Xbox executive says comparing specs is "meaningless"

Microsoft product planning boss Albert Penello says consumers truly care about games and experiences above all else.


Xbox executive Albert Penello believes comparing systems specifications between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is "in some ways meaningless."

No Caption Provided

"The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless," Penello told OXM. "Because this isn't like 1990, when it was 16-bit versus 32-bit."

He continued, "They actually go out and they talk about how proud they are about their off-the-shelf parts. Our guys'll say, we touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance."

Ultimately, Penello said he believes consumers will choose a console for the games it has, not for how it is described--technically--on paper.

"Here's what you care about," he said. "You bought a system to play great games and have great experiences," Penello said. "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."

Penello said he would rather not even have the conversation about Xbox One vs. PS4 specifications because "it's not going to matter."

"I heard this exact same argument last generation and it's a pointless argument, because people are debating things which they don't know about. They're not [head silicon engineer] Nick Baker or [corporate vice president of IEB hardware Todd Holmdahl], and I'm not [lead PS4 architect] Mark Cerny, so why are we having this discussion?"

The Xbox One ($500) and the PS4 ($400) launch later this year.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 3953 comments about this story
3953 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for DWalker131

this sounds abit like "winning isn't everything" lol

we all know whose says that lol

Avatar image for tionmedon

there are no console`s since the XB1 and PS4 are PC based so we have PC`s and mini me PC`s so there...........

Avatar image for Revl8n

This time around, consumers are buying the product that meets their needs. For instance, I want a to play games so I am buying a PS4.

Avatar image for KingChainz31684

And as far as quality exclusives which takes away games like dance central 1,2,3, dance universe 1,2 things like that which nearly makes up 97 of xbox 360's 156 exclusive titles.if you look at PS3 has 13 exclusive titles with a score of over 90 on average ratings on games with over 20 reviews done for them. of those 13 it has 9 different IPs. xbox 360 has 7 titles falling in that category with 4 different IPs. The highest rated exclusive on x360 is the original gears of war which is 93.97%. PS3 has 3 titles rated higher than that with 3 different IPs. Of 360's 7 3 are GOW and 2 are Halo. Oh and the game The Last of Us is one of the best console games ever made IMO simply incredible with a 95.05% avg rating to support that though thats not even the highest rated exclusive PS3 title.

I mean Im just saying. .

Avatar image for KingChainz31684

Exclusives and past experience are enough to sway me to the PS4. With the X360 I had a red ring system to start sent it in 3 times with in a year and a half and then it was simply a brick after that. The second 360 I had was scratching my discs which not only did i have to send in the system. i had to play 40 bucks to replace 2 discs. After I got the system back I sold it and pretty much decided if i ever go back to xbox it will be well after the system has proven itself to be quality. Seeing as how my first original xbox suffered from constant disc read errors and the like.

My experience with xbox would lead people to believe i am bad with systems but in reality I still have a working NES, SNES, N64, 60 gig PS3 and a 500 gig white PS3. Until the xbone can come out and not have a rediculous 68% failure rate over its first 3 years

Avatar image for __Metallica

MS: "The Xbox ONE created with advertising in mind" How is that a good way to sell consoles?!?!

MS: "Comparing specs is meaningless"

I mean come on is there really people out there thats still considering buying the Xbox ONE?!

I can just see the ads floating around the TV screen as the MS fanboys are playing their beloved HALO.

And then the console WILL freeze every 5 minutes because for MS products to freeze up and die now that is actually MS policy!

Avatar image for gosushi

I have to agree with Penello. I've already preordered my Xbox One console because I've already grown accustom to the previous consoles and prefer to play Xbox titles like Halo. I doubt the majority of people who purchase the PS4 care or even know a great deal about the internal components of their console.

Avatar image for xnight_ninjax

I used to be a huge xbox fan but they are just getting ridiculous. so glad im switching over to ps4. specs do mean something. especially when it comes to exclusive titles. you compare the last of us to any xbox exclusive and it destorys it.

Avatar image for cyclonebw

This only means Microsoft is embarrassed by their specs. . . lol

Avatar image for ShockWaver95

PS4 has more games support and power, which makes it better. It's easier to develop.

Avatar image for ranbir_flame

Agreed. Its the games that matter. The 360 was behind in hardware specs but the output was as good and in some cases better than the PS3. Spec differences shouldn't matter that much in the next-gen either.

