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Opinion Game Dev Hardware Microsoft Exec Bill Stillwell: “We have a better console; we’re not worried about power”

Aug 28, 2019
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Megadrive CPU was much more powerfull than SNES CPU. And they used this in their ads, just like MS do it in their PR with XSX GPU slight advantage in compute. But SNES had plenty of custom hardware for audio and graphics and it was very noticeable in many games, particularly exclusives.

Are we going to pretend MegaDrive CPU wasn't used for techniques that were difficult to do on SNES, though? It was the first gaming console with 32-bit registers, as one instance, and had other advantages besides CPU speed. RAM bandwidth, for example.

In more cases than not SNES's custom hardware was a bit of a wash when compared to MegaDrive exclusives that made very good use of that system's hardware. Yoshi's Island, Chrono Trigger, FFVI on one end, then games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Alien Soldier and Phantasy Star IV on the other. Each system easily had heavy-hitters visually that pretty much put them on equal grounds in that department, which is particularly impressive for MegaDrive considering it came out two years earlier than SNES.

I more or less see the same thing playing out with Sony and MS this gen; whatever customizations both systems have made overall won't result in any persistent, far-reaching advantages over the other when looking at the most technically demanding content from both platforms, which will probably more or less be 1st party games. There won't be any blowouts in that regard.

This post didn't age well. Not sure why MS went all out for the most powerful console when they don't have the talent to take advantage of it. Seems a massive waste of money.

They literally have Ninja Theory, The Coalition, Turn 10, Playground and Obsidian who are more than capable. And if they continue collaborations (or outright buy them), Asobo.

Fanboys constantly repackage the same stale talking points with a 10-second heat-up timer in the microwave, then wonder why no one eats what they're serving. Can we even call these hot takes anymore? xD
 
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martino

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This post didn't age well. Not sure why MS went all out for the most powerful console when they don't have the talent to take advantage of it. Seems a massive waste of money.
imo you see it the right way.
ms problem is more talent or how it's used. not tech in their games and hardware.
it could be good more people are aware of it.
 

Mmnow

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But you’ve seen absolutely no evidence of those games running on Series X, so it’s ridiculous for people at Microsoft to be bragging at this stage, wouldn’t you agree?

You wanna be careful moving them goalposts. Wouldn't want you injuring yourself.

I don't care what they say. Do you get this annoyed when Sony say how good their console is? At the end of the year, there will be comparisons and, going by the paper specs, these sorts of comments will be vindicated.

Or maybe not.

But that's not the point. You said there were no games. You now have proof that's not true.
 
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MrS

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He’s right. Ps5 has inferior hardware and despite whatever the fanboys say to spin the narrative the fact is the XSX is the most powerful console.
PS5 hardware is indeed inferior, the extent of which remains to be seen. MS first party is massively inferior to Sony first party, as has been proven this gen. So what's more important: power of a console or its games?
 
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martino

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The Series X is confirmed to run Gears 5 at RTX 2080 level performance. Both Scorn and Gears 5 are Unreal Engine 4 games.

clearly hard proof !

Are we going to pretend MegaDrive CPU wasn't used for techniques that were difficult to do on SNES, though? It was the first gaming console with 32-bit registers, as one instance, and had other advantages besides CPU speed. RAM bandwidth, for example.

In more cases than not SNES's custom hardware was a bit of a wash when compared to MegaDrive exclusives that made very good use of that system's hardware. Yoshi's Island, Chrono Trigger, FFVI on one end, then games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Alien Soldier and Phantasy Star IV on the other. Each system easily had heavy-hitters visually that pretty much put them on equal grounds in that department, which is particularly impressive for MegaDrive considering it came out two years earlier than SNES.

I more or less see the same thing playing out with Sony and MS this gen; whatever customizations both systems have made overall won't result in any persistent, far-reaching advantages over the other when looking at the most technically demanding content from both platforms, which will probably more or less be 1st party games. There won't be any blowouts in that regard.
has megadrive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_NES_enhancement_chips ?
 
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Vawn

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PS5 hardware is indeed inferior, the extent of which remains to be seen. MS first party is massively inferior to Sony first party, as has been proven this gen. So what's more important: power of a console or its games?

PS5 is slightly weaker, but completely unshackled from weaker hardware having to run the same games. Pick your poison.

But, yeah, games are so much more important, the difference between 10.3 and 12 TF is inconsequential.
 
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MrS

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PS5 is slightly weaker, but completely unshackled from weaker hardware having to run the same games. Pick your poison.

