No longer possible for consoles to offer better graphics than PCs says Nvidia boss
Nvidia's Tony Tamasi has been talking about on how consoles shape up to the PC graphically now and in the future and he is pretty emphatic that PC is better.
Tamasi gave a long-winded explanation on how PC graphical hardware is now superior to anything that the consoles can offer now and as things stand consoles can never again offer a better graphical experience than the PC
He began, “It’s no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than the PC. Certainly with the first PlayStation and PS2, in that era there weren’t really good graphics on the PC. Around the time of the PS2 is when 3D really started coming to the PC, but before that time 3D was the domain of Silicon Graphics and other 3D workstations. Sony, Sega or Nintendo could invest in bringing 3D graphics to a consumer platform. In fact, the PS2 was faster than a PC.”
“By the time of the Xbox 360 and PS3, the consoles were on par with the PC,” Tamasi said. “If you look inside those boxes, they’re both powered by graphics technology by AMD or NVIDIA, because by that time all the graphics innovation was being done by PC graphics companies. NVIDIA spends 1.5 billion US dollars per year on research and development in graphics, every year, and in the course of a console’s lifecycle we’ll spend over 10 billion dollars into graphics research.”
He added, “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.”
But there's more to it. Tamasi went on to talk about the manufacturing side of things and how they are currently pushing semiconductors to the limits of modern fabrication techniques and how the best a console could hope for is to equal the PC.
“The PC graphics industry wasn’t operating at the limits of device physics and power,”he continued. “If you wind back the clock, a high-end graphics card at that time was maybe 75W or 100W max. We weren’t building chips that were on the most advanced semiconductor process and were billions of transistors.”
“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 is not 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 the power limits.”
Nvidia has been quite vocal of late stating that it was their choice not to be involved in the current console generation with both the Xbox On and the PS4 powered by AMD-designed APUs. They have also stated that mobiles will soon surpass consoles in power.