PS4 More Powerful Than Xbox One, But Microsoft Always Improving -- Metro Dev

Sony's new console is "just a bit more powerful," 4A Games CTO says, but points out that Microsoft is constantly improving.

The PlayStation 4 is more powerful than the Xbox One, but it might not be this way forever, according to Metro Redux developer 4A Games chief technical officer Oles Shishkovstov. As part of a wide-ranging interview with Digital Foundry's Richard Ledbetter, he asked Shishkovstov to sum up what he thinks the technical differences between the PS4 and Xbox One are

"PS4 is just a bit more powerful," Shiskovstov said, after Ledbetter pointed out that the Xbox One has a lower compute unit count and memory bandwidth, and has also faced ESRAM issues. In a lot of cases, too, multiplatform titles run at a higher resolution on PS4 compared to Xbox One.

"You forgot to mention the ROP count, it's important too," Shishkovstov said. "And let's not forget that both CPU and GPU share bandwidth to DRAM [on both consoles]. I've seen a lot of cases while profiling Xbox One when the GPU could perform fast enough but only when the CPU is basically idle. Unfortunately I've even seen the other way round, when the CPU does perform as expected but only under idle GPU, even if it (the CPU) is supposed to get prioritised memory access. That is why Microsoft's decision to boost the clocks just before the launch was a sensible thing to do with the design set in stone."

Shishkovstov went on to say, however, that counting pixel output might not be the best way to accurately measure the differences between the PS4 and Xbox One. "There are plenty of other (and more important factors) that affect image quality besides resolution. We may push 40 percent more pixels per frame on PS4, but it's not 40 percent better as a result...your own eyes can tell you that," he said.

Also in the interview, Shishkovstov says the Xbox One's ESRAM itself is not a particularly painful thing, but rather "the small amount of it."

"Yes it is true, that the maximum theoretical bandwidth--which is somewhat comparable to PS4--can be rarely achieved (usually with simultaneous read and write, like FP16-blending) but in practice I've seen only a few cases where it becomes a limiting factor," he said.

But just because the PS4 is the most powerful new console around right now, it doesn't mean it will necessarily be this way forever. Shishkovstov says that Microsoft is constantly improving tools for developers.

"Microsoft is not sleeping, really," he said. "Each [Xbox Development Kit] that has been released both before and after the Xbox One launch has brought faster and faster draw-calls to the table. They added tons of features just to work around limitations of the DX11 API model. They even made a DX12/GNM style do-it-yourself API available--although we didn't ship with it on Redux due to time constraints."

Regarding the Xbox One's DX11 API, Shishkovstov says he doesn't understand why Microsoft went down that path. "I don't really get why they chose DX11 as a starting point for the console," he said. "It's a console! Why care about some legacy stuff at all?"

"Microsoft is not sleeping, really" -- Shishkovstov

Finally, Shishkovstov addressed the June Xbox One developer update that promised to boost GPU power by letting developers use graphics resources previously dedicated to Kinect and apps. It was previously believed that as much as 10 percent of the Xbox One's graphics power was reserved for Kinect and apps, but this might not be true, Shishkovstov says.

"The issue is slightly more complicated--it is not like 'here, take that ten percent of performance we've stolen before', actually it is variable, like sometimes you can use 1.5 percent more, and sometimes seven percent and so on," he said. "We could possibly have aimed for a higher res [for Metro Redux on Xbox One], but we went for a 100 percent stable, vsync-locked frame rate this time That is not to say we could not have done more with more time, and per my earlier answer, the XDK and system software continues to improve every month."

Metro Redux is available today for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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1789 comments
ima_flyguy
ima_flyguy

Ps4 is constantly improving as well so....

ajsalim123
ajsalim123

The gap between the ps4 and Xb1 is wider than we expected. I dont think you can explain it better than how he said it. It was pretty detailed. Im starting to think MS is digging a hole for itself.

Defender1978
Defender1978

My PS4 might be more powerful than my Xbox One, but I prefer my Xbox One.  

