AnandTech compares the XBox 360 and the PS3

June 27th, 2005 by Ciarán Leave a reply »

Anandtech have a discussion comparing the XBox 360 with the PS3 (mentioned by Major Nelson). The article is quite lengthy, and goes into some detail on the comparisons between the two consoles. They think that it will take some time for developers to take advantage of the two different architectures. This means shifting to true mutli-threaded game engines on the XBox 360, and harnessing the full power of the PS3’s SPE units in the Cell CPU.

The differing GPU architectures will also require developers to change how they work to take full advantage of new features. The XBox 360 Xenos GPU can dynamically adjust between processing geometry to processing pixels, which does offer the potential to have higher polygon counts and thus more detailed geometry. The PS3’s GPU can provide output at up to 1080p, which offers some advantage over the XBox 360. While presently few people will be able to take advantage of this high resolution, over the next few years displays that can handle this will become more common.

Overall, both machines are powerful, but will take some adjusting for developers to take full advantage of the new features of each machine. The XBox 360 has gone for a more cost-conscious design, with money saved by not including the extras that the PS3 will include (more USB ports, media card readers, HDMI video connectors, Gigbit ethernet ports). The choice of Blu-ray discs for the PS3 will give developers over 23GB of storage at a minimum, but the extra cost and ongoing debate over standards mean that the XBox 360’s choice of standard 12x DVD drive offers a lower risk option.

In the end of the day, I think that it will boil down to the games, since both machines will be very powerful, though different. XBox 360 developers will potentially have a couple of months lead on PS3 developers in getting the most out of their games. However, the games still need to be good games first and foremost, and not just technical demos of GPU power. Roll on Halo 3 :)


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