But, yeah, games are so much more important, the difference between 10.3 and 12 TF is inconsequential.
Having seen what PlayStation Studios were able to get out of a PS4 with Days Gone, Ghost and TLOU2, I can't imagine what they'll be able to do with PS5. Graphics and "most powerful console" simply do not matter when a company is throwing hit after hit at you, year after year.
 

mckmas8808

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Lockhart is nowhere near a technical anchor as XBO is; it's literally just a Series X for lower resolution output.

I've no personal interest in it myself other than curiosity, but the idea Lockhart/Series S will hamper Series X is pretty much unfounded. XBO is another matter, though, so hopefully it's only a small selection of 1st-party going cross-gen for just the first year and then it's adios to XBO cross-gen support.

I wasn't speaking technically. I was speaking more marketing wise. Who cares if your console is 18% more powerful, when you are also pushing a 4TF next-gen console. MS right there is telling you power doesn't really matter to them.
 

Stilton Disco

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"Don't have the better games" is subjective. Sony's games don't appeal to me at all. Their all the same and, for the most part look the same. Xbox games are much more diverse, better online and better, tighter gameplay hands down. That's just my take. You can agree to disagree of course..
I still don't get how people are still spouting this nonsense.

Even excusing the madness of pretending stuff like Spiderman, God of War and TLOU are identical and lacking good gameplay, you know Sony's exclusives are more than just big budget, narrative based blockbusters right?

If you think Concrete Genie, Blood and Truth, Bound, Until Dawn, Hohokum, Medieval and Astrobot, are all the same and look the same, you need your fucking eyes tested.

Christ, you can always tell the fanboys that ignore everything not on Xbox, because they assume every console has as small and as boring an exclusive line up as they have.
 

Mmnow

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I still don't get how people are still spouting this nonsense.

Even excusing the madness of pretending stuff like Spiderman, God of War and TLOU are identical and lacking good gameplay, you know Sony's exclusives are more than just big budget, narrative based blockbusters right?

If you think Concrete Genie, Blood and Truth, Bound, Until Dawn, Hohokum, Medieval and Astrobot, are all the same and look the same, you need your fucking eyes tested.

Christ, you can always tell the fanboys that ignore everything not on Xbox, because they assume every console has as small and as boring an exclusive line up as they have.

Dude, half the posts here a few months ago were concern trolls saying there hadn't been a first party game for Xbox this year. Some were saying since Gears 5.

Turns out it's really really easy to ignore games for a system you're never gonna buy. Makes it easier to argue on the Internet as well.
 
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FunkMiller

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You wanna be careful moving them goalposts. Wouldn't want you injuring yourself.

I don't care what they say. Do you get this annoyed when Sony say how good their console is? At the end of the year, there will be comparisons and, going by the paper specs, these sorts of comments will be vindicated.

Or maybe not.

But that's not the point. You said there were no games. You now have proof that's not true.

Dude... this thread is literally about an XBox guy bragging about the power of the Series X, when they’ve shown nothing to back that up with. That’s what my comments have all been about 😂

Go back and read my first comment properly... I’m taking the piss out of the bragging - nothing else!

And noone at Sony has been acting like the Microsoft guys. I’d take the piss out of them too, if they did.
 
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MegaDrive did not need enhancement chips, as the system wasn't designed with them WRT being on multiple cartridges. But it did support expansions obviously, including the SVP chip in Virtual Racing.

As for other spec comparisons, Sega Retro has the most comprehensive specs for MegaDrive and SNES and have done really good comparisons. I'll link them here:


[GPU/DMA]









[CPU]





I wasn't speaking technically. I was speaking more marketing wise. Who cares if your console is 18% more powerful, when you are also pushing a 4TF next-gen console. MS right there is telling you power doesn't really matter to them.

By this logic I assume Sony wasn't really caring about PS4's power when they had the PS Vita around and they were pushing that, either.
 
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martino

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Dude... this thread is literally about an XBox guy bragging about the power of the Series X, when they’ve shown nothing to back that up with. That’s what my comments have all been about 😂

Go back and read my first comment properly... I’m taking the piss out of the bragging - nothing else!

And noone at Sony has been acting like the Microsoft guys. I’d take the piss out of them too, if they did.
not being capable to show the power doesn't mean it's not there though.
 
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LordCBH

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Microsoft, power is great. But you haven’t sold the one quality you need to sell: your exclusives.
The Xbox One generation didnt instill confidence for me regarding your first party output.
 
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PS5 hardware is indeed inferior, the extent of which remains to be seen. MS first party is massively inferior to Sony first party, as has been proven this gen. So what's more important: power of a console or its games?