Jasper_73
Jasper_73

The bit at the end where he said that it was more important to get the frame rate running at a constant 60fps rather than have it 1080p, was correct move in my opinion. A constant frame rate is much more important than resolution. 

sljustshowedup
sljustshowedup

It's like this from what I can tell n I'll tell you this

I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT DEV JUST SAID

But (it's all about the xbox one baby) coming from my perspective is

The PS4 is more powerful with clearly a better GPU but the xbox one is more crafted to have the ability (metrix/3rd party platforms) to play the games that can be played on ps4 and spec wise it might not reach it but no matter how powerful the PS4 is it's not gna make a game that a xbox one can't play.

That aside it is like this xbox one is for those who love software and media outlets along with social gaming n entertainment, all packaging on one console. The kinect is a must I can't say no more.

The PS4 and Xbox one come down to VIDEO GAME EXCLUSIVES

SO that's why u have to take even a wii u fan in to consideration when ur saying what system is better cuz games make the system not the other way around.

Hardware wise is one thing to consider another , like mine is who's backing up what console MICROSOFT & SONY who has more money more connections for me it's easy n that's why PC can never be mentions in console wars there's no marketing or sponsers promoters n that's very important in buying any product.

Peace I'm out much love

Go xbox n I see u playstaytion I remember the times bro but we can't go on lol k

justerthought
justerthought

"The PS4 is more powerful but the XB1 is constantly improving." That's a half truth statement. It's clearly deliberately telling half the picture in order to put the XB1 port of their game in a better light so they can sell their work. The PS4 is more powerful right now because it has the more powerful hardware on day one, and that will never change. The hardware is cast in stone. Both platforms will be "constantly improving" their software to optimise the hardware usage, so the gap will remain the same forever. In fact the PS4 will actually widen the gap even further, because more power means you have more hardware to optimise, so you get a bigger result. 

I can see why the dev has felt confident enough to make such a claim. They have remastered the Metro games as Metro Redux and done a great job on both consoles. MS have probably given the dev a little nudge to sing the praises while they have a 60fps game they can shout about in order to counteract the res-gate scandal and give the fanboys some hope.

But let's not forget the two remastered games are extremely linear and well suited to preloading the content so there is less strain on the ESRAM bottleneck. They are not open world games. The dev has managed to match the PS4 60fps frame rate by gimping the resolution to 912p. That's the essence of what is going on here. Everything else is just decoration.

sampson3121
sampson3121

So a dev that just released a game is in an interview being asked if how these consoles match up? lol umm? ok?

should he have told the truth and alienated 4 million potential buyers from the x1 camp? that wouldn't be smart business would it. i could care less what these devs say, hardware doesn't lie but companies who want to make a sale will.

xrizz1066
xrizz1066

 All those reasons add up to the PS4 being the more powerful better machine. Hence 10 millions sales while M$ are too embarrassed to even give their numbers. It's M$ fault as with all their products they shove out  buggy products, not caring about the end consumer. Just look at Vista, windows 8, the Zune!!! 

hartleydoa
hartleydoa

So let's get this right.... PS4 owners "know" they have better consoles yet still feel the need to comment on how they are far superior, giving false statements on the power as that unfortunately is all you have, the worst part I find is that you don't even own Xbox One or even tried it for everything else it offers.


Now everyone who does actually have both consoles seems to rate the Xbox One well including a few of my friends. I can't fault PS4 it does exactly what it says on the tin gaming console fair enough. 


I just feel people should just understand what the consoles have to offer and respect the consoles for what they are.


Couldn't ask for much more from Microsoft in terms of the updates as they have all been spot one and great additions. 

dannydopamine8
dannydopamine8

I love how they say xbox is working to improve the xbox one as if they are sprinkling magic fairy dust on the console to make it suck less. Worse hardware is worse. End of story. Driver optimization can help but have people forgotten that Sony is working on optimizing their drivers as well?

AMD and nvidia have been working on improving their video card drivers since the dawn of time. Nothing is different now just because the xbox one is slower.

Where do people get this concept that only microsoft is working on improving their performance while sony is not?

