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Microsoft makes Xbox One faster, still can’t match Sony PS4





NEW DELHI: Microsoft continues to tinker with Xbox One, the planned successor to Xbox 360, ahead of its launch to make it more competitive with Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4). In a podcast on www.majornelson.com, a website managed by Lawrence Hryb, Xbox Live VP Marc Whitten said that the new gaming console would run its graphics chip at 853MHz and not at 800MHz as announced earlier. 

Haryb, who is popularly known as Major Nelson among gamers, is director of programming for Xbox Live. 

The move comes after Microsoft's console has been criticised for having significantly less raw performance compared to Sony's PlayStation 4. In the gaming console market, Microsoft and Sony often compete for the top spot. 

Unlike other computing products, the life-cycle of consoles is significantly longer and hence the stakes are high whenever a new console hits the market. Xbox 360 and PS3, the predecessor of PS4, debuted in the market almost 7 years ago. Xbox One and PS4 will go on sale by the end of this year and will likely be in the market for at least four to five years. 

Traditionally the top consoles from Microsoft and Sony have been equally matched in their technical capabilities. But this time Sony has focused more on video gaming and has equipped its console with more horsepower. Microsoft, meanwhile, has focused on entertainment and has opted for less raw speed but better television and online integration with the console. 

Hardcore gamers, who are early adopters, have criticized Microsoft. Caught off guard by criticism, the company has reversed several decisions related to Xbox One. After announcing that Xbox One will connect to internet at least once every 24 hours to minimize the game piracy, the company said it would remove the feature due to criticism from gamers who may not have access to reliable internet connection. 

Recently, it said that it would allow indie game developers to publish games in Xbox store. 

The reversals make Xbox One similar to PS4. 

However, in terms of hardware boosting the speed of graphics chip may not be enough. While both consoles are powered by custom processors designed by AMD, theoretically the graphics chip in PS4 has almost 50% more processing power. The Sony's console also has access to better RAM - 8GB DDR5 - and consequently more memory bandwidth that may help it offer better-looking games in future compared to Xbox One. 

The Microsoft's console uses 8GB DDR3 RAM along with 32MB high-speed embedded SRAM. But theoretically PS4 memory system is more robust. 

Microsoft had earlier hinted the performance gap between PS4 and Xbox One might not matter because developers building games for Xbox One would have the option to use cloud computing to speed up game performance.
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