So the Xbox One has been taking a lot of heat because multiplatform games seem to be performing better on the PlayStation 4. Speaking to game ranger, Jean-Baptiste Bolcato, one Rebellion Game’s developers working on Sniper Elite 3, spoke about the reasons behind this lack in performance.
First part of the conversation aimed at how the eSRAM of the Xbox One was the reason behind Xbox One’s failure to reach 1080p in games.
“It was clearly a bit more complicated to extract the maximum power from the Xbox One when you’re trying to do that. I think eSRAM is easy to use. The only problem is…Part of the problem is that it’s just a little bit too small to output 1080p within that size. It’s such a small size within there that we can’t do everything in 1080p with that little buffer of super-fast RAM.”
“It means you have to do it in chunks or using tricks, tiling it and so on. It’s a bit like the reverse of the PS3. PS3 was harder to program for than the Xbox 360. Now it seems like everything has reversed but it doesn’t mean it’s far less powerful – it’s just a pain in the ass to start with. We are on fine ground now but the first few months were hell.”
This has been the reason why a lot of the games have not been able to output in 1080p on the Xbox One. A few examples include CoD Ghosts (720p), Xbox One exclusives Dead Rising 3 (720p) and Ryse (900p), Battlefield 4 (700p), and Assassin’s Creed IV (900p).
Bolcato then went on to explain that Microsoft has released a new development kit for the Xbox One, which includes companion patches for users that will hopefully allow developers to improve the performance of Xbox One games over the course of the console's lifespan.
“They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One. We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore, it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines. The Xbox One is a bit more multimedia, a bit more hub-centric so its a bit more complex. There’s stuff you can and can’t do because it’s a sort of multimedia hub. PS4 doesn’t have that. PS4 is just a games machine.”
The fact that Digital Foundry revealed that the PS4 was better than the Xbox One at multimedia capabilities mean that this could be a way for him to save some of Xbox One’s reputation. He continued on to be more positive with,
“Yeah, I mean that’s probably why, well at least on paper, [PS4 is] a bit more powerful. But I think the Xbox One is gonna catch up. But definitely there’s this eSRAM. PS4 has 8GB and it’s almost as fast as eSRAM [bandwidth wise] but at the same time you can go a little bit further with it, because you don’t have this slower memory. That’s also why you don’t have that many games running in 1080p, because you have to make it smaller, for what you can fit into the eSRAM with the Xbox One.”
So this does seem like a full reversal of the Xbox 360 and PS3. If Xbox One gets better over time, so will the PS4. The head start in the beginning itself was the decider last generation, and it seems this time Sony has taken all the right steps. Time will tell if Xbox One can make a comeback like the PS3. The stronger the competition between these giants, the better for us gamers!