Microsoft Pulls a 'Fast' One with Xbox One E3 Demos

With its focus on on-demand entertainment at the expense of gaming prowess, Xbox One didn't impress gamers at E3, who instead flocked to Amazon to pre-order their PlayStation 4, which not only features faster hardware, that could translate to better visuals in gaming, but is also a whole 20 percent cheaper ($499 vs. $399). At E3, Microsoft tried to pull a fast one. It set up several gaming stations allegedly powered by Xbox One, where gamers could play unreleased Xbox One games using the new Xbox One controller, just to get a feel of how rich and smooth the graphics really are. Some of them fell for it, others didn't. When these peeping toms didn't find the screens wired to an Xbox One main unit, they yanked open the cupboards below, only to find a full-fledged Windows 7 gaming PC.

How full-fledged you ask? Keen observers across the forumscape made out a rig powered by an Intel LGA2011 processor, which could at least be a Core i7-3820, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700 series reference design graphics card, which could at least be a GeForce GTX 770. Such a system would obviously give you a rich and smooth gaming experience.

Microsoft Xbox One features a custom-designed application processor by AMD, which combines eight 64-bit x86 cores based on the "Jaguar" micro-architecture, with a GPU that packs 768 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, and a unified quad-channel DDR3-2133 memory interface, holding 8 GB of memory. This memory is cushioned by a large 32 MB SRAM cache on-die. In comparison, Sony's PlayStation 4 features a custom-designed application processor, too, which features the same CPU portion, but a bigger graphics core with 1,152 stream processors, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 8 GB of RAM, which can be used as both main and graphics memory. On top of all that, the PlayStation 4 is $100 cheaper, at $399.