Okay, so we've already established by now that the synthetic benchmarks and the theoretical benchmarks all place the PS4 anywhere between 33% and 50% more powerful than the Xbox One in GPU, CPU and memory performance. However, you'll find that no one in the gaming arena has explicitly come forward and said “Hey everybody, X console is literally stronger than Y console and it can affect your games” . Why is that? Non-disclosure agreements.

Metro's Game Central recently had an interview with Infinity Ward's executive producer Mark Rubin and his PR lackey regarding Call of Duty: Ghosts – a game that's been lambasted across the board for lots of technical issues, but managed to make $1 billion dollars despite the harsh criticisms.

The interview is the sort of thing that gives weight to the growing impertinence exercised by the core gaming community. It blatantly asks, says and illustrates exactly why so many people have come up in arms against chief members of the Doritocracy.

Forewarning: What you're about to read feeds into all the tin-foil hat conspiracy theories about media downplaying the nearly irrefutable power difference between the Xbox One and PS4 and may incite fanboy rage of Halo-turning-into-a-PlayStation-exclusive proportions.
Game Central: So, just finally, I have to ask: why does the PlayStation 4 version look so much better than the Xbox One? Is the resolution really the only difference?

Mark Rubin: [laughs] Yep, it’s the only difference. The TVs are different on some of them, but… they both have their different rendering engines but they’re as close as possible. It really comes down to resolution. Xbox is upscaled 720, it’s outputting at 1080p but it’s upscaled from 720. Whereas PlayStation 4 is native 1080p. So that’s really the only graphical difference. But it is enough. Some people here are saying they don’t really notice a difference…

GC: Is the PC version still better?

MR: There’s actually some features that we’ve added to the PC that are definitively not on any other generation. We worked with Nvidia a lot with this, but we have a different form of anti-aliasing that’s really new and advanced – that isn’t on current or next gen. We have a fur shader on the dog and on the wolves, they actually have a moving fur shader that works really well, for PC. And the third one, which I think is one of the coolest ones, is we’re using Nvidia’s APEX Turbulence tech to have smoke that actually wisps and waves and moves out of the way of objects.

GC: So is that something the new consoles can’t do or you just didn’t have time to implement it?

MR: No, it’s… well, you can do almost anything, almost. Tessellation can’t be done on current gen for the most part, because it’s a DirectX 11 feature, but we could still do it but you’d get a frame rate of 2. So that really becomes the reason we do everything: the reason the Xbox One is 720, the reason the PlayStation 4 is 1080 is we’re trying to make the game look as good as it possible can and making sure we maintain our 60 frames per second.

We maintain the latency and the speed and the things that people actually care about. Even if they won’t admit it, the thing that makes Call Of Duty popular is how it feels, because of those priorities.

Okay hold up, we're going to have to take a page break and continue this on the next page (word count policy reasons and page clicks... because we're not going to pretend they don't mean anything). But I would like to point out that things heat up to a point where it would make a lot of people embarrassed to say that this is how the gaming industry works.

Adam Sessler may be ashamed that gamers throw him “libel” and “threats” over Twitter for a few comments, but I would say I'm ashamed that there's such a huge power-play on the way gamers are able to receive information.

So here comes the truth bomb that everyone has been waiting for. You've prepped for it and I'm sure you're salivating like Pavlov's dog over the reason as to why there's such a coy undertaking of investigation and outright denial of the power differences between the Xbox One and the PS4 – even though we were hit with tons of coverage of how Xbox 360 games performed better than PS3 games and how the tools provided by Microsoft, whether it was with XNA or additional DX support, gave the Xbox brand a clear cut advantage over Sony. Read on.
GC: So the obvious assumption from all this is that the PlayStation 4 is definitely more powerful than the Xbox One, is that true?

MR: [acting very embarrassed] I can’t answer that.

GC: You can’t answer it on a technical level or because you’re being diplomatic?

MR: Can’t answer that.

GC: You can’t say whether you’re avoiding the question for diplomatic reasons?

MR: [embarrassed] I just can’t say anything…

[Even the attending PR guy is looking embarrassed by this point]

PR guy: It’s very hard for us to be…

GC: Are the console manufacturers leaning on you to avoid these sort of questions?

MR: [unsure - speaking to PR guy] I don’t know if that…

MR: [even more embarrassed to us] Yeah, there’s things that we… We sign NDAs with the first parties [i.e. Microsoft and Sony - GC] and there are things that we’re not allowed to talk about.

