The PS4 and Xbox One are already struggling…

powerThey say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m sure the above will ignite a firestorm across the internet.  On one hand, Rockstar Games have said the power of the two next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft is nowhere near realized yet, while Slightly Mad Studios have also publicly came out and said they’ve pretty much maxxed out the Playstation 4 hardware.

Which one is marketing BS, and which one is the truth? I’ll have to side with Ian Bell here. I’ve previously owned a PS4, and aside from the fantastic UI and awesome sharing capabilities (the controller basically has a built-in FRAPS button that you can configure at will), the games were only a marginal improvement compared to what could be found on the Xbox 360 and PS3 – and in some cases, weren’t improvements at all.

While it featured awesome online capabilities, Need for Speed Rivals lacked staying power and looked about on-par with the PC version of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010.

Hardcore NHL 15 players prefered the game on last-generation hardware:

And Madden 15 is surpassed by a version from five years ago:

Maybe 4Chan is right and a crash in the market is sooner than we think?

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18 thoughts on “The PS4 and Xbox One are already struggling…

  1. GTA 5 is one of the best looking current crop games and also, that’s my humble opinion, the best optimized game right now for the impressive visuals and what not it boasts. PCars is one of the worst optimized games of the current crop, if not the worst. SMS never cared much about making it go fast. I remember in 2012 people that dared to complain about it got booted from the backers with a non-asked refund. The game never got properly optimized ever since, with the usual “oh it’s beta, it’ll be buttery smooth once released” shenanigan. They sort of did the development in the old, wrong-fashioned way of yore: it’ll be only fully optimized once the computers catch up. That was the Flight Simulator dev team way of doing things until they got ran over by the facts and people started to ditch FSX because they didn’t wanted to wait 5 years till the cpus and gpus catch up to it.

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    1. Exactly. With GTA V, we have a direct comparison between the current and previous generation of hardware. We are still very early in the console lifecycle. If anyone doubts your statements, they simply need to return to the first titles released on the x360 and ps3 vs. titles just released for these consoles… Drastic differences, same hardware.

      Let’s not forget…. They (SMS) said the EXACT same thing about shift 2. Optimization is arguably the most difficult part of game development. SMS produces flashy, buggy, unoptimized rubbish, they have absolutely zero grounds for any of these statements.

      Just yesterday, I read a classic SMS statement from one of their various representatives with regards to why their engine is so poorly optimized. Apparently, they are ‘simulating’ EVERY part of the engine! Even if that was moderately true (which it isn’t, not even slightly), I’m sure there wouldn’t be any crippling bugs hidden away in an area that most wouldn’t be able to verify, because no other part of the readily observable code has bugs…right???

      It’s just a farce at this point.

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  2. Come now.

    The APIs aren’t even close to ‘finished’ in terms of development and feature support, as stated by multiple large developers, Microsoft and Sony. It took over 5 years for the ps3 and x360 to reach their stride and still continued to advance in terms of utilization each year. Various hardware level features haven’t even begun to be utilized, such as asynchronous compute. The OS on both consoles is still being heavily streamlined, directly resulting in more available resources. SMS isn’t even capable of effectively utilizing DSP co-processors.

    Project cars has a clear CPU-level dependency on the most powerful PC hardware available and exhibits essentially zero scaling for higher frequency clocks. Due to their own inability to produce moderately efficient code, this title cannot even maintain a minimum of 60 FPS in the rain due to their incredibly poorly optimized shaders. Again, on the most powerful PC hardware available. The basic implementation of their engine is broken.

    Ian Bell has absolutely zero understanding of this subject. He has zero knowledge of code and essentially zero knowledge of PC hardware, let alone consoles. This is more PR BS for covering their shoddy product and development practices. Both the xbox one and ps4 offer considerably more overall effective compute performance than the vast majority of PC hardware on the steam survey.

    If there’s any blame to be handed out, it would be directly for SMS and their inability to effectively utilize a low-level API.

    Also, these other examples are irrelevant. You should not be surprised that yearly iteration titles that excel on copy/paste content are yet again showing mediocre advances year-to-year. They aren’t even trying to do a good job with basic game design advance, why would they bother trying to utilize hardware as effectively as possible? It has nothing to do with hardware limitations. Accountants and realizing profits as quickly as possible is the only reason.

    I’ve never owned a console besides the ‘Nintendo Entertainment System’, the mostly gray box produced in 1985. Even though I do not use consoles, I do not abide by the abject bullshit continually spread around about forward-looking hardware by disingenuous ‘developers’.