Yet the Forza games have outranked GT since the start of 8th gen at least, Gears 5 was pretty well-received (about as such if not better than Ghosts of Tsushima and Days Gone especially, going by MC), and Sunset Overdrive was also well-received (at the time they were external and MS published it, by that logic though so was the case when they made SpiderMan for Sony).

I think people like saying these hot takes because they're easy to regurgitate and don't require a lot of thinking power to say, but the actual truth is nowhere near as basic or simple as hot takes like this imply. And what's more, it's impossible to have genuine discussion when they're flung around like monkey feces in a lot of these kind of threads.
 

MrS

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I think people like saying these hot takes because they're easy to regurgitate and don't require a lot of thinking power to say, but the actual truth is nowhere near as basic or simple as hot takes like this imply. And what's more, it's impossible to have genuine discussion when they're flung around like monkey feces in a lot of these kind of threads.
It's a hot take to say Sony's first party offering is better than Microsofts? Really? The quantity and quality of Sony games this gen is undeniable. I will have to respectfully disagree with you there.
 
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Gamernyc78

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It seems however that Microsoft are confident in their power advantage. Bill Stillwell of Microsoft Cognition Team, formerly of Xbox, said as much in a recent YouTube video. Full credit to Dealer_Gaming. In a 2 hour long YouTube live stream, Bill said this when asked about the power of PS5 vs Xbox One:

“I think what you saw [with the PS5 reveal] was the unfortunate by-product of a GDC talk being turned into a marketing event. I loved Sony’s talk, I think they’ve got some cool tech. I personally think we have a better console, we’re not worried about the power narrative.”


Here we go again. Better console my ass, by what metric? Gpu advantage? PS5 has many advantages as well especially the gulf between ssd/i/o architecture, controller, and other things.
 

NullZ3r0

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It's a hot take to say Sony's first party offering is better than Microsofts? Really? The quantity and quality of Sony games this gen is undeniable. I will have to respectfully disagree with you there.
Past performance is an indicator of future performance? If so, can I say that the Series X will outsell the PS5 based on how the 360 did?
 
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Jigsaah

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Ya know, it's one thing when you have the power advantage and you get that point across...but generally speaking, once you win that battle you don't keep returning to that battlefield.

It's time to fight the next battle. You got the power, you have the value proposition. The games though MS...the games. All this means nothing without the games.

We have yet to see anything running on an Xbox Series X. People, including myself are buying your console based on a promise at this point. Need more.
 

SupremeHoodie

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PS5 hardware is indeed inferior, the extent of which remains to be seen. MS first party is massively inferior to Sony first party, as has been proven this gen. So what's more important: power of a console or its games?
Most gamers play third party games more than exclusives. So going with the console that will run third party games best makes sense.
 
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OH COME ON THICC! You know that's a terrible comparison. The Vita was a totally different platform for Sony. Lockhart isn't.

Yeah but it still tied into PS4 functionality, voluntary or not. And sure Vita was very powerful for a handheld but compared to PS4 it wasn't much.

Just talking from a literal POV. Otherwise I do think people are overstating Lockhart/Series S holding back Series X considering, again, it's basically a Series S for lower-resolution output. My bigger concern's been XBO being an anchor and going from July showcase MS feels the same since so many of their 1st party didn't mention XBO at all.

It's a hot take to say Sony's first party offering is better than Microsofts? Really? The quantity and quality of Sony games this gen is undeniable. I will have to respectfully disagree with you there.

The hot take is that you guys really thrust the polarity and exaggerate the tepidness of MS's output this gen. They may not have the breadth of single-player, cinematic story-driven experiences Sony does, but they have had a good number of very good and solid 1st-party output (developed and/or published) this generation.

But people don't seem to want to acknowledge that.

PS3 outsold 360, did it not? Anyway, there is virtually no chance of SXS outselling PS5 lifetime when you take Europe and Asia in to consideration, as I'm sure you know.

Barely outsold it; they were roughly at a 3 - 5 million differential last time I checked and you also have to consider the fact they made virtually no profits on PS3 (after you account for the sunk R&D costs and other costs they needed to pay) and had to reach that number over many more markets than 360, which makes 360's numbers particularly impressive in that regard (staying very close to PS3's LTD despite only prioritizing a fraction of the markets).

I also don't see Series X outselling PS5 lifetime, but Series X and Series S combined could gain back some ground XBO lost to PS4 this gen. Combined with xCloud and the Xbox ecosystem in particular could grow by magnitudes this upcoming gen and shrink the gap between them and Sony. Will it back to the relative evenness of 360/PS3? Probably not. But the important thing is for them to shrink the gap as much as possible, and they have the tools to do it.

