Arguing Console Specs Is Pointless, Says Xbox Exec, Who Does It Anyway

Debating which console's guts are more powerful is "a pointless argument", says one Xbox executive, "because people are debating things which they don't know about". By and large, he's right. He then went on to tout his console's innards.

They [Sony] actually go out and they talk about how proud they are about their off-the-shelf parts," Albert Penello, the chief of product planning for Xbox, told Official Xbox Magazine. "Our guys'll say, we touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance."

If eSRAM and DDR and other e-peen acronyms are so far beyond the grasp of a civilian audience, then why would they give a shit if engineers used off-the-shelf parts rather than Microsoft lab coats tinkering with everything inside?

Before saying that, Penello was right. People argue specs, even without knowing what they're talking about, because it pretends to introduce some objectivity to the world's most pointless argument: My console is better than yours. Nuh uh. Yeah it is. No way. Prove it! OK, here's a bunch of jargon backed by numbers, rather than arguing if Batman could kill Superman.

It's not to say that hardware does not matter. The Xbox 360 was, and in some ways still is a poorly designed machine, beginning with all of the Red-Ring overheating issues, through the inferior disc drive and the constantly running chainsaw of a fan. Don't forget its early models needed a special peripheral for Wi-Fi capabilities. Its backwards compatibility, in the time people still cared about it, had serious problems within a lot of popular titles. Today, the stupid, unnecessary trap door over the USB port on the Xbox 360 is more of a quality-of-life issue for me than however its GPU stacks up to the PS3's.

I liked things better when we were actually talking about decisions and features that affected gamers — like the Xbox One's DRM policies — not the hypothetical graphical boundaries of a console and how long it would take to "push them." So, please, cut it out. Besides, the contents of both boxes could be literally identical. Everyone knows they'd still be inferior to a gaming PC.

Xbox One exec says Sony PS4 tech specs are "meaningless", games more important [OXM]


    Microsoft: Do yourself a favor and shut up until you learn to PR!

    Everyone knows they’d still be inferior to a gaming PC. R u srs!?

      In terms of sheer tech spec and raw power the PC is already ahead of the XBone and PS4. And even the high end MACS are ahead of them!

        put it this way, the xbone and ps4 graphic qualities come up to that of a gtx 580

          That is wrong. Xbone is equals to 650 while ps3 is equals to 660

            I always liked that the PS4 was more powerful AND cheaper than the Xbone.

            On an unrelated note, MS is holding back super high res gaming on the PC aswell because it wont make UI scaling work on windows the way apple does on OSX.

            If I got a 27 inch 4k screen I wouldnt be able to see my icons :(

              You can actually increase the icon size you know....

                Scaling currently looks like garbage and its not just Icons, its every single aspect of the OS.

        Yeah, but these consoles cost the same price as JUST a SINGLE HIGH END GPU.... Thats what makes them worth it. A console that costs the same as single gt770 is obviously not going to be as good as a 790 with an i7... but the point is that its at a verry good price to performance ratio that makes gaming on it far better than 80% of your current gamers pc...

          People who make/buy high end pc's generally dont care about price. so your point is mute

            I have a high end pc that after 2 years is now a low end pc. Honestly, I cannot justify upgrading my pc yearly with $200 parts just to run the latest game at 1080p 60fps with super sampling...

              That's what? 3 console games? Meanwhile they're somewhat cheaper on PC and they get cheaper as time goes on.

                Yeah. PC games can be cheaper,,, but PC gamer make it seem as if the steam sale is always on, and it just isnt. If I want to play a game DAY ONE then it will cost the same price on everything give or take $10. So I'm not fussed. That along with playstation plus makes for a great deal. Over all the PS4 is at a verry good cost point with good content at decent prices with good services.

                I'm a gamer, I pay games. That doesnt mean i NEED the most expensive or cutting edge PC to do so.

                  While i of course do not condone any practices as such *cough*, i would just like to add one thing.

                  Pirating. It's a dirty word, but damn is it easy to pirate PC games.

                  That is true, but since its so easy, over the last 5 or so years I've truly been actively resisting that temptation of pirating... As a matter of fact, it was when i bought my PS3 that I stopped pirating as the console life style made me feel good about walking into a shop and buying a new game for my collection.

                  That and i realy dont like the idea that im taking something that someone has put years of hard work into. Im now studying / working as an indie dev, and piracy is just... Yeah, I dont think i need to explain how I feel about it...

            the word is 'moot'

              And even that is used wrong. Although it's used wrong by just about everyone.