Avatar image for cyclonebw


It took a long time before developers could figure out how to build for the ps3. With the PS4 developers helped shape the software and specs for easy porting and quick development.

Avatar image for beardface21

@ranbir_flame Yes it is the games that matter, and in this case again the PS4 has the upper hands since Sony went out to get what the developers wanted.

Avatar image for Rayrota

In Microsoft's defense, the PS2 was the least powerful console in its generation and it dominated in sales and outlasted all of its competitors. So there's some truth to Penello's words. HOWEVER, the Xbox One isn't the PlayStation 2 and the circumstances here are vastly different. Also, $500.

Avatar image for fifamessi15

ps4 wins

Avatar image for nrambo

bad case of foot-in-mouth-itis going around at MSHQ.

Avatar image for zpluffy


Avatar image for zpluffy

Adam then Don then this guy

Avatar image for Zoomer30

I hear the guy who made this statement has now apologized for it. How many times have Microsoft excs stuck size 10 into mouth this past month? Starting to see why microsoft canceled its post E3 press conference, think they figured out more gibberish would just help Sony more.

Avatar image for ken4062

Games are important but they fail to mention Sony is the GAMES console. Why put attention on their competitors strength?

Avatar image for WhyAgain

Specs aren't meaningless, but they aren't the most important thing either. If you only buy said console because of the specs, you might as well get a PC. In the end, it comes down to the games on said console.

Avatar image for ken4062

@WhyAgain or combination of games, specs, and price.

Avatar image for dpclark

"The funny thing about game consoles is that it’s usually the lowest common denominator that determines the bulk of the experience across all platforms." -

Damn you Microsoft! You screwed the whole game industry with your TV TV TV console!

"Specs don't matter" to Microsoft because they pull the rest of the industry down to their level to some degree. I'm sure they are pleased with themselves.

Avatar image for KingChainz31684

I like the xbone fanboys who try to say sony is trying to pull a fast one on everyone just saying their system is more powerful when microsoft in this article just said ps4 is more powerful by a substanial amount. Its actually what this artical is about.

Avatar image for KingChainz31684

Specs aren't the most important thing but they are important people are counting way to much on the could service making the system more than it is as a whole, but outside of that unless your a gears or a halo fan boy game wise ps4 has a lot more going for it especially since there is heavy talk of titanfall reaching the PS4 before its all said and done which to me is the coolest looking xbone game going. A lot more qaulity exclusive IPS for PS4 and Developers are eating up how together sony is that and the ability for them to meet supply and demand.

Avatar image for CincoToes

@KingChainz31684 All that was two sentences? Gtfoh.

Avatar image for dpclark

The PS4 hardware is verified to be significantly more powerful in 2 areas:

Fact 1) 50% more GPU shader power.

Fact 2) 20% more memory bandwidth.

Peak Shader Throughput:

Bone = 768

PS4 = 1152

System Memory Bandwidth:

Bone = 68.3 GB/s

PS4 = 176.0 GB/s (That’s roughly the amount of memory bandwidth we’ve come to expect from a $300 GPU. -


Bone = $500

PS4 = $400

This is not up for debate. That said, both consoles will have some good/great exclusives and gaming is about more than just raw graphics power. Still, you need to do more research if you haven't caught up to current events yet: the PS4 is *definitely* a lot more powerful in 2 major areas than The Bone...and the difference is much bigger than it was between the PS3/360.

Avatar image for guitarist1980

@dpclark The PS4 is more powerful for games. And your leaving out the esram on the xbox one which pretty much evens the gap on memory bandwidth and while that is important for the consoles.. the gpu is far and away the most important factor and they are both basically using the same GPU but sony has 33% more (cores). PS4 176 GB/s Xbox arrives between 168 - 200 GB/s depending how they used there esram, We also do not know because of the fact Sony is using 18 GCN units and the xbox one is using 12 GCN units where the GPU speeds are clocked at. I know Microsoft is probably terrified to up the clocks this generation for fear of heat and another massive failure rate. But I wouldn't be surprised if they clocked up the GPU to 850MHZ while Sony stays at 800MHZ.

Avatar image for dpclark


1152 vs 768 GPU cores means the XBone would have to increase its GPU cores by 50% to equal the PS4. That is a huge difference. The 33% figure is from the perspective of the PS4, but the 50% figure is from the perspective of the XBone.

