Nvidia: Console graphics can never be better than PC

James Batchelor
Nvidia: Console graphics can never be better than PC

Sorry Microsoft and Sony, but all your next-gen shininess can't outperform the power of home computers.

That's according to Nvidia's SVP of content and technology Tony Tamasi, who claimed that Xbox One and PS4 will never overtake the PC in terms of graphics capabilities.

"It's no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than the PC," he told Australian magazine PC PowerPlay.

"Nvidia spends $1.5bn per year on research and development in graphics, every year, and in the course of a console's lifecycle we'll spend over $10bn dollars into graphics research.

"Sony and Microsoft simply can't afford to spend that kind of money. They just don't have the investment capacity to match the PC guys; we can do it thanks to economy of scale, as we sell hundreds of millions of chips, year after year."

The Nvidia exec added that while previous consoles initially had the edge over PC, particularly at launch, the way graphics firms now operate means that they can maintain their lead over console manufacturers.

"If you wind back the clock, a high-end graphics card [at the launch of Xbox 360 and PS3] was maybe 75W or 100W max. We weren't building chips that were on the most advanced semiconductor process and were billions of transistors," Tamasi explained.

"Now we're building GPUs at the limits of what's possible with fabrication techniques. Nobody can build anything bigger or more powerful than what is in the PC at the moment. It just isn't possible, but that wasn't the case in the last generation of consoles.

"Taken to the theoretical limits, the best any console could ever do would be to ship a console that is equal to the best PC at that time. But then a year later, it's going to be slower and it still wouldn't be possible due to power limits."

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