              Last edited 01/07/13 10:13 am

          The GPU in the Xbox One falls somewhere between that in a Radeon HD 7770 and a 7790. Today MSY has 7770s for as little as $112, and 7790s starting at $149 (for 1GB models) and $175 (for 2GB models). The GPU in the PS4 fits somewhere between the 7850 (from $185) and the 7870 (from $229). The PS4 looks to be good value, but one could easily build a PC that outclasses the Xbox One for similar money and do so today, not in five months when the console actually launches.

            One could also easily screw that up, if one doesn't know what one's doing. On the other hand you can go with PS4 and not worry about it.

        Arguing console over PC is pointless. If you think a purely PC market is enough to drive gaming, you may be under the wrong assumption. Console development is providing the base line for next generation hardware. As PC progresses onwards, from that in few years these technologies brings a new baseline to the Games market in the form of a next gen console. All these platforms are necessary for the advancement of gaming.

        Baseline hardware is essential in designing the core game engine and concept. For instance no third party developer is going to utilize a minimum of 6GB GDDR5 for a game, that would be suicide. But on PS4 , how soon can we have it?

        Let's not forget a unified pool of memory, which I'm sure you don't care about, but developers do very much. We may never have that on a conventional high end PC.

        Last edited 30/06/13 6:53 pm

      Yes seriously. My PC wins next gen console hands down. i7-3770k OC 4.5ghz + sli gtx 670 and 8gb 1600mhz ram.


        Thats nice. My PC can play games too. Maybe we should take off our shirts and kiss....

        But your PC isn't a console! ^_^

          I think the idea is that it’s pointless for consoles to argue over specs, instead they need to be arguing over what games they’re offering.

        I've got an idea - lets tout the superiority of our machines compared to others by listing a bunch of useless jargon, in an article about how pointless it is that people are using useless jargon to promote their machines!

          The jargon is only useless to those who don't understand what it means. That's what makes it jargon. And by and large the popular opinion is that anyone who games on consoles doesn't understand it.
          The REAL point that should be made here is that the consoles are so ridiculously close in specs that there's no point in arguing, but nobody on either side of the actual war will come out and say that because that'd be admitting they don't have an advantage there.
          Basically all that I've taken away from what this rep's said is "theirs isn't better because reasons".

          Sadly the useless jargons actually mattered. It is just Microsoft telling people don't get disappointed that xbone is weaker than ps4 graphically but look at their plus points. With pc advancing rapidly I see no point if they don't keep up to tech we have.

          They are not the only people that know how hardware works anymore. Knowing the hardware itself will be easy to estimate the performance of the device.

          Just look at wii u.

    Its a console, they a cross developed for. Games will be made to work on both PS4, and Xbone, so neither system will get a specified advantage.

      Exactly, the (most) games are always made for the lowest denominator. Obviously they plan on this being a shorter generation.

    What a waste of breath.

    Everyone knows that the Genesis is the superior console for the discerning gentleman.


      Get a load of this guy.
      The SNES is clearly superior. Super-FX-chip anyone?
      Game over, man.

    Yes it is a concern when they take a reduce the console spec so they can meet a target price so they can include that NSA spy gimmick that Kinect is.

    Microsoft let me play without Kinect better yet sell the console without
    Kinect and $100 cheaper and we may talk.

    Here is a link to a petition to demand the option not to connect Kinect.

      And where is my link to demand people STFU about anything related to spying or the NSA when talking about the Kinect?
      Don't like it, don't buy it...

      Yes..... They want to see you sitting on the couch.... and what you are having for dinner..... and wearing your tin foil hat....

    Microsoft exec says that because he knows their console packs less grunt...

    Heck, I haven't even heard a single person try to argue the One will be more powerful. :P

    Last edited 30/06/13 12:27 pm

      It's the same architecture for all major platforms. Sorry, Wii U =(. It's exciting because noone misses out because of limitations in development pipelines or some niggling disadvantage with one of the consoles. The playing field is quite level.

      Whether the better specs on paper for PS4 translate in the big old IRL remains to be seen.

        Architecture smarchitecture, my phone runs on x86 too. They still have some key differences in design. It is true that only time will tell how much of a tangible difference this makes though.

    And I'm just sitting here waiting for Wind Waker HD on the Wii U.
    Story + Gameplay > Graphics

    Last edited 30/06/13 3:45 pm

      I'm just waiting to see what Naughty Dog do on PS4, then we can have all 3.

        I agree, I hate when people act as if we have to choose!

          Truth, its not like most of the people here game on only one of the platforms. Not saying there isn't a dominant platform you use, buy you probably have a few of the platforms in your house. I'll be getting both.

    Let's pause and think for a moment. Pretend you are a developer. Your goal it to sell games, as many as you can. Your game has to be EXACTLY the same on both consoles otherwise guess what? You won't make much profit from the sales of your game on the "lesser console". The only bit a difference we might see will be on exclusive games developed by either Microsoft or Sony. They will put the effort in to make sure you buy their hardware

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