So the first comparison reviews of the new consoles are either in or trickling in, and the results are interesting to say the least. First off, I’m not planning on buying either as a gaming system, I have a pretty nice gaming PC that I prefer to use for many, many reasons. However, I might buy an Xbox One as a media center (or a PS4 if it turns out that its better), but my media center still has some fight left, so I get to table that issue until there are less unknowns.
The really interesting thing that I’m reading is that while cross platform games have similar graphics settings used, the PS4 is either supersampling (running at a higher than 1080p resolution and downsampling to fit the screen) or is doing honest-to-god anti aliasing. This is an interesting development that has long been one of the core founding principles of the PC Master Race. It also means there is a chance that I would potentially jump platforms, as aliasing is one of my main complaints about console gaming.
However, the other interesting thing is starting to show. Microsoft only included 16 ROPs (Render outputs) vs the PS4’s 32. These are basically responsible for actually putting the rendered pixels where they are supposed to go on the screen. This probably doesn’t mean anything to you, and it wasn’t considered a huge deal as lots of 16 ROP cards gamed at 1080p in the past. However, it seems that PS4 games look noticeably better, if its a minor difference, mostly from the PS4’s ability to handle more pixels, which hasn’t been an issue in PC gaming for a long time.
Anyway, aside from AA making a (for me) large visual difference, now that both consoles are out from under NDA finally the pundits are properly alligning this war (engadget even slaps you in the face with it): its about the services, gaming and otherwise. And from that perspective its probably a very good thing Sony has the graphics edge, because they are entering a pure software war with the king daddy of software companies. And there are the corpses of many similar corporations littering that battlefield.
I think, and I’ve said this before, but I honestly think that the one thing Sony needs is a major service partner, either Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon. And without that there will be too many pitfalls and challenges as they attempt to do battle with Microsoft in this brave new technology world. Sony, things have changed since 2006 and I fear that you have not learned that.