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Consoles can't match power of PCs, says Nvidia


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SVP of content and technology Tony Tamasi says "it's no longer possible" for a console to match or exceed graphics capabilities of PC.

Dedicated game consoles can no longer match the power of PCs for performance, Nvidia SVP of content and technology Tony Tamasi told PC PowerPlay in a new interview.

Tamasi said Nvidia spends about $1.5 billion per year on research and development into graphics, totaling around $10 billion over the course of a console's lifecycle. Platform holders like Microsoft and Sony simply cannot afford to spend that kind of money, Tamasi said.

"It's no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than the PC," Tamasi said. "I'll tell you why. In the past, certainly with the first PlayStation and PS2, in that era there weren't really good graphics on the PC. Around the time of the PS2 is when 3D really started coming to the PC, but before that time 3D was the domain of Silicon Graphics and other 3D workstations. Sony, Sega, or Nintendo could invest in bringing 3D graphics to a consumer platform. In fact, the PS2 was faster than a PC."
"By the time of the Xbox 360 and PS3, the consoles were on par with the PC," he added. "If you look inside those boxes, they're both powered by graphics technology by AMD or NVIDIA, because by that time all the graphics innovation was being done by PC graphics companies."
The second reason why consoles can't match PC is because "everything is limited by power these days," Tamasi said, noting that faster machines require more efficient design or a bigger power supply.
"The most efficient architectures are from Nvidia and AMD, and you're not going to get anything that is significantly more power efficient in a console, as it's using the same core technology," Tamasi said. "Yet the consoles have power budgets of only 200 or 300 Watts, so they can put them in the living room, using small fans for cooling, yet run quietly and cool. And that's always going to be less capable than a PC, where we spend 250W just on the GPU. There's no way a 200W Xbox is going to be beat a 1000W PC."
Tamasi further explained that in the current market, "nobody can build anything bigger or more powerful than what is in the PC at the moment." He said in theory, an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 could be equal to what is possible on the best PC at the time, but this won't last.
"A year later it's going to be slower, and it still wouldn't be possible due to the power limits," Tamasi said.
Overall, Tamasi said PCs and consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 "look alike these days," pointing out that both next-generation consoles have an x86 CPU and a PC-style GPU. "It's a giant integrated graphics PC," he said.
This is a positive for the gaming landscape overall, Tamasi said. If developers are spending time optimizing for PS4 and Xbox One, then a "good portion" of that research will benefit the PC, because "they're basically doing PC architecture optimization," he said.
"It's good for everyone--the developers don't have all these crazy architectures they have to sort through. 80 percent of their work is now applicable to all platforms," Tamasi said. "It's great for gamers, as games can be better on all platforms. And it's great for PC, as there's less weird divergence between consoles and PC, which means a lot more leverage for devs to raise the bar. If there were technological reasons that games weren't ported to the PC in the past, there are a lot less of those reasons come next-gen."

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though it's true and every computer enthusiast know this fact, but i still wonder if they would have said the same thing i if PS4 and XbOne were using Nvidia graphics instead of AMD.. :think: :tehe:

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The lifecycle of a console is non upgradable which can be done for a PC and i believe within the next few console generations we will be seeing better up gradable capabilities with consoles. At least that's what i see what console providers will have to start doing if they want to stay in the game with PC gaming. However, like others have said many PC games are ports so you have to tweak the game to improve the gaming graphics. Even strictly console gamers want better graphics but consoles are limiting. Nintendo is falling behind in terms of graphics in order to keep the cost lowered and what console makers really should consider is finding a cheap, but better alternative to keep up with PC.

Instead of releasing a new console every 5-10 years make one really good one, that is capable of handing upgrades in an easy way or just move to PC and they can teach console gamers how to build their own PC and tell them what they don't need replacing and buy the new parts needed to run the new games. Game developers like Square Enix which is so concerned about having realistic graphics should be focusing primarily on PCs because that's where your going to get the best graphics and the best performance. Again though, most likely there's people who can barely afford to buy or even build their own PC but i think these console providers should at least look into beefing up the capabilities. For those who can afford it, have higher resolution settings and for those who are on a budget can still play the games. PC's already do this and it doesn't take a $2,000 machine to play a high graphic game on low settings (at least with most games).

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