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Another game has been confirmed to take advantage of the PS4's hardware capabilities over the Xbox One: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. The news spread wild and fast in no time. Albert Penello, the director of product planning, was sent to countermand the negativity against the Xbox One like Reinfeld from the castle of lord Dracula, dispelling hate like a turn-based RPG pro.
Gaming Bolt caught the quotes from a Gamertag Radio podcast (around the 55 minute mark, if you were interested in listening for yourself) and Penello ran to the defense of the big black one like Johnny Cochran ran to the defense of OJ Simpson, saying...
“Look, I had a lot of time to think about this and I believe in what I said. I believe that the differences between the boxes [PS4 and Xbox One] is not all that great and I know what is going behind the scenes and I probably have access to more information about some of these things than a lot of people. Sometimes people tend to neglect the points that are in my favor and they like to highlight the points that tell me I am wrong. I still think Ryse is still the best looking game on any platform. Period. End of story,”
Anyway, the arguments about Ryse are debatable. Great graphics certainly didn't stave off the fresh-out-of-a-cesspool review scores that helped bury that game's chance in the limelight faster than Taylor Hicks' singing career... well, that's not really true, you kind of actually need to have a career to begin with to lose it.
Albert wasn't content on just throwing us back in time like an episode of Dr. Who. He wanted to drive home the point that gameplay is what matters most (even though Ryse couldn't find good gameplay if it were textured and rendered in a step-by-step guide on the ground in front of Marius), and that the framerate and resolution discrepancy is an “overblown” thing, saying...
“I think if you look at the title which we launch, which were multiplatform titles – the bulk of them were the same. I think there were like 12 titles that released on both platforms [PS4 and Xbox One], and all but three of them had the same performance on both boxes.”
I'm sorry, brah, but the main reason I switched to PC gaming was because sub-30fps became a strain on my eyes, literally. The frame-tear and drop made me feel like I was missing out on an experience that was designed to be better than what it was on the seventh generation consoles... and there was a better experience, on PC.
If the PS4 is offering smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom 60 (mostly consistent) frames per second in a performance smooth enough to be a gold medal winning skate dance from Scott Hamilton, then that's where I'm going. If your system can't manage 30 sub-par frames per second by comparison, then you need to give up some of that TressFX and stick with Nintendo-level renderers to hit that Holy Grail of 60fps at 1080p.
While the Xbox One may, no doubt, get games that make good use of its capabilities and hardware, it'll always be competing with a better optimized system that's $100 cheaper.
Pro-Xbox One Advice: No need to end an article on a sour note, so I'll give Microsoft some free advice: Lose the damage control routine. Work with third-party developers to downscale whatever needs to be downscaled to hit 1080p at 60fps. Lower texture resolution? Fewer post-processing effects? Stilted physics? Do it. You're already losing on the graphics front, you may as well tie when it comes to gameplay performance.