Microsoft should have just pulled their heads out of their azzes and just put similar powered hardware in the xbox one

fatalscorpion
fatalscorpion

I will pay extra for the superior games on X1.


znothingfacez
znothingfacez

That's like saying a V8 motor will always beat a V6 motor. Which isn't true at all. People count out all the small detailed pieces that optimize the best performance out of less. Sony is a hardware company. Microsoft is a software company. Software can always be messed with but hardware can't be messed with in this situation. So I'd say that Microsoft has the advantage if they play their cards right.

mattress805
mattress805

Don't worry Microsoft just fine alienating millions of their loyal fans like myself on their own, without the help of any developers. Microsoft practically forced me to switch to ps4 from the 360. One of the best gaming decisions I've ever made. Plus the last new great IP from a Microsoft 1st party studio was Alan Wake! That was 4 years ago. Microsoft's obsession with motion controls and Kinect. Ruined xbox for me. And how many times can you release another Halo game.

mr_blonde817
mr_blonde817

@sampson3121 Not. I'm guessing you didn't read the full interview, what did he lie about exactly? And please post your resume on here consisting of all the experience you have developing games because you clearly know what you're talking about.  

ima_flyguy
ima_flyguy

Don't forget the F-35 fighter jet! Lol $1.5 trillion dollar failure, stealth doesn't work, can't fly in clouds, can't fly in dust and got whooped of the euro fighter in every test.

selfloveseal
selfloveseal

Well said. I can't stand the comments putting other consoles down. I have an android phone and yet I don't bash Apple.

I have both consoles and like them both.

The PS4 has nicer visuals. Zen Pinball is presented a lot better and has 3D.

Xbox one has a Facebook type layout friends list with like/share/comments.

Both are great.

mattress805
mattress805

My best gaming friend owns an xbox one and a ps4. Since he's got his ps4 after buying the x one he has now stopped playing his xbox one and was contemplating selling it because he never uses it and he likes to play games on the highest resolution possible on his 60" plasma

mjonk2pc
mjonk2pc

@hartleydoa I don't have cable, don't use Skype, Don't care to watch tv while I am gaming, I have 6 kids in my house from ages 17-7 years old, try using voice commands with that running around. I game mostly after they go to bed so no yelling at my console to do stuff. Xbox One can't offer me anything as far as those extras go, I have no use for it. So I went for the console that has the most potential in terms of power, that's the PS4, I haven't had any issues with it so far. The only thing I am really waiting on is the Youtube app, that's coming soon finally. 

mr_blonde817
mr_blonde817

@dannydopamine8 Did you read the interview? Mircrosoft is sending them new SDK's all the time that improve performance and they said nothing of Sony doing that. Also, the PS4 was going to have the same specs as the xbox but put new hardware in at the last minute.

mattress805
mattress805

Well I know of one exclusive that the xbox one got this summer; P90x! Get those leg warmers on. I believe Dance central 4 is also an exclusive to the xbox one

croxus
croxus

@fatalscorpion

Such blind fanboyism is what allows, MS, EA and co to impose such restrictions, as they planned and care little about improving, heck even competing.

This is what drives the industry backwards...

This is why we pay more for less...

Vylsith
Vylsith

@fatalscorpion Yes, because instead of simply stating that you like the games on the Xbox One more, it's important to let everyone know you're a fanboy who doesn't feel that anyone else's opinion is valid.  Way to be buddy.

ima_flyguy
ima_flyguy

Ps4 is constantly improving as well updates every cpl months so....

justerthought
justerthought

@mr_blonde817 @sampson3121 

I read the full interview. He did not lie about anything. He stated some interesting facts that were very revealing, but he then made conflicting assumptions that were not backed up by the facts he had just revealed. He was clearly pandering to MS and the XB1 gamers who he wants to buy his game.

sampson3121
sampson3121

@mr_blonde817 @sampson3121  sorry you don't understand business, simple concept really...you don't put down potential customers, especially when asked a direct question about the customers choice in product. what you do is bend the truth to put a good light on the said product so you don't effect your bottom line, selling your product to those potential customers. i know that the ps4 has a way better graphics card, and i also know it's has a lot more memory....this is fact and to expect this dev to come out and say this fact would hurt there bottom line. you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this basic business practice. but like i said before, hardware doesn't bend on truth...it is what it is.

xrizz1066
xrizz1066

@ima_flyguy Yep same with the Model T, it was a terrible car. Just the 1st that was mass produced. Merica should learn to do quality instead of just cheap!