Truth bomb... detonated.

It's funny because it seems like devs and the media were a lot more willing to give the PS3 a hard time, especially during the 2006 and 2007 era of the console wars just before and after the console launched. Most people probably never would have guessed that NDAs and information embargos were in place during the seventh generation of gaming due to the liberal flow of information that easily helped shape the opinion of one console over the other.

For example, remember the article from Andrew Groen covering Gabe Newell calling the PS3's architecture a “complete disaster”? Any big developers saying that about the Xbox One anywhere? Anyone talking about the cloud host OS reboots after updates and how that could affect people who don't even play multiplayer games? How about the possibility of the return of Microsoft's restrictive DRM policies? Anyone? Anywhere?

Or how about the IDC ripping the PS3 for a lack of software support and dev tools? Hey remember when Joystiq said why on Earth gamers would want to shell out $200 more for a PS3 when all the “rats abandoned the ship” back in 2006, when publishers were pulling exclusive support for the PS3, barely after it launched? How about CNN's review of how the PS3 couldn't hide its flaws?

And just going back a little bit in a time machine, there's this interview from Hardcoreware.net and The Guardian, where a developer (under anonymity) stated the following regarding the performance difference between the PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 20th, 2006...
"Being a video game developer (I develop for both, Playstation 3 and XBOX 360) people ask me almost daily which platform I think is better. These are my personal feelings, in no way does this reflect my employer.

"Short answer: XBOX 360.

"Long answer: Price, performance, visual quality, game selection and online support. I think the XBOX 360 wins in every category.

"Price: This is obvious; the XBOX 360 core is only $299. The PS3 is around $499 for the 20GB version. It comes with a hard drive, but you don't need a hard drive to enjoy a lot of great games on the 360 so I think it's fair to compare both core systems."

"Performance: On paper, the PS3 is more powerful. In reality, it's quite inferior to the 360. Without getting into too many details, the three general-purpose CPU's the xbox360 has are currently FAR easier to take advantage of than the SPU's on the PS3. I suspect a few years down the road some high budget, first party PS3 exclusive titles will come out that really take advantage of the SPU's and do things the XBOX 360 can't..."

"Graphics: The XBOX 360 is a clear winner. The GPU is more powerful. It has more powerful fillrate, and far more pixel and vertex processing horsepower. Part of the reason is their choice of memory, and architecture of pixel and vertex procesing. I can't get into details but the same vertex shader will run much slower on the PS3 than the XBOX 360."

Holy snaps, that guy's comments were almost prophetic, especially regarding the exclusives for the PS3 (Last of Us says "Hi"). It's also amazing how the clear admission of better hardware in favor of the Xbox 360 actually played a role in how we experienced games: better frame rates, better resolution, better playability.

I'm sorry Doritocrats, but graphics do affect gameplay; good graphics married with good gameplay trumps good gameplay married to piss-poor graphics. It's like if you could marry a supermodel who is in Mensa or just a Mensa member who might be lucky to get a photo in a JC Penny magazine, most people would go with the supermodel and Mensa combo. JC Penny be damned.

The thing that's also pretty crazy is that the PlayStation 3 was on the receiving end of many of the same problems that the Xbox One is seeing in the public arena recently, most notably the frame rate issue(s) that seems to have cropped up in games like Dead Rising 3, amongst others.

Remember the frame rate issues that plagued the PS3 early in its lifespan like Skate and Assassin's Creed, which caused people to complain on forums and beg for a fix? And let's not forget the public lambasting the PS3 received over the Madden 08 30fps frame rate incident, which blew up to all kinds of rage when it was discovered that the Xbox 360 version of the game ran at a buttery smooth 60fps. Seems funny it was okay to be objective and critical of the PS3 but it's a sin to ascribe this same form of critical thinking to the Xbox One.

Right now, the Doritocracy is downplaying some of these performance differences despite the fact that the PS4 to Xbox One power difference shows a greater range of hardware disparity than the PS3 and Xbox 360, yet the latter case was played up way more in gaming media.

I suppose Microsoft's NDAs and embargos to keep certain individual's mouths shut will help curtail news that reveals the discrepancy between the Xbox One and PS4. At least gamers now know why there's such shifty-eyed behavior going around regarding the obvious questions between the power difference of the Xbox One and PS4.

Filtering and controlling the flow of information by our corporate overlords is a great way for consumers to make long-term, informed purchasing decisions, eh?
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