Microsoft is surprised that so many people are questioning their design choices for the Xbox One. Despite the Xbox One system architecture being one that is a natural progression of the Xbox 360 (regarded as the easiest system to develop for in the current-gen), some believe that their design choices will make the Xbox One the harder system to develop for in the coming generation — putting them at a disadvantage against Sony’s PlayStation 4.
It’s very much an evolution and improvement over the Xbox 360 design
It’s something that Microsoft addressed in a recent interview with Digital Foundry, when they interviewed Nick Baker, an engineer on the Xbox One.
“The Xbox 360 was the easiest console platform to develop for, it wasn’t that hard for our developers to adapt to eDRAM, but there were a number of places where we said, ‘gosh’, it would sure be nice if an entire render target didn’t have to live in eDRAM’ and so we fixed that on Xbox One where we have the ability to overflow from ESRAM into DDR3, so the ESRAM is fully integrated into our page tables and so you can kind of mix and match the ESRAM and the DDR memory as you go… From my perspective it’s very much an evolution and improvement – a big improvement – over the design we had with the Xbox 360.”
It’s still way too early to tell whether there will be disparity between the third party games on the Xbox One and PS4 like we saw between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. From these comments by Microsoft, it doesn’t sound like there will be.