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PS4 vs Xbox One: Microsoft Exec Defends Games Over Specifications Argument

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, PS4, Xbox One

PS4 vs Xbox One: Microsoft Exec Defends Games Over Specifications Argument

Microsoft product planning manager Albert Penello referred to the relative disparity between Xbox One and PS4 hardware as “meaningless" last week, arguing that consoles live or die on the strength of their exclusive software. After riling up a few fanboys, he's back for another round.

Penello made his original comments to OXM, stating that "Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless." He then assured gamers that the Xbox One's hardware is "tweaked for maximum performance," but that the argument was pointless because the quality of exclusive games are much more important.  "Here's what you care about," he said. "You bought a system to play great games and have great experiences. I feel like our games and experiences are going to be every bit as good, if not better, technically - on top of all the magic we're going to add with the instant switching, and the power of the cloud.

"So the whole numbers game - yeah, I've been following it online and it's like, we tried having that argument last time. Do I want to talk about HDMI 1.3 or 1.4, it's like 'argh!' It doesn't matter."

As you'd expect, this was met with some irate comments from all corners of the internet, with some consumers feeling that he was belittling the PS4 hardware. Penello has since commented on NeoGAF to better explain his point of view.

“I appreciate those who understand the point I was trying to get across," he wrote. "It’s always hard, after sitting doing interviews all day, and you’re trying to have an engaging conversation with someone, and words get pulled out our the tone what you’re trying to say didn’t come out how you meant it.

“I’m not diminishing Sony’s performance claims and I wasn’t trying to be arrogant or dismissive. What I was trying to say is – I’m not Sony’s engineering team. So I can’t comment on what they have published as specs. I know what our teams are doing, and I know how they thought about architecting the system. The guys who are building these machines (on both sides) are unbelievably talented and experts in their field. Nobody knows the specifics of how the machines are architected or if there may be bottlenecks in one system or accelerators in another that change the impact of the published specs.”

Penello then reiterated his point about games being more important than specifications. “What I believe is that our games are going to be great and they are going to look next-gen, and I *think* E3 sort of showed that. And great games are what matters. And while you guys joke about the cloud stuff, I think the stuff the Respawn guys have said starts to clear up what we’ve been talking about with cloud performance (cue the “have you seen Titanfall” meme).

“Games on both systems looked awesome. I was there, and while I know RISE took a hit on the gameplay that was shown, I thought it was the most next-gen looking game I saw on either platform. Of course, I get I’m biased and I didn’t have time to see everything.

“As always, I love taking the hits. And I appreciate that while the words I used may were probably worth some scrutiny, I do appreciate that some of you got what I was trying to say.”

We agree with him, to be honest, apart from the fact that RYSE looked freaking terrible. No console generation has ever been won by the most technically accomplished machine (Original Xbox? N64? Ring any bells?), with savvy gamers voting with their wallets on game lineups. We'll naturally be able to get a better picture of what the PS4 and Xbox One plan to bring to the table closer to launch - though Microsoft will need to seriously improve their indie, free to play and self-publishing programmes in the near future.

Add a comment7 comments
tapi  Jul. 1, 2013 at 15:06

Sony have always gone down the 'amaze people with the numbers' route. Remember all the facts and figures over the cell processor, the 'emotion engine' etc. which they mentioned all the time in the run up to previous releases.

Penello is absolutely right, specs are rather meaningless now and it's always been down to how its used. The cell processor, in certain use cases, has phenomenal figures that sound good but in no way reflect real world usage.

The fact of the matter is that the xbone and ps4, superficially, are very, very similar on the hardware level and it's going to be down to the games and designers.

sits69  Jul. 1, 2013 at 15:13

Sony have always gone down the 'amaze people with the numbers' route. Remember all the facts and figures over the cell processor, the 'emotion engine' etc. which they mentioned all the time in the run up to previous releases.

Penello is absolutely right, specs are rather meaningless now and it's always been down to how its used. The cell processor, in certain use cases, has phenomenal figures that sound good but in no way reflect real world usage.

The fact of the matter is that the xbone and ps4, superficially, are very, very similar on the hardware level and it's going to be down to the games and designers.


Half true. On paper, the PS4 is a clear cut above the XB1. What is true about what you said is that it still comes down to the games, specifically the exclusives.

Read Digital Foundry for a more detailed breakdown of the technical disparity between the two consoles.

tapi  Jul. 1, 2013 at 16:03


Read Digital Foundry for a more detailed breakdown of the technical disparity between the two consoles.


can't find that article, have you a link?

I did find this, which is a good example of what we talked about

"Sony's press shots for DriveClub look pretty cool, but despite some neat features such as proper vehicle deformation and some beautiful lighting, the low quality, blurry textures looked a world apart from what Forza 5 was achieving running at twice the frame-rate"

clever developers are worth their weight in gold, they follow it with:

"When it comes to the state of software development on PS4, the situation as it stands is surprising. On the one hand, freely playable first-party titles such as Knack and DriveClub suffer from noticeable frame-rate stutters down from 30fps, while on the other, "hands off" demos for the new Infamous and Assassin's Creed games appear to run without a perceptible hitch. This is in stark contrast to the playable software confirmed to be running direct from Xbox One hardware, such as Forza Motorsport 5 and Killer Instinct, which benefit to no end for targeting the 1080p60 gold standard, and largely succeed in doing so."

Last edited by tapi, Jul. 1, 2013 at 16:07
Quietus  Jul. 1, 2013 at 18:39

*Yawn*

Another muppet mentions 'exclusives', and misses yet another thing gamers hate about the industry. We're not interested in in being exclusive; we want it to be on all that it can be, so that we can choose.

Breadster  Jul. 2, 2013 at 05:40

I'm so tired of hearing about the "power of the cloud". Seriously enough with that crap Microsoft. It's not going to make a massive difference and Sony will be able to do it as well anyway.

Talking about exclusives is fair enough, I just think they're focusing too much on this cloud stuff.

Tsung  Jul. 2, 2013 at 08:25

Hey, don't want to rain on anyone's parade but wasn't the Xbox one demo's at the recent E3 show running on Windows 7 PC's with superior graphics card installed? (If true we can assume the machines had overall higher specifications that the console).

Microsoft are masters at advertising the experience; but lets wait for reality before we judge them.

tapi  Jul. 2, 2013 at 18:38

I don't know Tsung, but Digital Foundry seems to infer the opposite - they experienced consistent performance on confirmed xbox hardware, whereas the playable PS games were choppy and only the 'hands off' demos (presumably developer hardware/PCs?) were smooth. At least that's how I read those snippets, I could be wrong.

'sits69' pointed me at Digital Foundry, never read it through before - but they seem warmer towards the MS kit.

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