According to the unconfirmed report, memory read speeds for the PlayStation 4 are currently “40-50 percent” faster than the Xbox One, and its Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) is said to be around 50 percent quicker. What all this apparently means, is that any given non-optimized game that runs at 30 frames per second (FPS) in 1920×1080 on the PS4 will be running at “20-something” FPS in 1600×900 on the X1. The performance gap between the two systems is said to be the reason behind Microsoft’s recent clock speed update, however, one developer stated that the increase “does not change things that much.”
Another unnamed source summed up the difference between the two next-gen consoles as follows: “Xbox One is weaker [than the PlayStation 4] and it’s a pain to use its ESRAM.”
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the report is that cross-platform games will likely be developed with the lowest common denominator in mind. One source “suggested” that parity might be achieved by Microsoft forcing publishers to “castrate” the PlayStation 4 version of their game, while another stated that “it usually doesn’t make financial sense” to go out of the way to make one version superior over another.
The performance gap between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is not likely to be seen in any of the launch titles. As one source put it: “The poor [graphics] drivers have made it difficult to push either of them, and the developers aren’t familiar with the hardware yet.”