Game developers have been quoted as saying the PlayStation 4 is “50% faster” than the Xbox One, and that they will be forced to “castrate” the PS4 versions of multi-platform releases if the Xbox One is not to be utterly humiliated.
An article in Edge quotes “multiple high-level game development sources” as being emphatic that the PS4 is as much as 50% faster than its benighted Xbox One “rival”:
Our contacts have told us that memory reads on PS4 are 40-50 per cent quicker than Xbox One, and its ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) is around 50 per cent faster.
One basic example we were given suggested that without optimisation for either console, a platform-agnostic development build can run at around 30FPS in 1920×1080 on PS4, but it’ll run at “20-something” FPS in 1600×900 on Xbox One.
“Xbox One is weaker and it’s a pain to use its ESRAM,” concluded one developer.
Sony and Microsoft are each still working on the graphics drivers for each console, and Xbox One is lagging behind in this regard – Microsoft “has been late on their drivers and that has been hurting them,” said one source.
Another described Xbox One’s graphics drivers less charitably as “horrible”. Both consoles’ graphics drivers will continue to improve right up to – and beyond – launch, which will even up the difference in performance a little.
Also of interest are claims the yawning gulf in performance will lead to publishers hobbling multi-platform PS4 releases so the Xbox One version does not look too awful in comparison:
One source even suggested that enforcing parity across consoles could become a political issue between platform holders, developers and publishers.
They said that it could damage perceptions of a cross platform title, not to mention Xbox One, if the PS4 version shipped with an obviously superior resolution and framerate; better to “castrate” the PS4 version and release near-identical games to avoid ruffling any feathers.
This claim was later countered by a contact at a different studio. “It would be totally fine for us to make one version prettier without any political difficulties but it usually doesn’t make financial sense,” they said, “unless it’s a very simple tweak.”