"The biggest thing in terms of the number of compute units, that's been something that's been very easy to focus on. It's like, hey, let's count up the number of CUs, count up the gigaflops and declare the winner based on that. My take on it is that when you buy a graphics card, do you go by the specs or do you actually run some benchmarks? Firstly though, we don't have any games out. You can't see the games. When you see the games you'll be saying, 'What is the performance difference between them?' The games are the benchmarks." - Microsoft technical fellow, Andrew Goossen.
We couldn't agree more. Despite the myriad gaffes and U-turns, Microsoft always had the right to make the case for its technology and to address its critics in the face of overwhelming criticism of its hardware design decisions.
However, in the final analysis, the games are clearly the benchmarks that matter -- and in terms of multi-platform offerings, relative system capabilities are a key battleground that Microsoft chose to mire itself in, with damaging results.
As the metrics emerge on key next-gen launch titles, it's clear that Xbox One is under-performing against its rival -- not just according to the spec differential, but actually beyond the difference in raw numbers. Our Battlefield 4 Face-Off preview reveals a 50 per cent resolution boost on PlayStation 4 with no appreciable compromise in effects or performance in single-player gameplay, while Infinity Ward's Mark Rubin confirmed rumors that Call of Duty: Ghosts runs at native 720p on Xbox One, with 1080p a lock for PS4. Assuming uniform features and performance, that's a massive blow for Microsoft.