“It is a challenge to take full advantage of the compute capabilities on both platforms as you have to write custom async compute pipelines for both consoles.”
The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are both consoles marked by having relatively weaker CPUs, but more powerful GPUs- to the technology enthusiast, the workings of the consoles, and especially of the CPU and GPU in these consoles, can be fascinating. Which is why when we at GamingBolt got the chance to sit down with Sampo Lappalainen, COO of Umbra, we decided to ask him for his take on the PS4 and Xbox One GPUs, and the difference.”
We don’t actually consider ourselves huge GPU experts. That said, to my understanding one of the big differences between the two GPU’s is in how they support async compute, which makes it possible to use the GPU for various compute intensive engine operations — not always related to rendering,” Lappalainen said.”So from the perspective of game engine design, it is a challenge to take full advantage of the compute capabilities on both platforms as you have to write custom async compute pipelines for both consoles.”
He also talked about the CPU, noting that while a stronger CPU is always preferable, optimizing your software more than makes up for any CPU deficiencies that may otherwise exist. “Our software runs 100% on the CPU so the faster the chip, the better for us,” he admitted. “However, we pride for being platform agnostic and light in terms of CPU cycles consumed, PS4 and Xbox One are amongst the easy platforms we work with. Embedded devices like tablets, cell phones and the Hololens push the envelope of anything that requires processor cycles quite a bit, but we are well optimized on those too.”
It sounds like with proper software optimization, any platform specific quirks can be smoothed out, leading to a very efficient and streamlined development pipeline. In today’s era of multiplatform and platform agnostic development, things like that probably go a long way for most third party and perhaps even first party developers.