The Playstation 4 and Xbox 720 hardware specifications have been leaked. Although no official statements have been made by either Microsoft or Sony, everyone is expecting for both gaming console manufacturers to announce their prospective next generation consoles at this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3).
So far the hardware specification rumors have both Intel and Nvidia being left out in the cold in favor of main rival AMD, which purchased graphics chip developer ATI several years ago. It’s possible this choice was based upon AMD being capable of providing both the CPU and GPU architecture at a more competitive price when compared to buying from two separate companies like in the past.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Xbox 720 could be delayed over some confusion on how the consoles are progressing which may lead to supply chain issues. The website also reveals that the Xbox device is now code-named “Kryptos” and not “Durango.” The Playstation 4 has also be renamed from code-name “Thebes” rather than”Orbis.” If the rumors are true, the PS4 could be delayed through the spring 2014 or fall 2014 while the Xbox 720 could be delayed between fall 2013 to 2014.
According to Eurogamer, both the Xbox 720 and Playstation 4 will be powered by an eight-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz built using AMD’s Jaguar architecture. This type of CPU is typically used for low-power notebooks but will have double the number of cores found in portables as well as a few other customizations.
We are further told that Sony’s PlayStation 4 will ship with AMD Radeon HD graphics. Specifically, we can expect to see the Radeon 7970M clocked at 800MHz with 18 Graphics Core Next compute units. This is expected to produce 1.84 teraflops, according to data recently published by VG24/7. At this time the GPU of the Microsoft Xbox 720 is unknown but sources at CES claim the graphics architecture is only capable of outputting 1.23 teraflops.
The Playstation 4 will also feature 4GB of high speed DDR5 memory combined with a slower 512MB for use by the operating system (as a comparison, today’s console have a total memory pool of only 512MB). In contrast, the Xbox 360 is providing 8GB in total but this will be running at slower DDR3 speeds. Microsoft is expected to use something similar to eDRAM technology connected to the GPU to offset the slower bandwidth provided by DDR3 memory.
As an example for what this hardware can do, we can demonstrate Battlefield 3 on a PC that is configured similarly to how the next-gen consoles will be:
But that is unlikely to represent actual games. Most PC games nowadays are simply ports of console games and thus the graphics are dumbed down from they could potentially achieve.
So what do all these hardware specifications mean? It’s possible Microsoft is choosing to adopt the business approach that Nintendo took with the Wii and the Wii-U. In the past, video game consoles were sold at steep discounts as a loss leader. This means that the cost to manufacture the console hardware was much higher than the retail price given to customers. Sony and Microsoft would eat the initial loss of the hardware sales but then make it back over time with game sales. As time went on the cost to produce the consoles would go down and they eventually started making money off of hardware sales. Nintendo, on the other hand, made money from the start with the hardware sales of both the Wii and Wii-U because technologically those consoles were not nearly as advanced, or expensive.