Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Nvidia's SVP of content and technology Tony Tamasi tells PC PowerPlay in a new interview that it is no longer possible for a game console to match or surpass the graphics capabilities of a PC equipped with the latest graphics technology.

"It's no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than the PC," Tamasi said. "I'll tell you why. In the past, certainly with the first PlayStation and PS2, in that era there weren't really good graphics on the PC. Around the time of the PS2 is when 3D really started coming to the PC, but before that time 3D was the domain of Silicon Graphics and other 3D workstations. Sony, Sega, or Nintendo could invest in bringing 3D graphics to a consumer platform. In fact, the PS2 was faster than a PC."

Tamasi added that his company spends about $1.5 billion a year on research and development into graphics, totaling around $10 billion over the course of a console's lifecycle. Platform holders like Microsoft and Sony simply cannot afford to spend that kind of money, Tamasi added.

"By the time of the Xbox 360 and PS3, the consoles were on par with the PC," he added. "If you look inside those boxes, they're both powered by graphics technology by AMD or NVIDIA, because by that time all the graphics innovation was being done by PC graphics companies."

The second reason why consoles can't match the PC is because "everything is limited by power these days," and faster machines require more efficient design or a bigger power supply.

"The most efficient architectures are from Nvidia and AMD, and you're not going to get anything that is significantly more power efficient in a console, as it's using the same core technology," Tamasi said. "Yet the consoles have power budgets of only 200 or 300 Watts, so they can put them in the living room, using small fans for cooling, yet run quietly and cool. And that's always going to be less capable than a PC, where we spend 250W just on the GPU. There's no way a 200W Xbox is going to be beat a 1000W PC."

Tamasi added that the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 could be equal to what is possible on the best PC at the time, but this will not last for very long.

"A year later it's going to be slower, and it still wouldn't be possible due to the power limits," Tamasi said.

He also added that the Xbox One and PS4 "look alike these days," pointing out that both consoles have an x86 CPU and a PC-style GPU. "It's a giant integrated graphics PC," he said.

"It's good for everyone--the developers don't have all these crazy architectures they have to sort through. 80 percent of their work is now applicable to all platforms," Tamasi said. "It's great for gamers, as games can be better on all platforms. And it's great for PC, as there's less weird divergence between consoles and PC, which means a lot more leverage for devs to raise the bar. If there were technological reasons that games weren't ported to the PC in the past, there are a lot less of those reasons come next-gen."

Source: GameSpot

 


Comments

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

Technily since nearly everything is built for consoles the software is built not to use the full power of the PC thus it dose not matter if the PC is supper or not.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

"I'll tell you why. In the past, certainly with the first PlayStation and PS2, in that era there weren't really good graphics on the PC. Around the time of the PS2 is when 3D really started coming to the PC, but before that time 3D was the domain of Silicon Graphics and other 3D workstations. Sony, Sega, or Nintendo could invest in bringing 3D graphics to a consumer platform. In fact, the PS2 was faster than a PC."

I have my doubts about that statement.

The PS2 came out in 2000 with a 299 MHz CPU and 32MBs of rambus.

System Shock 2, best game ever, came out in 1999 with the following requirements.

CPU/Processor: Intel Pentium III / AMD Athlon MP
Video Card Required: Nvidia GeForce 6100 / ATI Radeon Xpress 1200 Series
Minimum RAM (Memory): 32 MB

Pentium 3's speeds are 400 MHz to 1.4 GHz.

Am I misunderstanding something about the PS2 architecture? Or is he just trying to make the consoles feel better about themselves when PCs have ALWAYS been better if you invest the money? lol

 

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"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." -H.L.Mencken

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

In terms of processing clocks, PCs may have exceeded the PS2 in sheer horsepower; but, as AMD's Athlon XP series, and Intels' Core chip proved, clocks aren't everything. The PS2's EmotionEngine in terms of computational power and sheer efficiency downright outclassed many PCs for years. Even to this day, many persons have difficulty with modern PCs emulating the EmotionEngine.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

Fair enough. I'd heard that the PS2 had some novel parallel processes, but I was not so sure when I pulled up the specs. 

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"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." -H.L.Mencken

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

Haven't they been saying this since 1998?

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

I hate to go all "PC master race" here, but, that's honestly just a fact. As powerful as consoles are, PCs will usually outmatch them pretty damn fast.

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

We already knew all of that TBH. 
The consoles do admittedly have a one up in that they are (or used to be anyways) dedicated gaming systems.

Nowadays though they're borderline just shuttle PC's for your TV. But unlike a regular PC, upgrades are impossible without a new system outright.

All they need is a customizable desktop and the ability to access and edit content on the HDD's, and they'd literally be broken PC's...

 

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

Wait, did an NVIDIA exec just say that there is no excuse for a game to next-gen game to not be available on PC?

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Papa Midnight

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

Well, not entirely but pretty close. He shut that door pretty hard in which people thought PCs weren't as powerful as a console. He didn't however, shut the other door where developers like to moan and groan about "ZOMG TEH PIRATES!!!!"

/still waiting on Red Dead Redemption Rockstar...

Re: Nvidia Exec: Next-Gen Consoles Can't Match the Power of PCs

He didn't really have to touch the other door.  The piracy argument kinda falls flat when you look at console piracy.  Which exists, and is often easier than PC piracy.

At this point, developers have to accept that not developing for PC is admission that they don't like broadening their audience and making money.

 
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