And yes that also includes Europe and Asia (and other markets).
 
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MrS

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The hot take is that you guys really thrust the polarity and exaggerate the tepidness of MS's output this gen. They may not have the breadth of single-player, cinematic story-driven experiences Sony does, but they have had a good number of very good and solid 1st-party output (developed and/or published) this generation.
There have been good Xbox games this gen. Gears and Forza, as you listed, Ori, Cuphead when it was exclusive. I think the problem is that none of these are really 10/10 games and won't be remembered come end of the gen in the way that God of War, TLOZ, TLOU2, Bloodborne will be. One great experience is better than 10 good experiences, and Sony have had a few greats this gen IMHO.

I also don't see Series X outselling PS5 lifetime, but Series X and Series S combined could gain back some ground XBO lost to PS4 this gen. Combined with xCloud and the Xbox ecosystem in particular could grow by magnitudes this upcoming gen and shrink the gap between them and Sony. Will it back to the relative evenness of 360/PS3? Probably not. But the important thing is for them to shrink the gap as much as possible, and they have the tools to do it.

And yes that also includes Europe and Asia (and other markets).
But people don't seem to want to acknowledge that.
I agree with you - I don't think it's viable for Xbox to outsell Sony but they can certainly have a great gen if they can sell 60m consoles and double the number of GamePass subs. The two companies are in completely different lanes and have different goals.

Regarding closing the gap in Asia and Europe, I disagree that that's possible. I just don't see MS putting out the games it would require to make major inroads in to those markets and getting people to move away from a beloved brand in Sony.
 
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cireza

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Nope, with the exception of Virtua Racing.

The console was a beast. It had an extremely powerful CPU, with a ton of memory registers (32 bits size), while the SNES was the opposite, with a slow CPU that was even more constrained for budget reasons (you had to use a more expensive Hi-Rom to actually access to the full frequency of the CPU, otherwise you only had around 70% of it).

This left a lot of room for experimentation and implementing stuff 100% on software side, this is why you see incredible games on the MegaDrive without the use of any chip. It was up to the developers to implement these effects though, while SNES offered modes that could enable effects easily. The advantage is that effects are easily available, the downside is that the console does not have enough raw power to allow implementing other effects. You just can't replicate the most CPU heavy MegaDrive games on a stock SNES, with additional chips though everything is possible (I suppose, I am not an expert).

Each console had other strengths and weaknesses of course. It was a very interesting period back then. Add the Neo Geo in the mix, which had another different approach to hardware, and even the PCE and its extensions, and you get the most exciting period as far as hardware is concerned, in my opinion.
 
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killatopak

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I’m sure their console is more powerful.

It just sucks that their first party isn’t utilizing it as well as third party.
 

Mr.ODST

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better hardware sure helped Xbox one x

On a console that had already died years before, a fresh start might help that a little bit but this narrative of "better hardware never helped the One X" when people already invested in this gens eco-systems
 

Dodkrake

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Barely outsold it; they were roughly at a 3 - 5 million differential last time I checked and you also have to consider the fact they made virtually no profits on PS3 (after you account for the sunk R&D costs and other costs they needed to pay) and had to reach that number over many more markets than 360, which makes 360's numbers particularly impressive in that regard (staying very close to PS3's LTD despite only prioritizing a fraction of the markets).

I also don't see Series X outselling PS5 lifetime, but Series X and Series S combined could gain back some ground XBO lost to PS4 this gen. Combined with xCloud and the Xbox ecosystem in particular could grow by magnitudes this upcoming gen and shrink the gap between them and Sony. Will it back to the relative evenness of 360/PS3? Probably not. But the important thing is for them to shrink the gap as much as possible, and they have the tools to do it.

And yes that also includes Europe and Asia (and other markets).

Save this post for a few years from now: the PS4 is getting closer to A 3:1 ratio on the Xbox, and the PS5 Will get to 4:1. The Series X, with its lack of exclusives from day one, is DOA.
 

SilentUser

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I still don't get how people are still spouting this nonsense.

Even excusing the madness of pretending stuff like Spiderman, God of War and TLOU are identical and lacking good gameplay, you know Sony's exclusives are more than just big budget, narrative based blockbusters right?

If you think Concrete Genie, Blood and Truth, Bound, Until Dawn, Hohokum, Medieval and Astrobot, are all the same and look the same, you need your fucking eyes tested.

Christ, you can always tell the fanboys that ignore everything not on Xbox, because they assume every console has as small and as boring an exclusive line up as they have.
How dare you to create a list and to no include Gravity Rush :messenger_pouting: :messenger_grinning_sweat: