When current-generation game consoles were released some eight and seven years ago, they either featured unique graphics processor (Xbox 360) or exotic Blu-ray disc optical drive along with heterogeneous multi-core microprocessor (PlayStation 3), which put them ahead of personal computers. This will not happen to the forthcoming consoles as they will rely on current PC technologies, according to a leading game developer.
With custom system-on-chips with eight AMD Jaguar x86 cores as well as custom AMD Radeon HD graphics adapters based on GCN architecture and Blu-ray drives, the next-generation game consoles will never get close in terms of performance to modern personal computers. Premium PCs nowadays feature high-performance x86 microprocessors as well as much more powerful graphics solution than Microsoft Xbox Next “Durango” and Sony PlayStation 4 “Orbis”. According to Cevat Yerli, the chief executive of Crytek, a leading game developer, it is just impossible to pack leading-edge technologies into consoles using off-the-shelf components.
“Without breaking NDAs that are in place, realistically, from purely a price point perspective, it is impossible. It is impossible to package $2000-3000 into a mainstream, let's say $500 console. I am not saying they are $500 consoles. They may launch a console at $2000, but the consumer pricing is usually much lower than that. So, given consumer pricing, and given the cost of production of a gamer PC and the amount of watt of power it needs, which is like a fridge, it is impossible,” said Cevat Yerli in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.
Modern microprocessor and graphics processing technologies are so complex that it is almost impossible for Microsoft and Sony to develop their own dedicated hardware or fund development of something unique by companies like AMD, Intel Corp. or Nvidia Corp. Therefore, the new consoles will rely on custom PC-derived CPUs and GPUs that will offer decent performance, which should enough to drive console games to the next level, but which is not enough to match advanced PCs in terms of image quality.
"If you look at PC gaming, that has changed also. The whole modular way you can design a PC today, with two, three or four graphics cards in them, and you can water cool them and overclock to infinity, that didn't exist even six or seven years ago. You just bought one or maybe two graphics cards and then you were super enthusiastic. It is very difficult to compete with that. People have these massive nuclear power plants standing in their rooms that will run your games really fast. It is hard to compete with,” added Mr. Yerli.