Major Nelson to complain about you lol

    • Anthony Taormina

      Made it clearer for you guys.

    • Luke

      That cannot be right nick…I mean the ps3 runs tops of 780 rather than 1080p and thats with a hdmi cable…and a frame rate of 30. The ps4 will run 1080p no worries with a decent hdmi and at a whopping 60 frames per second…this may not quite pass computers yet…but thats what they are saying it will. and the fight isn’t against ps4/computer…you already know the answer to that. anyways ps4 and xbox are both competing for the possition of the next gen CONSOLE. I do admire the computer for the unsurpassing graphics though…

      • reno2200

        The resolution a console runs a game at and the frames per second depend entirely on the game. Most Xbox 360 games are 720p, a few are genuinely 1080p and not just scaled up and… Battlefield 3 is 704p and is stretched out a bit. The console is the same for everyone, but some are better than others at getting the best out of it.

        The developer in question is saying that if there’s a game that isn’t optimised for the PS4 or the XBO and it’s full HD and 30fps on PS4, it’s only at 900p and 25fps on an Xbox One. Of course, this is just one developer. They might not know how to get all of the power out of the Xbox One which is *allegedly* more difficult to develop for compared to the Playstation 4.

  • Jeff

    “Let’s say you are using procedural generation or raytracing via parametric surfaces — that is, using a lot of memory writes and not much texturing or ALU — Xbox One will be likely be faster.”

    Now a lot of that seems overly technical to me, but in my mind, it means that the XBone is a lot faster than the PS4 in terms of not playing games. But feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    • GM

      Definitely related to graphics/AI in games. The guy is saying that the Xbox One will be faster at performing Procedural Generation and Raytracing.

    • Caleb

      I’m okay with this.

    • boogoo

      You’re wrong. 😉

      • dan

        Sooo… what’s right? because I was also a bit confused on the tech babble.

        • reno2200

          Well, according to the ‘objective opinion’ of unnamed developers, the PS4 is the more powerful console. The full quotation uses a phrase like ‘platform agnostic’ which is their way of saying ‘not optimised for either console.’ So, according to this person/these people, the Playstation 4 is noticeably the stronger console.

          Of course, optimisation will help to an extent and there will be some truly amazing exclusive games for both consoles. If anything, this is just confirming that the PS4 is easier to develop for. If you release a game without optimising it for the platform, it would just be a buggy mess. However, it would be a slightly-less-buggy buggy mess on PS4. I think.

  • reno2200

    “they strive for parity for financial reasons” – sounds like laziness to me. Many multiplatform games have been better on 360 or PS3 this past generation. Some were ridiculous – the graphics of Mafia II on PS3 come to mind – but they should push the boat out.

    If one version does look better and people complain… tell them to get stuffed? If you’re getting everything you can out of the console, then you’re getting everything you can out of the console. As long as the ‘better looking’ game isn’t better due to laziness or a rush-job port, what’s the issue, exactly?

  • Max King

    I’m no particular genius on the topic of computer hardware, but I’ve heard that both consoles are using graphics cards that are already outdated. This doesn’t make particular sense to me. Why not just stuff the newest card in there, like you can on most PCs? I realize a PC with an integrated graphics drive can’t have a new graphics card, but you’d think that Microsoft and Sony would want their consoles to be as cutting edge as possible. One upping one another on graphics drivers seems like a waste of time. If editors are going to make multi-platform games even anyway, why not just jack up the graphics card all the way and be done with it? The console will cost more for the companies to manufacture per unit, but a gamer that is told his Xbox One or PS4 is now outside the influence of the criticism of the “all powerful PC master race” is a happy gamer, who will be more inclined to purchase said device instead of purchasing a more expensive computer with the same graphics drive. Sales over profit, in my opinion both companies would stand to make more money, and would also stand to be criticized on their software and services alone.

    • Xander

      Because new graphics cards are always coming out for PC, so for consoles to keep up they would have to keep changing the graphics card right up until launch, and even after, it wouldn’t be long before a new one comes out.

    • Just Chris

      They don’t use the best because of the cost. They have a price point that clients are willing to pay around $400 to $500 max anything higher and most people wont buy it. Then they have a goal of HD 1080p 25 to 30FPS performance so you buy the parts that give you the performance your looking for at a price on parts that still will make money for the company. If what the author said about the Xbox is true and they are getting 1600×900 at 20FPS then Microsoft is in big trouble! Microsoft will have to change the hardware specks and from what I hear MS is saying they are already just going to be breaking even on the Xbox One and that is why they wont bring the price down to match the PS4 price so if they add better hardware the price will ether go up or they will loose money on each unit sold. Nether is a good option for Microsoft.

