With rumored specs of the Xbox 720 and PS4 being spread during the inter-webs, many voices in the game industry are speculating what sort of technical achievements may very well be accomplished with the usage of the supposed hardware for you to be provided in these systems. In a contemporary blog post by the talented developer Timothy Lottes, who created FXAA with NVIDIA, a couple of details were exposed concerning the potential of the PS4 and Xbox 720.
He explains that the focal point shouldn’t be solely at the hardware that’s supplied with these systems. The real potential within these consoles come from the OS and system libraries which are supplied with these systems. With this in mind, consoles be ready to harness more processing power from components throughout the system that can not be accomplished throughout the PC platform.
The real reason to get all in favour of a PS4 is what Sony as a corporation does with the OS and system libraries as a platform, and what this allows 1st party studios to do, once they make PS4-only games. If PS4 has an actual-time OS, with a libGCM style low level access to the GPU, then the PS4 1st party games may be years prior to the computer because it opens up what’s possible at the GPU. Note this would possibly not happen straight away on launch, but once developers tool up for the platform, this may be the case. As a computer guy who knows hardware to the metal, I spend most of my days in frustration knowing damn well what i may do with the hardware, but what i can’t do because Microsoft and IHVs wont provide low-level GPU access in PC APIs. One simple example, drawcalls on PC have easily 10x to 100x the overhead of a console with a libGCM style API….
I could continue here, but i am not, by now you get the image, launch titles is normally DX11 ports, so perhaps not far better than what can be done on PC. However if Sony provides the actual-time OS with libGCM v2 for GCN, one or two years out, 1st party devs and Sony’s internal teams just like the ICE team, could have had long enough to accumulate tech to actually leverage the platform.
Working here assuming the Eurogamer Article is virtually correct. In this platform I’d worry with memory bandwidth. Only DDR3 for system/GPU memory pared with 32MB of “ESRAM” sounds troubling….If this GPU is pre-GCN with a major performance gap to PS4, then this next Xbox will act like a ship anchor, dragging down the min-spec target for cross-platform next-generation games.
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