The Xbox One has been revealed, but unfortunately Microsoft wasn’t forthcoming with specifics on the hardware powering all the fancy new integrated entertainment features.
This has sparked a number of debates on discussion boards, speculating that Microsoft did not want the Xbox One to appear underpowered compared to the PS4 for their big reveal.
Just about the only “technical” detail Microsoft was willing to share was a 5-million transistor count for the system-on-chip (SoC), and this baffling description of how the new Kinect works:
Microsoft proprietary Time-of-Flight technology measures the time it takes individual photons to rebound off you to create unprecedented accuracy and precision.
Kinect is measuring individual photons now? Perhaps they should send some off to CERN to bolster the large hadron collider. Seriously Microsoft, tell your marketing drones to give us a little more credit than that.
Perhaps a better description of the revisions to Kinect can be explained by Wired, who had and extensive and exclusive preview of Xbox One:
More impressive still are the Kinect’s tracking capabilities. It’s now so sensitive that it can measure your pulse by monitoring pigmentation change in your face. (It’s partially done via infrared light, which means it works regardless of skin tone.)
Still, this is an aside to what we want to know – how much gaming grunt does the Xbox One have? As Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham put it:
The reveal has also been big on buzzwords like “5 billion transistors” and “native 64-bit architecture” that don’t really mean much without any context.
The hardware sleuths over on Engadget have been digging up information on the specs of the Xbox One, and combining that with what we know from the Wired piece, we are beginning to get a better picture of how the Xbox One stacks up against the PlayStation 4.
It is worth noting that this is not the kind of nitty-gritty detail we want on both consoles, but it’s a start.
Currently there is a bit of confusion around the fabrication process of the SoC, with conflicting reports of 40nm from Wired and 28nm from Engadget. Conjecture says that since AMD Jaguar is based on 28nm, and Jaguar is the base for Xbox One, then 28nm is correct. Hopefully Microsoft unveils all the details at E3 2013 in June.
|System on Chip||x86 64-bit architecture
8-Core CPU; 4MB L2 cache (custom silicon design by Microsoft based on Jaguar design from AMD)
Embedded ESRAM 32MB
|x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores|
|Graphics Processor||AMD-based Direct 3D 11.1 chip||1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine|
|Memory (RAM)||8GB DDR3||8GB GDDR5|
|Memory (Storage)||500 GB HDD||N/A|
|I/O||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|Communication||Ethernet, three different 802.11n radios (for connecting to controller and other devices), WiFi Direct||Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)|
|A/V||HDMI output and HDMI passthrough.
1080p and 4K resolution support
7.1 surround sound
|HDMI1080p and 4K resolution support
|Controller||Xbox One controller with redesigned directional pad||Motion-sensing six-axis, clickable touch pad, share button|
|Motion Control||New Kinect camera, with 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor and 1080p camera||PlayStation Eye dual lens 1280x800x2 camera|