Avatar image for chopsbenedict

why would anyone speaking on behalf of a company, trying to sell their product, draw attention to an area in which they are EVEN WEAKER...most of us who play games or give a flying **** what execs in the business say already know there isn't going to be a monumental difference in the power of the consoles...what we also know is that xbox has had to do its 180, so they lost months before release in the customer service line... so this boils down to the only way to sell your console is hope that people keep buying gears and halo games forever? Better off having said nothing.

Avatar image for Metronoid

Cloud in Xbox one will be more powefull by all sources. So the 1.8 tflop from ps4 will be meaningless. Xbox one will be 3x superior with cloud so what rest for ps4 besides is copying Kinect 1 and Wii U second screen on Vita?

Avatar image for FalconOfStorms

@Metronoid So games on the Xbox One are going to require a high-speed connection to the cloud of magic in order to function?

Avatar image for Revl8n

@Metronoid By all sources. Please name one. And quote data transfer rates, etc. to validate your claim. By simple math. M$ wild claim of 300,000 servers (current count is 15,000) divided by 47 million XBL accounts is approximately .0075 servers per user. So 3 times the power... ah Bullshit.

Avatar image for FalconOfStorms

@Revl8n @MetronoidWhat you're conveniently neglecting to mention, @Revl8n , is that the Cloud is made out of magic. Magic, @Revl8n . Science can't trump magic -- it's magical.

Avatar image for dpclark

@Revl8n @Metronoid

There are, "lies, damned lies, and statistics" - Mark Twain

Avatar image for dpclark


As it stands, I'm not getting The Bone, but if it turns out to be 3x more powerful than expected it will beat most PCs too. I'm not brand loyal; just want the best game quality. The current spec for The Bone is 1.23 TFLOPs though, and that is from Microsoft's own spec sheet.

Let's see... 1.23 x 3 = 3.69 TFLOPs

Avatar image for Dr_takapotku

By saying such idiotic comments, M$ is digging their own grave even deeper because this time they actually admit that their console is so much less powerful(yet more expensive) that you shouldn't even compare it to PS4.

Avatar image for TirOrah

I agree with the sentiment of games being more important than technical information, but to just dismiss it is a little heavy handed. It all boils down to which console can get the most out of its specs.

Having said that, I'm not a fan of the 'here's what you care about' line. If it had been 'here's what ~we believe~ you care about' it would have been a lot better. I still don't want any of these people (console spokesmen etc, not just Xbox people) to stop telling me what I want just like that.

Oh well, at least this article isn't ~full~ of insults. XD

Avatar image for FalconOfStorms

@TirOrah I particularly liked when that one Microsoft guy came out and said "we need to educate people" on why they want DRM. I think the gamers ended up educating Microsoft on why they should remove DRM.

Avatar image for TirOrah

@FalconOfStorms XD Yeah, Microsoft's PR department really needs to step up their game right now. One of my biggest issues wasn't that they 'needed to educate' us however, the issue is they NEVER did. You can tell me a hundred times that I will like your console, but if you don't tell me why, then why are you even telling me I will in the first place?

Avatar image for onixevil


Avatar image for Glasscut32

@onixevil You don't matter

Avatar image for MalakTawus

Incredible how Xbox staff continue to come out with one BS after another.

Who the hell is this moron to judge if people understand the difference in technical specs?

Sure, maybe a lot of people don't understand it, but that doesn't change the fact that there are TONS of people in the world that actually understand the technical differences VERY WELL........and there is not even ONE person that has that knowledge that can deny a simple fact: PS$ is clearly superior technically.

Also, his whole argument about "only games matter" is quite idiotic 'cause even if it's true that games are the most important aspect for a console (and it's funny how THEY say this now when instead they are the ones that are LESS focused on games,lol),it's also true that there will be also a lot of games that will be released for both consoles, so only an idiot wouldn't aspire to get the better version (especially since the prices will be basically the exact same).

Finally, it's too convenient for Albert to say this when they are the ones to have a clearly inferior console, do you think that he would have told the same if the situation was the opposite? Please.......

Avatar image for MalakTawus

Anyway, those "mysterious numbers" behind the technical specs HAVE MEANING, and have even more meaning since it's a FACT that the difference in specs is NOT insignificant as they want people to belive, the difference is quite big actually........and using the last generation to prove that better specs don't translate in better results is also completely idiotic 'cause anyone that has a little knowledge on the matter knows perfectly well that the problem with ps3 was its unusual architecture, PROBLEM THAT DOESN'T EXIST IN THE NEXT GEN, so the difference in specs will be a lot more evident than before.

