The Sony (NYSE:SNE) PS4 is “around 50 percent faster than its rival Xbox One,” according to anonymous game developers quoted in a report from the Edge, a British gaming magazine. The report states that multiple anonymous “high-level game development sources” termed the performance differences between the Xbox One from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the PS4 “significant.”
The Edge report goes on to include a quote from a single source who states that the Xbox One, nicknamed the "Xbone", would be “faster” than the PS4 in "other ways" but the anonymous game developers in the report give the PlayStation 4 the upper hand over the Xbox One when it comes to speed overall.
The Xbox One has comparable specifications to the PS4, and only the Edge is reporting on such a variation in computing power between the two. Matt Peckham at Time magazine writes that readers should be skeptical of the Xbox One vs. PS4 report. He wrote that since the computing performance is a “subjective metric,” and it is unclear what kind of developers the author interviewed -- independent developers, major studios or “first timers” -- the Edge report should “give anyone pause.”
Microsoft released a statement to Kotaku on the report. Here is the full text of the company’s comment on the Xbox One having weaker hardware:
Ten years ago, you could argue that a console’s power was summed up in terms of a few of its specs, but Xbox One is designed as a powerful machine to deliver the best blockbuster games today and for the next decade.
Xbox One architecture is much more complex than what any single figure can convey. It was designed with balanced performance in mind, and we think the games we continue to show running on near-final hardware demonstrate that performance. In the end, we’ll let the consoles and their games speak for themselves.”
The report also had one anonymous source claim that PS4 versions of games will not be released with their full graphic performance potential. Releasing an “obviously superior” version of a game, with higher resolution and frame rate, on the PlayStation 4 would “damage perceptions” of the Xbox One as well as the game title itself. Another source in the Edge report claimed that it was economics, rather than politics that causes game studios to release nearly identical versions between platforms.
Microsoft confirmed last month that it would include a headset microphone with the Xbox One, after previously stating that gamers who did not wish to purchase a headset could use the Kinect’s microphone for chat. Sony has confirmed since the unveiling of the PS4 that the console would include a wired mono headset, rechargeable Dualshock 4 wireless controller, PlayStation 4 system, a power adaptor, HDMI cable, and a USB charging cable for $399. The Xbox One console now includes a wired headset in addition to the Kinect HD sensor, battery-powered (non-rechargeable) controller, HDMI cable, power adaptor, and the system itself.
Both Sony and Microsoft are still working on graphics drivers -- the Edge’s anonymous sources say that the Xbox One is lagging behind in this regard, with one developer calling them “horrible.” Another source mentioned in the report said the clock speed update to the Xbox One did “not change things that much.”