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Nvidia: It is ‘no longer possible’ for video game consoles to catch up to PCs

Published Sep 27th, 2013 1:10PM EDT
Console Graphics PC Graphics Comparison

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When Sony and Microsoft announced the specs of their new video game consoles, gamers were quick to realize that the architecture of the next-generation console is nearly identical to that of a high-end PC. 8GB of RAM, 8-core processors, and AMD graphics cards make for powerful machines, but do the consoles stack up to their gaming PC counterparts? According to an interview with a Nvidia executive at PCPowerPlay, the answer is no. In fact, Nvidia Senior VP Tony Tamasi believes that it is “no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than the PC.”

There are two main factors holding the consoles back. The first is money. Sony and Microsoft don’t have the same budget to spend researching and developing enhanced graphics technology as chip makers do. Nvidia will spend “over 10 billion dollars” in the course of a console’s life cycle improving the technology in its graphics products. The second obstacle for console graphics is power. Consoles need to run quietly and will always have a fixed power source, while a PC can run on a much larger power source.

Tamasi admits that the PS3 and Xbox 360 were on par with PCs when they launched, but Nvidia and AMD will have already surpassed the graphics potential of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before they’ve even hit store shelves. The gap will only grow wider as the new consoles sit quietly in living rooms over the next several years.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.