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Xbox One exec: Hardware specs are "meaningless"

Xbox product planning boss downplays PS4/Xbox One comparisons

Head-to-head comparisons of the next generation consoles by Digital Foundry previously had the Xbox One at a slight deficiency compared to its rival, the PlayStation 4. In an interview with OXM, Xbox senior director of product planning Albert Penello said that hardware comparisons between the two consoles was "meaningless" and games are the real differentiator.

"The problem is that Sony decided to go out and publish a bunch of numbers, which are in some ways meaningless," Penello told OXM. "Because this isn't like 1990, when it was 16-bit versus 32-bit. For me, I'd rather not even have the conversation, because it's not going to matter."

"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 said that Microsoft has taken great care to customize the PC-style parts used in the Xbox One, while Sony is proud of the PlayStation 4's cheaper manufacturing cost due to more off-the-shelf parts.

"We touched every single component in the box and everything there is tweaked for optimum performance," he said.

Penello explained that the Xbox One will have all the games players have come to expect alongside the console's new multimedia features.

"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."

Digital Foundry released a new report today that says that the Xbox One may have been underestimated, with production units having a higher memory bandwidth than first advertised.

[Image via Wired]

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.