Comparing the Xbox One and PS4 numbers is ‘meaningless’ 
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Darryn Bonthuys
July 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

Xbox One! Ah ah ah! Playstation 4! Ah ah ah!

If you’re going to argue consoles, then there’s one discussion that’s always going to pop up. The numbers. Storage capacity, gigawatts of RAM and floppies of produce power, it all comes down to an electronic dick-measuring contest in the end. And quite frankly, it’s all meaningless.

At least that’s how Xbox product planning boss Albert Penello feels. Speaking to OXM, Penello said that choosing a console was all about the games on offer, not the actual specs of the console.

“The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless,” Penello said. “Because this isn’t like 1990, when it was 16-bit versus 32-bit.”

As a matter of fact, they actually go out and they talk about how proud they are about their off-the-shelf parts. Our guys’ll say, we touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance. For me, I’d rather not even have the conversation, because it’s not going to matter.

The box is going to be awesome. The games are going to be awesome. I heard this exact same argument last generation and it’s a pointless argument, because people are debating things which they don’t know about. They’re not [head silicon engineer] Nick Baker or [corporate vice president of IEB hardware Todd Holmdahl], and I’m not [lead PS4 architect] Mark Cerny, so why are we having this discussion?

So the whole numbers game – yeah, I’ve been following it online and it’s like, we tried having that argument last time.

Do I want to talk about HDMI 1.3 or 1.4, it’s like ‘argh!’ It doesn’t matter. Did you see Call of Duty, it looks fucking awesome! It’s going to be great, you know. So we’re just saying, it’s not worth the debate.

The man has a point. While the Playstation 4 has more numbers than the Xbox One, both consoles can use their numbers rather well at present. Hell, just look at games like Ryse: Son of Rome and Infamous 2. They both look absolutely stunning, and at the end of the day, a slight extra anti-aliased polygon here and there isn’t going to put gamers off.

It’s also an argument that was heard when the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 first began their life cycles, and after a couple of years, the majority of games available have always featured similar visuals, despite the Playstation 3 having a clear advantage in the hardware department.

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Uberutang

    The lack of multi screen support on these consoles is disturbing.

    • Sageville

      I was not disturbed at all.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      That would have been very cool. No longer split screen but rather a screen per person :)

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    In marketing terms that means the PS4 is more powerful or he would be all over the stats like a rabbit on heat.

  • Martin du preez

    Yeah specs are irrelevant when you have “Infinite powar in teh cloudz” Amiright MS?

    • Ultimo_Cleric N7

      I think the “Cloud” must be some kind of smoke. Why? because its constantly being blown up our asses and because the Xbox1 launch crashed and burned..

      • Martin du preez

        My question is,how do the planes not fall out of the sky with all that power in the clouds???

  • Trevor Davies

    It’s not the size that counts, it’s how you use it :(

    • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

      That’s what she said before running off with my black friend.

      • Trevor Davies

        That’s what she said, and continued, “and you can’t even get that right.”

    • Hammersteyn

      Well sometimes…

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Good point, both consoles feature some stunning games. At the end of the day though, the previous generation was a different story since Sony were the arrogant ones. Now the roles are reversed and MS are being clowns with the weaker console. Might affect the debate I think.

  • Argentil

    It’s funny how every article I read spins this quote a different way. He goes on about how Sony publishing numbers is inconsequential (rubbish man! Are we all supposed to be blindly believing in the infinite power of the cloud?), then he goes on to say that their components are better because they’re custom. Ok.

    • Trevor Davies

      I’m trying to forget how disturbing it sounds to say “we touched every single component.” Sies!

      • HvR

        AMD provided them with all the silicone to touch and play with.

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          BWHAHAHA

        • Argentil

          Sexy stuff.

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    Meanwhile over at Microbrain HQ

    “Today I am leaving you in charge”

  • RinceWind

    These guys make me laugh. On the one hand ‘it doesn’t matter’ on the other ‘actually we are more powerful’. Erm 0-O I don’t really understand how this cloud thing is going to work. Do they really expect us to believe it will process at such a high rate it can make a game look better than being read from a disk? I get that it can do AI etc, but will our connections be fast enough to process a bizillion bits or whatever?

    • Sageville

      The only way I see cloud computing to be usefull, is if they were generating new render data on the fly.
      e.g. Generating 3D rendered maps for a game and then sending that data to each console.

      Like you said, even if the power is there to do that, I doubt the network infrastructure could handle that data real-time. So it would essentially be as usefull as a patch update, might be usefull for MMOs in some limited way, perhaps, maybe..

      Until they come up with an actual viable use for the cloud it is simply just a buzz-word.

      • RinceWind

        Agreed, it is most definitely a buzz-word they love throwing about. As Erwin was saying last week though, if the cloud plays such an important part or roll in the game, you will have to use it… Meaning you will have to be online or the game won’t work… Nah, they wouldn’t do that to us!

    • Weanerdog

      The only way I can see it been useful if its doing a bunch of computing that you don’t need at this time. Such as what is happening on the far side of the map that doesn’t effect you at this point and then when it does effect you it send the data for your machine to render locally. This may mean that the AI actually reacts to where you going to be but once you get their its the same old AI that you could have offline. This could mean more co ordinated attacks and bigger maps but otherwise the lag is gonna get you.

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    “Microsoft has hundreds of thousands of servers and dozens of data centers geographically distributed all around the planet, and Xbox One has the ability to instantly tap in to that limitless computational horsepower,”-Jeff Henshaw

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5u7ervZoO1ryf7dio1_500.gif

  • Concerned

    Software, that’s also what can help make the difference people! Same was true for the more powerful PS3 that never outperformed the 360. The PS3’s architecture supposedly held it back! Although a move in the right direction from Sony with the new PS4 architecture, MS have taken another leap forward by customized engineering their processors to take full advantage of their more “limited” power once again! Throw the new DirectX exclusive to Xbox and Win8 on top of that with their new Tiled tech, together with the cloud processing and I’m sure Xbox will one again give PS a good run for their money this next gen!

  • Wtf101

    Do I need to mention PS3 and Skyrim? Wasn’t that slowdown bug caused by the PS3 hardware? I remember something along the line of shared memory and so on?
    I might be wrong…

  • IceH

    The thing with those system specs is, that they may not matter right now – but they will in 2,3,4,5 years from now. Then, this DDR5 or this better HD or this and that may be the difference for games which will be able to be state of the art – or at least those exclusives which look better than the ones of the other console

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG
  • Kromas

    Power to the PC!

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  • DrKiller

    I’m sure a big number of us would want HDMI 1.4 and not HDMI 1.3 :P

  • Turd Ferguson

    Yeah, comparing numbers is irrelevant, because ours are theoretical, and there’s are clearly written on paper!