    Don’t really care what 4chan has to say. In this case, sounds like I would mostly agree with them. There’s little doubt that a market correction is coming in the near future. The perfect storm that Atari originally generated in the late 70’s-early 80’s has already formed again for some very, very valid reasons. Yearly iteration titles with almost zero added features and outright dishonest developers such as SMS are the catalyst.

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  3. Yes, a market crash is upcoming, and the sooner the better to be honest!

    However, I do not agree that the consoles are maXXed out at present time – not that I care, I keep myself to a PC and Nintendo. But as Rockstar proved with GTA V on last-gen. There is always stuff to be found!

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  4. The systems are not maxed out as ian bell suggests. The problem is coding methods and optimization issues.

    Consoles are always “maxed” from day 1 which means yes they are using as close to 100% of resources as possible.

    The problem is tricks are found to squeeze performance, sdk’s are updated to add features, hacks are found to lower resource use for effects, APIs are updated to be more efficient and in the case of the xbox one more CPU cores are unlocked, the cpu is overclocked and they also unlocked 10% more GPU time.

    Another thing about the xbox one…nobody in 3rd party land is making proper use of ESRAM. Everyone is being idiots and storing framebuffers in there when they should be using it for other things. Not properly using esram on the xbox is a problem because the balance of the entire console was built around it.

    Look at the 360. Compare halo 3 to halo 4. What’s the difference you ask? Simple. 343 used the xbox 360s embedded ram properly and they also found ways to do things more efficiently that the systems normal api tool sets allow.

    So no neither console is maxed in terms of how far visual quality can be pushed. Ian Bell is just a lazy man in charge of a lazy studio who either are too stupid to work with AMD hardware or more likely they optimized so much to nVidia it broke AMD performance. Dont go blaming this on AMD either. Its pretty damn obvious.

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  5. The incompetents at SMS are trustworthy now? Your examples are not very good either: NFS Rivals was a launch title, and those are not exactly known for taking advantage of new hardware. NHL 15 was severely lacking in game modes, which has nothing to do with the hardware, unless you somehow think the hardware can’t handle the modes that were already in last-gen titles. Madden I know nothing about, but it’s an EA Sports rehash, so do you really expect quality?

    As for an upcoming “crash”, Chicken Littles have been squawking about one for years and years. I’m sure the guys at 4Chan spewing lameass memes know something the rest of us don’t, though!

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  6. James and “PS4Daily” doesn’t know shit about video game programming. Note, Ian Bell didn’t say they realized full potential, just that they using most of available computing power which is expected from any console release anyway. Point is using this power most effective way, to which according to Rockstar Games we aren’t close yet. Compare early PS3/X360 games to late ones. There is no indication same progress won’t take place this generation.

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  7. The PS3 only has 256MB of VRAM, the fact that devolpers were able to continually improve the graphics for PS3 shows that a lot can be done with optimization.

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  8. I am on the side of Rockstar. Their remaster of GTA V shows big improvements on actual consoles (close to PC) and isn´t even a full Next-Gen-development. Also, it´s not the hardware that drives the games. It´s the software. There will be plenty of improvements and new inventions in engine-technology and hardware-drivers which will improve the performance of games and consoles. Every console-generations experienced the same developent. First games where ok or average. The older the consoles the more impressive the games.

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  9. I still have to agree with something about PS4/Xone: they were never the quantum leap the previous generations were. PS1 to PS2 was out of this world back in 2000. From PS2 to PS3 it was quite a freaking big leap, not that impressive like it was in the previous generation but still quite amazing. Same with Xbox to X360. They were ahead of the desktop PCs back there for a while. Current generation were never ahead of mid range PCs – even from 2011 and 2012. They’ve born pretty much outdated in 2013. And now with all the 4k catching up, they are in serious danger.

    But still, it might be a good thing. It’ll force the developers to maximize the power of the current gen, which might be good since PCs with mid to high end GPUs and CPUs from 2012-2013 are still quite powerful for today. And they might benefit if developers don’t start to pump out bad coded ports to the PC crowd – which is 90% sure it’ll happen. I’m surprised with how good GTA 5 for PC was tho.

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    1. Mmm, no. In terms of effective compute performance (when properly utilized), neither the ps3 nor the x360 was any more of a leap than the ps4 or xbox one.

      A certain hardware company completely falsified their effective compute performance metrics in one of the previous generation consoles. Do not be misled by fanciful metrics. Those metrics are and were always unattainable with regards to rendering.

