Debates over which console is the most powerful is common among the games industry media and fans. However, you can always tell when the rumor hype for next-gen machines hit a new level of silliness when competing reports of which unreleased and unannounced hardware is more powerful. That is exactly what we received Thursday for the Playstation 4 and next Xbox (aka Xbox 720).
According to a source with VG247, the Playstation 4 (codenamed "Orbis") will have the capability to run at 1.84 teraflops while the Xbox 720 (codenamed "Durango") will only do 1.23 teraflops.
While the PS4 will have the processing power advantage, VG247 is reporting that the Xbox 720 will have the memory advantage with 8GB of memory vs 4GB for Sony's next-gen machine.
On the flip side, NowGamer is reporting that the Xbox 720 will be more powerful than the Playstation 4. Both systems are capable of running at 3.2 teralops according to the site but the Xbox 720 will benefit from having a more customized design with a "better bus, higher memory speeds and extra rendering tech."
NowGamer's source claims that Sony is aiming to support the new 4K resolution HDTVs with the Playstation 4 while Microsoft is going for better image quality. Additionally, the Xbox 720 will benefit from tools that will make moving development from the Xbox 360 to the next-gen console rather seamless. Sony and the PS4 will not have that benefit.
So what do these competing reports mean? Well, not much in reality. We've seen these kind of reports leading into past console launches and we are likely to see more as industry conferences over the next couple of months come and go.
These kind of rumors can be fun fodder for conversations but are ultimately meaningless speculation until either Sony or Microsoft make a formal announcement. The fact that these two rumors claim vastly different things proves this point.
Both Microsoft and Sony are rumored to be holding special press conferences for their next-gen consoles prior to E3 in June. One analyst is predicting that the PS4 will release first in October followed by the Xbox 720. We can only suggest reading these hardware rumor articles, including those from Examiner.com, with something akin to bemused disbelief until actual hardware drops in someone's hands.