Xbox One and PS4 Hardware Specs Are 'Essentially the Same,' Says John Carmack

Id Software co-founder says "it's almost weird how close" the Xbox One and PS4 are.

At Quakecon 2013, John Carmack of Id Software (Doom, Quake, Rage) has spoken out about the PS4 and Xbox One. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 apparently are the same when it comes down to hardware specs, according to id Software co-founder John Carmack.

Plus, Carmack makes two other interesting observations. Three or four years ago, he thought that Intel would make a play for the console space with its stillborn Larrabee GPU. That, or the Xbox One and PS4 could easily have been based on “super-mobile architectures”, with “16 ARM cores” and “a whole bunch of PowerVR graphics cores.”

“It’s almost weird how close they are,” Carmack says about the Xbox One and PS4, which are both equipped with a virtually identical AMD CPU and GPU. By standardizing on x86 hardware, it will now be cheaper and easier to develop games that span multiple platforms (consoles and PCs). With the add-on effect that the average quality of games should improve as developers can spend more time devoted to the games themselves, rather than messing around with architecture-specific problems.

For all the insightful commentary on the gaming industry, be sure to watch Carmack’s entire conversation in the above video. All the Kinect haters out there will love Carmack’s comment that “Kinect is sort of like a zero-button mouse with a lot of latency.”

Published Aug. 4th 2013

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