The current generation of gaming consoles are way less powered than modern high-end PCs and are only a bit ahead of current and upcoming Quad-core mobile processors like Tegra 3, and Exynos Mali 560.
Its almost time for these decade old Gaming consoles to receive an update, and Both PS4 & Xbox 720 are scheduled for early 2013.
Both Microsoft and Sony are going to bet on these hardwares for deciding who gets to win the Gaming wars.
For Xbox 720, Game developers have already started to create titles. Previously, the Lionhead game developing franchise had even recently posted a job advertisement where they were looking for a person with a background in DirectX 11.
Microsoft Direct X11 is not being used in any of the Gaming consoles today, and the fans are guessing that titles are currently being developed for the next-generation Xbox that will have DirectX 11 support. Xbox 720 codenamed “Durango”, is rumored to use an AMD GPU—either a Southern Islands variant or an equivalent to a Radeon HD 6670—this time paired with a PowerPC CPU.
The successor to the PlayStation 3, PS4 is codenamed “Orbis,” will use an AMD x86 processor with an AMD “Southern Islands” GPU. PS4 will not be backward compatible with PS3 due to the huge move from Cell processor to x86 architecture. Sony, supposedly, will make this happen by making new titles available on Blu-Ray or for download over PlayStation Network, and will be locking the copies to individual PSN accounts.
New Xbox 720 is set to pack in AMD’s latest 6670 chip that supports DirectX11, multi-display, 3D and many others. If Microsoft decides to wait until 2013, AMD’s new HD 8000 series graphics chips will be available, which will further improve the prospects.
Xbox 720 will be way more powerful than 360 and will have Kinect built-in according to Epic Games’ VP Mark Rein. Xbox would be moving from current IBM Power PC with a trio of 3.2GHz cores and an ATI GPU in its Xbox 360 to x86 architecture, which is a great win from AMD.
Southern Islands in HD 7970 is a fast and powerful GPU, but it’s already lost the top performance spot, displaced by NVIDIA’s brand new GTX 680. It’ll be falling further behind with the launch next year of AMD’s Sea Islands GPU architecture. If the next-generation Xbox really does use a Radeon HD 6670 part, it’ll be even less impressive.
The next-generation PlayStation 4 CPU could be a Bulldozer derivative, or it might be based on the company’s low-power Bobcat design. In either case, it’s unlikely to boast the kind of remarkable theoretical performance that the Cell claimed relative to its contemporaries.
x86 and Game Development Time frame
However, it is believed that Sony might surprise us all by making last-time changes to higher specs. PS3 leaded the Xbox 360 over the processing power with it Cell SPUs, which was several times powerful than Xbox’s IBM power PC processor. Cell processor was so powerful that RAM and the DMA (Direct Memory Access) were just not good enough to cope upto the processor speeds.
The development of games was way harder on PS3 than Xbox 360 and that’s why we used to see Xbox 360 titles arriving first and later ported to PS4. With PS4, this problem would go away, coz both platforms would support the popular x86 architecture.
Xbox has received several upgrades to the controllers, but Sony didn’t modify even a bit of them, since they were announced. It is said that new Play station 4 controller is going to bring a great built quality along with new features.
For Xbox 720, the upgrades are expected but Microsoft is going to continue improving the Controller-less Gaming i.e. via Kinect. Kinect would get better, and built right into the console.
Hard disks & Optical drives
It is said that Xbox 720 might chuck the inbuilt hard drive or the Optical drive in favor of online cloud storage.
The PlayStation 4 would continue to stick with Blu-Ray. Xbox 720 is also rumored to go in favor of Blu-Ray if they plan to have an optical drive.
Gaming Platform: Gaming across devices:
Both Sony and Microsoft are trying to make Gaming seamless across devices: Gaming consoles, mobile console, mobile devices, PCs.
Microsoft plans to unify Gaming with Xbox Live across Windows 8 PCs and Xbox 720, and scaled down games to Windows Phone 8 devices.
Sony would run same game titles across Xbox 720, PS Vita and scaled down versions on upcoming Xperia Play lineup.
Who will win? Its impossible to say right now, we’ll have to wait till late 2012 or early 2013 to know the exact answer.