The next-gen console wars kicks off early as insider claims the Xbox 720 will outperform the PS4 quite considerably.
Published on Jan 17, 2013
As part of an insider reveal - with numerous technical details on the Xbox 720 and PS4 spotted - a developer has claimed that the Xbox Next will be considerably more powerful than the PS4.
The tech specs of both the PS4 and the Xbox 720 are quite telling of where next-gen might take us, and the insider claims that Sony is looking to target 4K resolutions for its TV market while Microsoft is intending to target complex ray tracing lighting technology.
As part of the reveal, the insider confirmed that both consoles will be "a big jump" on what we have now, and that quite a lot of next-gen espionage has gone on as both console manufacturers try to compete with one another.
Sony caught wind of Microsoft's dual SOC (System On Chip) technology, and countered it by increasing the RAM to 8GB as well as improving the GPU.
However, Microsoft has since reacted to that by adding in a third SOC into the Xbox 720 - resulting in what the developer refers to as "three computers in one".
The Differences Between PS4 & Xbox 720
The insider was asked about whether this three SOC system will cause issues for developers, questioning whether it could prove as difficult as the PS3's Cell chip to develop for.
On paper both systems are capable of 3.2TFlops of data, however the Oban blitter inside the Xbox 720 increases the speed at which data is transferred, meaning the Xbox Next is actually capable of 4.2TFlops.
The inclusion of EDRAM, too, means that a lot of data is shared between the three chips.
"We all feel Omni is more of a pc in it design," claims the insider, "Or more off the shelf than Durango."
He adds that Durango - or Xbox 720, or Xbox Next - has a more "modded design" which includes a better bus, higher memory speeds and extra rendering tech.
"I'd look at Durango as high level-PC and Omni as a medium setting PC," says the insider.
PS4 Vs Xbox 720: Image Quality
Though Sony is targeting 4K resolution capabilities, it seems the PS4 won't actually be able to generate the resolution native and will instead upscale.
"The thing about Omni," says the insider, "is it will upscale to 4K but the IQ [Image Quality] is very low in regards to Durango."
He adds that a higher resolution doesn't equate to a better image quality. He does claim that third-party games will be able to scale easily across the Wii U, Xbox 720 and Omni, however adds that "first party games and some third party will look amazing on Durango no doubt.
"You will see a big difference."
Later on the insider is quizzed on the ability to port games from the PC to each of the consoles, to which he replies that the Xbox 720 is no different "to developing for 360. The tools are highly-developed to handle the system."
He then adds, "And the first time you see xbox IQ you will know... The winner."
Microsoft Has Spent More Developing The Xbox 720
According to the insider, Microsoft has a "massive budget" for developing the Kryptos project and the result is the Oban blitter, a microprocessor that increases the speed at which data is transferred through the system.
Discussing the Oban and CPU setup, the insider claims "It's 384bit and has 550gb/s it was designed to enhance the system for ray tracing and other memory heavy rendering engines.
"Oban is the game changer for MS. You all will see very soon with your own eyes and ears."
The insider is the posed the question on whether the three SOCs will cause trouble for Microsoft, and in fact make it harder to develop for than Sony's single SOC system.
"It would be hard to achieve if it was not for Oban design," he says, adding "I have heard Starsha kits have very bad heating problems due to the GPU and SOC not being specialised enough.
"I think that has come down to sony not having enough money to invest in R&D."
The insider then claims that the Oban/Venus blitter and SOC setup has been in development for two years by Microsoft, IBM and AMD.
"And also a lot of people are comparing Starsha and Kryptos by saying that Starsha is more powerful, well it's because you are comparing them to early SDK. Sony Starsha has been in final SDK since December."
Xbox 720 Will Have Better Multiplatform Games Than PS4
Though in many ways the two systems are comparable, the insider is adamant that the Xbox 720 will be better overall than the PS4.
"Every multiplatform or third party game will look better on Xbox Next," claims the insider, adding that even first party games on the Xbox 720 "will look better then other company's offerings."
Because of the Oban parts inside the console, the insider says the Xbox Next will stay current.
He then answers the question over memory. The PS4 has 8GB of memory, as does the Xbox 720 - however 1GB of that Xbox Next's RAM will be used only for the operating system to power features such as in-game video Skype chat.
The insider is the questioned again on the limitations of having three SOCs inside the Xbox 360, and how it could pose an issue for multiplatform games on the console.
"The 2xVenus and 1xMars are designed with Oban controllers. These SOC can work together. But they do not need crossfire.
"Porting is not a problem. Porting pc games would be a lot easIer this time. Any part of the engine code can be sent to any CPU core or GPU DSP [digital signal processor], it's very open due to the blitter."
Watch this space - counting down to the GOTG soon