Next-Gen: Huge Xbox 720 & PS4 Specs Report By Insider
Rumours surrounding the Xbox 720 and the PS4 are coming thick and fast these days – all part of the exciting build up to next-gen, naturally – but the latest tech specs revealed by an insider could be the most detailed yet.
An industry insider – it’s not clear if they are a developer or someone else – has revealed a number of specific details about both the PS4 and the Xbox 720.
Though these things should always be taken with a pinch of salt until something official is announced, the technicality and sheer wealth of the information certainly makes them sound convincing – especially when they collaborate so many previous rumours.
We’ll include a technical glossary at the bottom of the page should you need to understand all acronyms.
Sony’s PS4 won’t be capable of native 4K resolution
According to the insider, the PS4 (or Omni) won’t be capable of the proposed 4K resolution that new TVs are being developed for. “The thing about omni is it will upscale to 4K” claims the insider, adding that the image quality is “very low in regards to Durango [Xbox 720]“.
PS4 is having problems with overheating
Though the insider does not seem to have seen the issues himself, he does mention that he had heard others claim that the “Starsha [dev] kits have very bad heating problems” because the GPU and the SOC aren’t specialised enough – as is the case wit the Xbox 720.
He then adds that he believes it is because Sony doesn’t have enough money to devote to research and development, as it had done with the PS3’s Cell processor.
The PS4 will be called “Omni” and is in production soon
Throughout the reveal the insider refers to Sony’s PS4 with two names: Starsha and Omni. Starsha has been revealed as the name of the APU system inside the PS4.
However, Omni is now believed to be the final name of the PS4. This was a rumour back in November 2012, and was said to represent Sony’s approach to the console – namely, that it is capable of doing everything.
The insider claimed that the final SDK for Sony’s PS4 – or Omni – has been available since December 2012, adding that Sony is trying to launch its next-gen console ahead of Microsoft.
The Starsha chipset is in fabrication process now, and is expected to enter mass production on the 23rd of January.
As a point of interest, the insider claimed that Microsoft has only just got the Kryptos (Xbox 720) out to developers at the start of this month.
If true, the rumours suggesting that Sony’s next-gen console will launch as early as September 2013 could well be true. Along these lines, the insider claimed that Sony could reveal the PS4 on 5 Feb 2013.
Xbox 720’s “Oban” is a game changer for Microsoft
The name Oban was revealed a couple of months back, and was believed to be the name of the chips onboard the Xbox 720.
According to this insider, however, Oban is actually the name of the blitter inside the next-gen machine.
A blitter is a system built into hardware designed to improve the speed at which data is transferred within the hardware’s memory. It is a separate system from the CPU and can run parallel to it, moving large amounts of data relatively quickly.
The Xbox 720 will be a 356-bit system – compared to the PS4’s 256-bit system – and is capable of 550GB of data per second.
The insider claims it is designed for raytracing, and with the Oban and the higher bus speed of the GPU this will put it on top in terms of technical prowess.
Xbox 720 is designed for ray tracing technology
Ray tracing is a high-end lighting technology that isn’t widely used in games today. Unlike the current dynamic lighting system – which recreates the effects of lighting – ray tracing emulates the science of light.
In other words, more realistic reflections and refractions can be created to create more realistic looking lighting.
The problem is it’s a very intensive technology that takes a very long time to render and is primarily used in Pixar films. If the Xbox 720 is as powerful as this suggests, then ray tracing will be more possible with the hardware.
The insider claims that Microsoft has designed the Xbox 720 with ray tracing in mind, however admits that “the hardest part will be for studios to work with ray traced graphics enabled engines.”
For those interested, here’s a video of last year’s GTC conference where NVidia highlighted some of its ray tracing technology:
PS4 Tech Specs
- An APU with a fast GPU.
- 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
- 4GB of GDDR5 RAM.
- CPU is an x86 system with 256-bit bus.
- A more off the shelf design than the modded Xbox 720. “We all feel Omni is more of a pc in it design.”
- Capable of 3.2TFlops of data.
Xbox 720 Tech Specs
- Three SOCs in one console. Two “Venus” models, and one “Mars”.
- 8GB RAM, with 1GB devoted to operating system.
Mars SOC – System SOC
- GPU AMD 8850 spec GPU clocked at 600mhz
- 4 core CPU is clocked @ 1.8GHz. It is an x86 system.
- Audio DSP
2 of Venus SOC – Application SOC
- GPU AMD 8900 spec GPU clocked at 800mhz with 10000HD series future tech
- 4 core CPU is clocked @ 2.5GHz
- 1.5 Gb of GDDR5 ram on each SOC (total 3GB) clocked @ 1.2Ghz
- 4GB of DDR4 RAM with 384 bit bus
- Ray tracing chip
- High speed blitter with 510 GB/s bandwidth between SOCs
- Power brick is 300 watts, but SDKs are looking at 230 watts used.
- Capable of 4.2TFlops of data.
Next-Gen PS4 & Xbox 720 Tech Glossary
- APU = Accelerated Processing Unit. A hardware system that includes an additional method of processing. In this case, a CPU with a GPU built in.
- CPU = Central Processing Unit. The primary processing function of a machine.
- GPU = Graphics Processing Unit. The system used to process and generate the visuals of a game.
- SOC = System On Chip. A method of combining all the processing functions (CPU, GPU, etc) onto a single chip. Largely used for mobiles and tablets, but increasingly popular for consoles.
- Omni = One of the proposed final names for the PS4.
- Starsha = The rumoured name of the chips on board the PS4.
- Thebes = The internal codename for the PS4.