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    2. With regards to your second paragraph…

      Yes. Inefficient APIs and the relative stagnation of x86 means there’s a great deal of untapped potential, fully expressed by the current consoles.

      dx12 is a result of modern development practices with direct contribution by x86 consoles based on a very efficient two-issue OoO console arc, meaning an effective compute performance value that is very comparable to the very latest x86 PC hardware.

      4k? That’s a simple issue of GPU performance. The die size and cost per unit would have been drastically increased for a very small portion of market share. Neither sony nor Microsoft were interested in those designs, even though such designs were offered to both of them.

      Little relative consumer interest? Little attention paid by Sony and Microsoft.

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    3. Basically the point I was trying to make but anytime Hardware is discussed I fail to put it into words.

      The jump from N64 to the Nintendo Gamecube was insane. Still remember the first time I tried Super Smash Bros. Melee in Zellers. I don’t think anyone in the future will be able to appreciate the quantum leap in graphics that occurred there.

      The jump from the original Xbox to the Xbox 360 was equally as impressive. Still remember the first time I tried PGR 3 in Walmart, and Call of Duty 2 in Best Buy. You knew that generation was going to be special. Not to mention, when the 360 first came out, I remember it was difficult to list the games I DIDN’T want to play.

      PS3 to PS4? The exact opposite.

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      1. That’s exact what I meant about the quantum leap. It felt like that back then when new consoles got out. I really wanted a PS3, same with PS2 and PS1. But I still haven’t found a good argument for me to spend on a PS4. Not defending SMS, because they did a freaking sloppy job optimizing PCars – and only if the sloppy part was this alone! – but PS4 and Xone aren’t great hardware-wise. Maybe we are in a point in the history were the great new thing is just not there yet. Could be 4k, but GPU performance is still a bit far from that. And I’m not sure if resolution alone will be the next big thing. HD wasn’t. Perhaps it’ll be DX12, I haven’t been this interested in an API since DX9. That one was truly revolutionary, with programmable shaders and what not. Dx12 biggest thing will be the much better overhead. After testing Windows 10 with skepticism I’m quite surprised how good some games are running on it, like the very own GTA5. I can run it with no stutter at 2560×1080 whereas in Windows 8.1 I have uneven performance running at said resolution and have to scale back to HD on another monitor. Who knows? Maybe DX12 will truly unleash the untapped performance on the current hardware – consoles and PCs-wise – and finally make things more exciting in software.

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      2. That’s because you were a child when the 360 came out. I remember the exact arguments being made back then: the games don’t look different enough from last-gen etc. and there was a serious dearth of games at launch for 360 and PS3. A decade has passed and you’re looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses.

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      3. The jumps of graphics and technologies in older generations were possible because technology was on a low level and developed very fast. Today we already have a very high standard of technologies where improvements can’t be made that easy and fast anymore.

        One simple comparison I always make when comparing tge development of consoles:

        1) In the past when objects consisted of 4 polygons, a simple improvement to 8 polygons had big effects a the appearance while the step itself was easy.

        2) Today lots of object consist of 80.000 polygons. An improvement to 120.000 or 150.000 polygons won’t look like a major improvement anymore, but just with a deeper look on details. The 80.000 polygon-model is on a high level already. Increasing the polygons will just smooth details.

        That’s a meaningful contemporary example and you can transform it to any area of graphics, technology, software or hardware.

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  10. If your over 16 and have a job there no reason in this world at all to own a limited console, its very definition is simplicity, something parents could buy and throw their children on without hearing from them again.

    I never seen stupidity and lack of understanding used as a buying point used sooo many times by console defence teams, and still fools out there defending under powered, over priced playskool PC’s for kids as the gaming end all and be all for adults, Im sorry no, if you got a job you should have the brain power to operate a modern PC.

    So why does this “revelation” surprise anyone, anyone that spends five mins learning hardware tech knows straight off the bat the new consoles are utter arse, and no downloading of RAM (lol) or magic cloud (lol again) will fix that,maybe marketing will though as that seems to work wonders with ya average console shill, a lot of you sound like the little kid on “moms” laptop trying to improve its performance by downloading “gamebooster” or more “ram”, or prays next the next driver gonna make his rig acceptable, aint gonna happen.

    So leave consoles behind with your kid memory or indeed your kids and stop buying so called “triple a” games made for consoles (read:children), as that aint gonna force either game devs or hardware makers to up their products and actually make games for adults, not brain dead teens.

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