An article just posted on EDGE really drops it hard. Some snippets:
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.
Even this close to launch, “the hardware isn’t locked,” said another source. 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.
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 article screams hits and page views to me for several obvious reasons:
- DirectX has been on the platform since the start, it's not buggy or "poor" it just works due to shared codebase. They also released their mono driver during E3 which is the specially optimised version of DirectX for the platform. So saying they have been late with drivers is wrong.
- They mention "without optimisation". To me, that means someone is working these numbers out without a real kit, and is literally speculating for EDGE for their page views in this upcoming next-gen war. There is more offloaded inside the X1 to special CPU's than there is in the PS4 also.
- ESRAM has been in the Xbox since the 360, for developers to say its a pain to use is just absurd since they share a similar memory structure. ESRAM will also be managed by DIrectX, its why the API is there. Ideal for GPU buffering, which DirectX will manage and mainly use it for.
- Memory reads are 50% faster? From what? I can tell you as a fact that if its the CPU doing the memory read, it would be a heck lot slower. Even if its the GPU doing the read, it the developer doesn't implement the switching of tasks while waiting for GDDR return, then it'll still be slower. It depends how deep the OpenGL wrapper goes.
- Also, the comments from Albert and many developers which have said: "Ever though the console which seemed less powerful is the one which is the most powerful?"
- The article clearly states the hardware isn't locked even though both consoles have hit mass-production.
There's been a similar thread on SonyGAF around this, and its hit 5 pages in 30 minutes. Everyone's ran with this "anonymous source" and not actually thought about it critically. Whereas a similar thread which praised the design of the Xbox SoC got closed in around 10 minutes. Considering the overly biased magazine cover also, this is no surprise.