Sony Exec: PS4 Will Have “Superior Graphic Fidelity”

The console wars are heating up and Sony’s fired off the latest salvo. A Sony exec recently claimed the PS4’s graphics capabilities are superior to the Xbox One.

In a recent interview with Games Industry International, Guy Longworth (Sony Senior Vice President of brand marketing) had a lot to say about the PS4 and its bid for next-gen dominance. He touched on Sony’s online strategies and choice to set the PS4 price point at $399, among other things. But one quote stood out in the interview:

“The reality is that every time a generation changes the playing field is leveled. We actually think that we’re going to have superior graphic fidelity, but the whole value proposition has to be right. It’s not just about graphic fidelity. What are our policies? What are our principles? What do we stand for, and how do we communicate it?”

So, is it true?

Technically, the two machines are comparable. Both sport eight-core processors, custom AMD graphics chips, and Blu-ray drives. There is a difference in the two GPUs, however. Both use AMD’s latest Graphics Core Next architecture, which is divided into working blocks known as Compute Units. But the PS4 version has 18 CUs generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power, while the Xbox one has only 12 CUs. So, theoretically the PS4 has a 50% advantage in terms of raw shader performance (for example, lighting and other graphics effects).

Also, Sony’s box uses 8GB of GDDR5 memory with a bandwidth of 176GB/second, while the Xbox One uses 8GB of slower (and cheaper) DDR3 RAM. GDDR5 memory is optimised for high bandwidth, which is perfect for use in graphics calculations, but also has higher latency than DDR3 RAM. However, Sony has the GPU and CPU on the same die to cut down on this latency so it shouldn’t be an issue.

So, as far as raw graphics power goes, the PS4 has an advantages. It remains to be seen if this will translate to a noticeable difference, visually between the systems, however.

There’s also a dark horse, the Xbox One’s cloud processing. In theory the Xbox One could offload some processing to cloud servers, freeing up resources locally and adding graphical processing power. It’s a pretty big IF, though. Even if it really works, it’s up to programmers to take advantage of the capability.

So have you taken sides in the console wars, or are you getting both or neither? Let us know in the comments!

[Via: Games Industry International]

  • Bob

    I think you mean lower latency…?

    • Ford Terrill

      Best info I can find is that system memory (DDR3) benefits from low latency (tight timings) at the expense of bandwidth, GDDR5’s case is the opposite. Timings for GDDR5 would seems unbelieveably slow in relation to DDR3, but the speed of VRAM is blazing fast in comparison with desktop RAM- this has resulted from the relative workloads that a CPU and GPU undertake.

  • rhetoricmonkey

    Am I missing something in Xbox One’s cloud processing powers? Isn’t cloud processing available to both devices, theoretically?

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