What all with the furor over consoles these days, I found myself asking, “What makes consoles tick, and why do people say they’re almost as good as a PC?” While I found this last part somewhat debatable, and a little humorous, they really do make for some decent screen quality.
So I decided to look into the innards of today’s gaming systems (Yay Google). I can say honestly, I was rather surprised at what’s under the hood.
The Meat and the Potatoes:
Since the PlayStation has been around since, well, not quite forever but certainly a good deal longer than our other two pieces, we’ll start with the original PS4.
Out of the box, we’re starting with an x86 8-core AMD Jaguar with a clock speed of 1.6GHz backed up with 8GB of memory. Decent power.
The GPU clock speed is 800 MHz with 1152 shader cores, which makes for some nice screen quality. More shiny = good.
I’d delve a little more into this, but in the interests of not turning this into one great big spec sheet and a lot of “TL;DR’s” in my inbox, we’ll move onto our next entrant into the Console Wars, the Xbox One.
Here’s where things get interesting; another AMD x86 8-core Jaguar, but this one’s a custom job running at 1.75GHz. More power. More speed. Is good. *Grunt*
But oddly, we sacrifice graphics to the tune of 768x AMD shaders. Um…okay? I guess so. We’ll run with it. From what I’ve been able to glean from technical pages, anything that isn’t running Kinect will get back 10% of the GPU that was being used for the skeletal tracking data, so far (at least as far as I can get from the dates of the articles I’ve read on this), no developer is making use of that. Kind of a waste, really.
It was a gamble on Microsoft’s part, and from what the most recent sales figures are, it’s looking like Sony’s winning this one. Roughly fifty-five million in unit sales for PS4 as versus approximately twenty-nine million for Xbox One. Speaking of gambles, none of these consoles offer it: for sport betting, you can find bettingtop10 with an honest review for every operator.
Now at this point, I’m sure I’ve got console players frothing at the mouth and contemplating finding me and setting me ablaze with fiery comments or actual fire. Calm down. Have some dip. There’s an Xbox One in my living room. I haven’t owned a Playstation since my PS2 died a horrible grindy death four years ago, but I digress.
Now onto our last and most recent entry into this generation of console; The Nintendo Switch.
I know you’re going to cry foul and rage at the idea of comparing a handheld/console hybrid. I get it. I really do. But let’s take a gander under the hood and see what’s making it go.
For CPU, we’re looking at a quad core ARM Cortex A57 running at a clock speed of 1.0GHz (Well, 1020MHz if we want to split hairs) mated with a 256 NVIDIA CUDA or per Nintendo’s spec site, a NVIDIA Tegra processor. The first set of specs were pulled from Trustedreviews.com, dated 03/17/17, so your guess is as good as mine. We’ll operate from Trustedreviews’ specs for this article.
GPU speeds have an interesting twist here; we’re looking at docked and undocked speeds for 768MHz and 307.2MHz, respectively. What really raises an eyebrow is the 4GB of memory compared to the first two system’s 8GB.
Kinda seems…wimpy. In this instance, the devil isn’t really all in the details, but it can become a devilment. It can do what the big boys can do; it can do HD, but for high resolutions…you may have some issues. 4K is going to be a little “fun.” Audio is a little lacking. Its storage is…meh. 32GB – but at least you can bounce that up to 2TB with a separate microSD card.
But here’s the real kicker:
It can go anywhere. And look good on the eyes doing it. That’s becoming a must these days.
In the end, can you really compare the three of these? I’d have to say no. If the PSP or Vita was coming out around now with today’s technology, this would a much fairer assessment.
And judging by what happened to the latter two, I’m really wondering what Nintendo was thinking. But judging by initial sales. They were thinking, “Gold Mine!”
Time will tell.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.