Xbox product planning boss Albert Penello believes that any differences in the specs of the new generation of consoles is meaningless.
Speaking to OXM, Penello stated that he feels that the hardware differences between the forthcoming Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 matter less than the software and game play experiences both will offer. “This isn’t like 1990, when it was 16-bit versus 32-bit,” he said.
This could be because the difference in gameplay experience offered between the two devices is going to be very minimally impacted. Both powered by AMD chipsets, graphics will almost certainly look very similar, with interface and feature sets more clear differentiating factors than hardware.
The main difference in the hardware of the new consoles is the RAM, with the PS4 leading the way with 8GB of high speed DDR5 RAM (176 GB/s) all of which will be used for games. The Xbox One has the same amount of RAM but at a lower speed with around 2GB being allocated to apps. This could affect the way developers of multi-platform titles approach working on each console.
If there’s one clear difference however, it’s with pricing – there’s an immense difference of £80.99 in favour of the PS4. A PS4 will cost £349, while an Xbox One is set at £429 (albeit with a Kinect motion sensor bundled in, with no comparable device included with Sony’s package).
Albert Penello also spoke about consumers not knowing what they are arguing about, claiming that a lot of them wouldn’t know what each spec number means, how hardware affects pricing and how it will affect their experience of using the console.
Even though Penello talked about how frivolous the hardware argument is, he still took an opportunity to boast about how hands-on the development team had been with the creation of the Xbox One console, saying that they “touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance”, compared to Sony’s PS4 being built from “off the shelf parts.”