Xbox One exec says Sony PS4 tech specs are "meaningless", games more important

"I heard this exact same argument last generation, and it's a pointless argument."

Speaking to OXM at Microsoft's Xbox One reveal last month, Xbox product planning boss Albert Penello has downplayed technical comparisons between Xbox One and PS4, arguing that hardware analysis is "meaningless" when "our games and experiences are going to be every bit as good as, if not better" than those you'll find on competing consoles.

Asked whether he was cautious of comparisons with PS4 by our editor Jon Hicks, Penello pointed out that few players really buy consoles for the specs alone. "The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless," he told us. "Because this isn't like 1990, when it was 16-bit versus 32-bit.

"As a matter of fact," he continued, "they actually go out and they talk about how proud they are about their off-the-shelf parts. Our guys'll say, we touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance."

"For me, I'd rather not even have the conversation, because it's not going to matter," Penello went on. "The box is going to be awesome. The games are going to be awesome. I heard this exact same argument last generation and it's a pointless argument, because people are debating things which they don't know about. They're not [head silicon engineer] Nick Baker or [corporate vice president of IEB hardware Todd Holmdahl], and I'm not [lead PS4 architect] Mark Cerny, so why are we having this discussion?"


Penello feels consumers will pick a console for the games it offers, rather than for its capabilities on paper. "Here's what you care about," he said. "You bought a system to play great games and have great experiences. I feel like our games and experiences are going to be every bit as good, if not better, technically - on top of all the magic we're going to add with the instant switching, and the power of the cloud.

"So the whole numbers game - yeah, I've been following it online and it's like, we tried having that argument last time. Do I want to talk about HDMI 1.3 or 1.4, it's like 'argh!' It doesn't matter. Did you see Call of Duty, it looks f**king awesome! It's going to be great, you know. So we're just saying, it's not worth the debate."

The new Xbox console's memory performance has been hugely underestimated, according to a new Digital Foundry report. For more on the specs - and what game developers could do with them - read our gigantic round-up of Xbox One details. Alternatively, skip the techspeak and rifle through this round-up of confirmed Xbox One games.