      • Just Chris

        But the best is to dam expensive! Best GTX card runs over $1000 and ATI $800+. For the price of the cards I have in this PC I could buy 4 Xbox Ones and still have some cash left over.

        • Rad

          There is no need for anyone (other than bragging rights) to get a GTX Titan or HD7990.

          A GTX770 or HD7970, either of which will blow the XBone & PS4 GPUs out of the water, will only cost you about $420.

    • Mark

      Its not only that the prices of newer graphics cards are higher, but they often require more expensive… everything to really optimize them. As well, newest generation GCs are, usually, receiving regular updates to improve performance, i have that with my Nvidia. Console developers would have a hard time getting by with updates every 2 weeks and maintain consistency. So they settle with older cards that have had all of their kinks work out.

      Honestly i wish they could just turn their “systems” into a functional PC OS so i could reap the benefits of the the console features with my far superior computer specs. But alas, that is just a dream.

      • Daonitre

        OR … you could just get a PC and join those who enjoy everything from basic to modded and DLC’ed while having the option of smaller upgrades at a time (or all at once if you prefer) whenever you’d like.
        Honestly? I’m curious why people still purchase consoles… you want a controller? PC has that, so before I get slammed with replies think please. 😉

        • boobsnbacon

          To answer your question there are things like exclusives. PC master race doesn’t have The Last of Us, Heavy Rain, or the Uncharted series. Then there are things like money. I built a PC before in 2009 and it ran me 600 bucks while using my monitor as a TV. Also there’s uniformity. While its nice to squeeze out everything I can with my GT 650m in my retina pro the having to set up display settings and some games not having a benchmarking tool or automatically picking the best for my card can be annoying at times. You also have the fact that not all games use controllers. So for me that’s why I just stick with consoles

        • Tremeos

          Mainly, I just want to play the game. Not fiddle around for hours/days trying to solve every little crisis a PC throws my way before the game will even work.

          Consoles excel at this while PC’s are a hit-or-miss.

        • reno2200

          Well, consoles set the benchmark because their use as gaming machines is more widespread. Yeah, ‘everyone has a computer’ but significantly less people use it for gaming. I’m referring to the slightly controversial notion of ‘proper gaming’ rather than playing Angry Birds on a tablet.

          I can buy a PS4 in November for less than it would cost to upgrade my PC to PS4 standards or beyond and eventually play games like Infamous Second Son, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. I’ll be able to play games several years down the line with them looking good and without having to upgrade.

          Also, not every game has mods. In fact, not many games have mods. Although every once in a while, one gets loads (GTAIV) and there are occasional ‘big ones’ like Day Z, there are not that many reasons to get a gaming PC over a PS4/XBO.

          Then there’s the infamous ‘buggy PC port’ syndrome where a PC version of a game is a complete mess. I’ve not had an issue like the ones I have on PC with my old 360. One of the weirdest and most obscure was having to create a custom resolution of 2190×1080 and then sifting through my AppData folder to force the game to use it to play Ghost Recon Future Soldier on my PC without massive black bars on a 1920×1080 TV. Just… weird/ridiculous/not necessary on a console.

  • Discipleinblack

    From what I understand about the graphics engines and all of that is that while the numbers sound different, it’s mainly a difference in pixelation, NOT visible to the naked eye. I could be wrong. I’m mostly a single player type of guy so bad frame rates were never a problem for me on the current consoles. Could I ask for more out of this next gen Xbox, yeah sure. But I really like the exclusives and I like the way the controller plays. I’m as cheap as they come some days and I still don’t really see what everyone is bashing it for. “Not game focused”. Dude, if it plays a game, it plays a game. That’s all I need. All the extra stuff is just a bonus. Why whine about that?
    Anyways, rant aside. All in all the PS4 is probably going to be a “better” console. That said, I’m not getting it. The only exclusive they had that I really wanted was The Last of Us. Aside from that, meh.
    Graphics are only cool the first thirty minutes of a game. After that they’re just what you’re used to. So, really I’m okay if the pixels aren’t quite as polished on a microscopic level. As long as I can play my games, and enjoy their content, who cares?

    • 1015

      So, when Naughty Dog comes out with a PS4 exclusive?