So tired to hear these pathetic attempts to hide the truth, Xbox One is inferior, plain and simple.

(BTW, i'm not saying that Xbox One is useless, of course not since it will probably also have some great exclusive games, but this doesn't change the fact that when they come out with these interviews they are just telling HUGE lies to fool people)

Avatar image for Glasscut32

@MalakTawus PS3 Exclusives vs Xbox 360

Hey i am just a messenger.. but they will probably say "games dont matter now" hahhaaaa

Avatar image for FalconOfStorms

@Glasscut32 @MalakTawus Yes, they'll say that games are irrelevant, only putting "X" in front of your brandname matters. And then if Sony and Nintendo change their console names to "X-Wii U" and "XPS4", they'll say that extreme awesome names are irrelevant, only Mountain Dew and Doritos matter.

Avatar image for o016945

It is interesting reading through the comments and Sony fans continue to swarm these articles providing "facts" (like the PS4 is 50% more powerful), not realizing that Sony has pulled these same technical revolutions in the past that were misleading, but these same people fell for it then. It reminds me of the folks who think that the following Madden will "get it right".

Sony bragged about that Emotion Engine and how it was so powerful to guide jet planes...yadda yadda, and they slammed the obviously weaker Dreamcast, but overall, the graphics weren't really immensely better, and the Dreamcast still provided better results in many areas (like texture rendering). However, you Sony fans ate it up. Then, Sony comes out and brags about that Cell processor, and in comments, Sony fans once again druel over how the 360 will look like shit in comparison, but reality comes and we see that it was a pain in the ass to develop for and most multi-plat games were better on 360. Even better, the 360 holds extremely well against PS3's best looking games.

Here we are again...same thing...and Sony fans are eating it up. The MS spokesman is right...specs hardly matter in the long run. Who has the better optimizations? Who has the better development tools? Who has the system that is much easier to work with its specifications?

Lastly, for those people comparing the internal ram, please remember...the 360 has 512 megs of ram. The 360 can run Skyrim, NBA2K, Fallout, GTA4, with just a tiny bit of ram. Now, we all know that all of these games would be nearly impossible to run on a PC with 2GB of ram, at least in the way that the 360 does. I'm basically pointing out that we can't compare how ram works on a PC and a console. I'm sure we all know the large amount of processes that go on a PC with its OS.

Personally, I do believe that we'll see very little difference between the two systems graphically. I like what MS has done creating 3 separate operating systems that work together handling games and applications (reminds me of DOS and Windows in the day). This could prove valuable in how the system handles its resources too. We don't know how the PS4 handles these same calculations (at least I don't).

We can all remember the math of the 64 bit Jaguar vs. 32 bit Satun/PSOne. Obviously 64 bits was better, right?

Avatar image for Glasscut32

@o016945 Your double talk is "meaningless" #dealwithit

Avatar image for Dr_takapotku

@o016945 All that crap you wrote is because of lazy developers who nowadays make games for the weaker system(which happens to be xbox) and then port them for the better one, not good for the industry. And this case of console wars is different because THESE SYSTEMS ARE BASED ON THE SAME FREAKING CPU AND ALMOST THE SAME FRIGGIN GPU DUDE! THE SAME APU with a significantly cheaper and cut down gpu on xbox side and significantly slower DDR3 ram on xbox one is the difference this time so there aren't any questions like "well this looks better on paper, but...". PS4 has the greatest stranglehold over any console than in any previous generations this time.

Avatar image for BestJinjo

@Dr_takapotku @o016945

CPU in PS4 and XB1 is identical. Since the GPU is from the same manufacturer and uses the same identical Graphics Core Next architecture, it's like comparing HD7790 to a slightly underclocked HD7870. So yes, PS4 has immediate access to 50% more GPU power than XB1 on the graphics side. This is not at all like the comparison of PS3 vs. 360. You would have known that if you had done your research.

Whether or not the developers will actually take the time to make better looking games for PS4 remains to be seen. However, it's a nearly a guarantee that you'll get faster performance in more 3rd party games and PS4's 1st party games will have better graphics than XB1's once 1st party developers for both firms learn the ins and outs of the hardware. Add to that PS4's memory footprint advantage of having 7GB memory free vs. 5GB for XB1 and PS4 is trumping XB1 in nearly every way that matters for graphics potential long-term.