PS1: 320X240, 76800
PS2: 512X448, 229376, +198.67%
PS3: 1280X720, 921600, +301.79%
PS4: 1920X1080, 2073600, +125%
These are the standard resolutions games ran/run at for each playstation. Some games ran/run at lower resolutions, some games ran/run at higher resolutions, but these are considered the norm.
The difference between PS3 and PS4 is the smallest by a considerable amount. You'd probably jump the gun and say that makes it the smallest jump. That would be, foolish. That's because the resolution is being limited by the TV, not the console. If we had 4k TVs by now, the standard resolution could have been 1440p or anything the devs decided on.
It would have the same effect as forcing all games to 20fps when they could have run at 30. The game can either waist this power, or put it back into the system to get better visuals.
Here's a different way to think about it if you are confused. Let's look at God of War 2 vs God of War 3.
Each side essentially is displayed in the same resolution and GOW3 looks much better. However, this is only a 342 by 380 picture per game. The PS3 is rendering 791,640 more pixels than shown. If instead of rendering those extra pixels the power was dedicated to improving what's visible in this comparison, Kratos would like even better. If GOW3 was stuck at 342 by 380 pixels, can you even imagine how realistic it could look?
This is basically what's happening with PS4, except the resolution is limited to 1080p and wouldn't be a blurry mess. Still confused? Ask a question.
1. This is not about PS4 VS XBONE. I used PlayStation in this example because of them being around longer with one additional console to compare.
2. I understand in my second explanation the image has super good AA and is using more than 342x380 pixels because it's downsampled. It's not an example, just hopefully a simple way to express what I'm meaning.
3. I also understand the Kratos pic doesn't look that good. Again it's just hopefully a simple way to express what I'm meaning.
4. The standard resolution of the consoles was based off searches and common sense. If you disagree with any of the numbers, please tell me why and include supporting evidence.
5. I'm assuming the raw power leap between each gen is practically the same. PS2 was 10 times stronger than PS1, PS3 was 10 times stronger than PS2, and PS4 is 10 times stronger than PS3. Don't fill this thread about the BS of the power gap being significantly different than this. Moore's law existed back then too. PS3 isn't 1,000 times stronger than PS2 like some people believed.
6. If you have a PC, use it to reply. Don't use it to bring PC graphics into the discussion.