_iamcharlie_
_iamcharlie_

@mattress805 cool story, I too know people who have stopped playing their PS4 after they got their xbox one. It's completely based on personal preference.

iammcgruber
iammcgruber

Cool story. Just buy what console works for you, you don't need to prove or explain yourself to strangers on gamespot.

justerthought
justerthought

@iammcgruber 

What do they win? Well let's see. Users. The more users they win, the more devs will want to make games on their platform in order to make money. The bigger the user base, the more the dev can spend polishing the game because they know they'll get their money back. Economies of scale mean you can also lower your prices. So they win users, more games, more polished games and better value for money. That is all they could want really so basically they win everything.

mattress805
mattress805

Probably because they've doubled the sales of the xbox one at this point in the console generation. So ps4 4 is "winning" big time in that area.

mr_blonde817
mr_blonde817

@justerthought What kind of conflicting assumptions and how was he pandering? He just answered the questions. People that only have an Xbox and want this are going to buy this game without reading this interview or not. 

mr_blonde817
mr_blonde817

@sampson3121 @mr_blonde817 Could you point out places in the interview where he lied or even bent the truth? Look we all know the Ps4 is a more powerful gaming machine, he knows it, you know it, I know it. Metro Redux runs better on the PS4 than the X1 which is why I got it for the ps4 myself, if anything they already out down potential customers because it runs at 912p while the PS4 version runs at 1080p. He's not saying the Xbox is they better machine is he? He's saying developing for it has gotten easier and Microsoft is making it easier. Look at Destiny, it was going to be 900p before Microsoft sent them the new DK and now it's on par with the PS4. And just so you know, not every business is trying to get you or has everything going through a PR firm. Especially mid-size video game developers.

mjonk2pc
mjonk2pc

@sampson3121 @mr_blonde817 Aren't consoles basically just big graphics cards? I don't think the PS4 or the Xbox One have an actual "graphics card"

intothemiddler
intothemiddler

@justerthought @hexadecimal255 @sampson3121 The gap isn't that big according to both the article and from everything I've seen. I've had a lot more fun reading arguments about great games than which console has *different* hardware. I'm curious how many people here have a favourite game, and how many would require the power of either XB1/PS4 to play.

I always feel like I end up sitting on the fence watching you all sway back and forth with your "4 legs good, 2 legs bad" mentality.

justerthought
justerthought

@iammcgruber 

Some people need everything explaining to them otherwise they come away with the wrong impression and make choices that are not based on true facts.

iammcgruber
iammcgruber

@justerthought I can tell you worked hard on that answer, but Sony wins everything? Really? That's far from accurate. They have slightly better hardware than Xbox, but when multiplats are releasing in 1080p on both consoles, it hardly matters. MS has much better and more frequent console updates, does sony win at that? MS is selling just fine for the limited markets its currently in, and developers will not alienate the xbox. MS will be just fine.

sampson3121
sampson3121

@mr_blonde817 @sampson3121 PARITY is bullshit ! the x1 should f-ing die a horrible death. sick and tired of devs making excuses for that crappy piece of hardware.....they need to stop making these games the same for all platforms. i respect that a game i play on the ps4 will look and play better on a high end pc, i just don't have the money for a major upgrade, that's why i bought the ps4...now all these f-ing devs go for is parity? like i said before, i will never buy a game that a dev has made on par..never! MS made a weak system, and we all must suffer for it.

hexadecimal255
hexadecimal255

@intothemiddler @justerthought @hexadecimal255 @sampson3121 Sampson, for the record its "inferiority complex" but you do not no what your talking about and should stop talking. 

There is a gap in hardware but that its matched and perhaps passed by microsofts mighty money slap that can make things go there way. intothemiddler, HIGH 5!

mr_blonde817
mr_blonde817

@sampson3121 Look at last generation from the beginning to the end. we had games going from 480p to 720 because devs started understanding the hardware/software better. Games on both systems besides maybe open world RPG's are going to start to hit 1080p/60fps on both systems. However things like anti aliasing, textures, shading,..etc will always look better on the ps4. So it's not exactly parity man, but if you decide not to buy games that are 1080/60 on both systems you might miss out on some good ones. And you should tell that same thing to PC only users that got watch dogs. Consoles weigh down PC's a LOT more that the xbox weighs down the Ps4. I love my Xbox though, if you can afford both I would recommend getting one.