      • Discipleinblack

        I’m not buying a console for one game. No matter how good it is. I just won’t. That’s the point. I prefer Xbox, and the games it offers. Unless PS can open up some new games that REALLY grab my interest, that’s the way it’ll stay, and I’ll just miss out on a small number of games that I would enjoy.

        • Jsblazed

          I agree, I love my 360. I bought a PS3 it was a waste of money as it just sits there. I have maybe put 30hrs of game time since I got it only really playing, Uncharted 1+2… if Sony didn’t have naughty dog thy would have nothing. That said I hate the dual shock and analog stick location. The controller response to screen sucks- lagging while Xbox is fast and direct more like a mouse and keyboard. You watch how the reticle moves in killzone compared to titan fall, TF looks fast and smooth. Maybe its just the higher frame rate. I really don’t think the controllers are on par and now the xbone’s has even less lag with better toggles and extra rumblers for in game immersion. PS4 is still playing catch up on the ‘in game’ control side of things. Anyways, I’m only buying a Xbox1 this time around… and a wiiU after another price drop. PS guys, I didn’t want you guys on Xboxlive anyway as it would just be TOO easy for us xboners to kill you… you better stick with your inferior PSN 😉

    • boobsnbacon

      I think people whine about a gaming console not being focused on games is how the company will view its users and the game market. They probably feel shunned and whatnot. Just imagine someone for the first time demoing a car and showing you nothing of its main purpose but just hey it has XM sattelite. Am I buying a car or a radio. At least that’s what I gather especially when you throw in the anti-consumer stuff microsoft was about

  • Jason

    I think that Microsoft has a lot of potential in creating a great games console, but they are doing a terrible job showing it.

    • reno2200

      Bang on.

  • PromKnight

    Here’s a question… If the PS4’s so much more powerful, then why do the games on the PS4 look the same or worse compared to X1?

    • reno2200

      I’d say they look about the same… what games are you comparing, exactly?

    • Jsblazed

      because… “Let’s say you are using procedural generation or raytracing via parametric surfaces — that is, using a lot of memory writes and not much texturing or ALU — Xbox One will be likely be faster.”

      If xboxone uses tiled resources with DX, then they can ’tile’ the screen together using the write of the Esram. Very fast and low cost to the GPU. But, it is new tech/drivers under construction just as the dev’s state. Could end up giving the X1 more realistic graphics down the line… do to the ‘ray tracing’ which is how you get photo realism and reflections like Forza 5 and Quantum Break. This is what the Xbox was made to do, TFs aren’t everything.

    • worldw4r

      Are you kidding? Killzone and infamous alone look incredible and far superior to any of the x1 games visually. Ryse is the best looking game ,but plays like trash if you have watched any of the gameplay videos.

  • Jeff

    “While they may want to push games to their limits, unfamiliarity with the hardware is holding them back.”

    What i get from this is that the developers seem to think that Microsoft doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet. When they’re so close to the release date that they set for their console you would think they should at least have a better grasp on how to keep up with Sony here.

    I totally agree that the two consoles should be for the most part equal. If they’re not then it’s not only gonna hurt the sales of the inferior console, but also the sales of the games. As much as i personally dislike the xbox, i feel it is needed as a dark to the playstation’s light in a sense. The specs that were released showed that the PS4 would be slightly more powerful than the Xbox One, but in my opinion it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

  • TKtheDJ

    I swear when this all started – this generations console war – we were talking about games at 60 fps, now I’ve seen a lot of 20, 30 fps. What gives?

    • reno2200

      Not many 360/PS3 games had 60fps. It’s early days for PS4/XBO so they won’t push the systems that much. I think Dice revealed Battlefield 4 to be running at 720p at 60fps on PS4 because they’re prioritising fps over graphics.

      Of course, it could just be a comparison given by the anonymous developers – if a game is running 1080p at 30fps on PS4, the same game would run at a lesser resolution with less fps. Allegedly.

  • Ph1llyBust3r

    Raw power is not everything. I have an Alienware M14x and I still prefer my Xbox 360. The social aspect and controller are more important to me than seeing a few more seagulls in the sky. I do prefer higher graphics capability but lets be serious, the first gen games on both the PS4 and Xbox wont be utilizing these consoles to the fullest capability. Plus, like they said, they aren’t going to make one game better looking than the other because they are only in it to sell games! Both of these consoles are going to kick ass so people need to stop jumping on the hate wagon and just be happy with whatever they decide on.