Friday, 4 July 2014

Next Generation Specs Explained

A feature by Ivan

I have it on good authority (from a guy who works at Gamestop  no less) that the next generation of consoles that I've been hearing so much about has become the current  generation of consoles. You may well be thinking "gee, I sure would like to buy one of these machines, but all the talk of specs and performance confuses me. Nintendo already sold me a console that was designed to give puny Westerners headaches so now I don't know who to trust". Fear not for I was once like you until I was inspired by the following quote from winter yoga pioneer and Eye Moustaches mascot Miister X's autobiography. My inclusion of an extract from a book has nothing to do with our licensing deal. I repeat, NOTHING AT ALL.
Many other titles were continued, but this pun was deemed "least tenuous"

Inspirational stuff

After all, if I can learn html, I can do <i>anything<i>
Let's start with the Wii U.

The first thing that should jump out at you is that the computer power unit (known in the trade as the CPU) is made by IBM. This is all you need to know. IBM have in the past worked with Microsoft, who produced Windows Vista, which as even the briefest web search will confirm was one of the worst things ever created. Vista has forever tainted the name of Microsoft to such an extent that companies that work with companies that work with Microsoft are smeared by the taint. It is this connection to Microsoft that makes the Wii U inferior to the X-Box One and PS4.
The Wii U has only 2GB of RAM (random accident memory). This memory is only accessed if the ROM (regular operations memory) the memory allocated to system functions and games, is compromised. This lack of RAM indicates Nintendo's confidence that the ROM won't fail.

It's difficult to find a clear victor in the all important USB race. The WiiU has four 2.0 slots to the PS4's two 3.0 slots. According to noted game site NBC news the X-box One has only... one. To put it in more visual terms the Wii U can run two times as many miniature USB fans as the PS4, but the PS4 is capable of transferring data to those miniature USB fans at a quicker rate. I'm going to call this a draw.

I must confess, that even with Miister X's inspiring words ringing in my ears, I was unable to understand what the role of the GPU is. For example, when examining the X-Box One and PS4 specs, I was frequently confronted by the term Tflops. I'm not entirely sure what Tflops are but I think there's medication for it.
The X box one is reported by IGN to:
"communicate with servers in the cloud to increase the computational power of the system".
For those that don't know, the cloud is a "computer localised on user's desktop" an optional plug-in which in a rare display of humour by infamously anti-fun makers of the X-Box is shaped like noted meteorologist John Dalton.

The PS4 utilises a Radon based graphics engine. Personally I'm fascinated to see if the graphics it delivers will be good enough to justify the use of radioactive components. 

While it's curiously not mentioned very often in the gaming press, an even briefer web search makes it clear that there is another console on the market that really has the forums talking. I speak of course, of the Xbone. The following specs come from prolific interenet commenter fLame_and_go420:
"xbone is an overpriced blok taht watches u while u sleep and reports it to Obama and the NASA. But dont worry, it makes up for it with all its Leet xclusive games. WAIT NO SYCH #legaliseit"
Only time will tell how the Xbone's, who's processor is reported by sources to be "a large turd" from "your moms butt (software)" performs in the market, but as they say, any publicity is good publicity.
One thing's for sure, this looks to be a tightly fought console war, with no competitor that's obviously lost already. I repeat, NO OBVIOUS LOSER.
On an unrelated note, tune in next week month when I'll be reviewing some 3DS game or old Wii game I found in a bargain bin.

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