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[Update: Microsoft responds saying that PCs running Win 7 on GTX cards are Xbox One dev kits]
[Update: PS4 developers state that their games were running on actual PS4 dev kits, not high-end PCs]
You know how EA's COO Peter Moore told Geoff Keighley during the post-conference interview at E3 that the games they were showing off on stage were running on comparable dev kit specs to the actual home consoles? Well...that's not really true. What is true, however, is that to get the best performance on home console games, Microsoft made sure that they were running on the most stable system specs available on the market and in some cases that may have been an HP powered, Windows 7 system with Nvidia's 700 series GTX GPU.
Thanks to the guys on the HFBoards, they put together a nice little cache of information on the Xbox One and PS4, strangely they had some fairly unflattering evidence of some Xbox One games not even running on Xbox One dev kits or, as Peter Moore put it, comparable specs... unless switching from AMD cards to Nvidia cards was a last ditch effort to raise the price of manufacturing the console?
Anyway, Julian Rignall from US Gamers had an interesting Tweet to share, which on its own is quite harmless, noting...
Well, that's just some possible guesswork and speculation from one person encountering an error on an Xbox One and there's no way that any of that can remotely be proven because why would Microsoft not trust their own dev kits or comparable specs to run high-end games when... BAM! This showed up on HF Boards...
And wait for it, wait for it...wait...for...it...Boom!
If true, none of this should be a surprise to most people given that all E3 demos run their games on high-end PCs; it's a smoke and mirrors circus to sell the idea of the game, sort of like how pro wrestling sells the idea of fighting despite being scripted. We should all be used to it by now and it's just common practice [from most studios] given that the dev kits or comparable specs aren't usually finalized at this point.
However, in this particular case it does make it seem like Microsoft didn't even trust their latest Windows 8 operating system. As many people questioned on Twitter, why not Windows 8? Heck, Windows 8 is what one of the Xbox One's operating systems is based on. Opting for Windows 7 during E3 seems like Microsoft may not have had the confidence in their latest OS to put on the show they required or demo the games in the best of light.
I suppose the only real damning thing about this kind of exposure is that Microsoft didn't even use “comparable specs" from the company providing them with video cards in their home console. For those of you who don't know the Xbox One will run on a modified AMD GPU that, according to Extreme Tech, is on the level of a mid-ranged Radeon 7790. I guess the 7790 wasn't powerful enough for the Xbox One's E3 games eh? They needed a real manly card like the GTX 780, eh?
I guess it's like that old saying: If you want to dazzle on the grand stage you go GTX or you go home.
Also.. .poor, poor Windows 8; even Microsoft doesn't like you.