Originally Posted by Drek
Last generation Sony forced a convoluted architecture in an attempt to subsidize a modular CPU model with the Cell. The focus wasn't on games or making developer's lives easier.
In the end Sony's system had a far superior CPU to the X360, but a slightly inferior GPU, a larger OS footprint, and slightly less total memory (due to the X360 also using a form of embedded RAM). Developers are primarily PC based which is a GPU first base to build from, so every PS3 game had to be heavily re-optimized to push operations off to the Cell instead of the RSX, which in turn also required complex manipulation of the Cell's multiple processors.
Now they're both x86 silicon made by AMD/ATi, based on previous Radeon GCN chipsets. They both have their libraries built on Visual Studio. Sony already greatly improved their tools last generation, bridging much of the gap they had with MS at launch. This is a pretty apples to apples comparison and it doesn't take time on both kits to know that something with 50% more TFLOPs within the same architecture is going to be more powerful.
I haven't kept up on this console generation like I used to. I don't get too much into the TFLOPs arguments. If you want to go there, you should just man up and get a Rad 7970. You'll double up anything in this "next gen" generation.
I don't play on the cutting edge anymore though. Still rockin' my 4870. I rarely use my 360 for anything other than media (although its a different story with the kids
Anyway, from what I've read of the new consoles, it's kinda disappointing that neither one seems to be pushing the performance envelope very hard. Especially considering they rode this last generation for 8 frickin' years. My old console got long in the tooth a few years back so I reinvested in PC gaming, even using 360 controllers to play PC games from the couch when I wanted the 'console' feel.
I think this console war will come down to Kinect, and how immersive/annoying it is, and whether that's worth any possible price premium. Outside the money, if it evolves into something more entertaining than it was, most people will be happy to take a theoretical GPU TFLOP hit in return.
I'm also interested to see what happens with 3d for 3dtv's and how well each platform supports that. I'd switch loyalties over something like that before I'd sweat the performance difference between two GPUs that realistically perform somewhere between entry-level and mid-range cards in the pc market.