Competition drives innovation and trash talk in equal measure
Nvidia didn’t say much when the PS4 was announced, but today they came out swinging. During an interview with Maximum PC’s sister site Techradar, Nvidia’s Tony Tamasi claimed that, "Compared to gaming PCs, the PS4 specs are in the neighborhood of a low-end CPU, and a low- to mid-range GPU. If the PS4 ships in December as Sony indicated, it will only offer about half the performance of a GTX680 GPU (based on GFLOPS and texture), which launched in March 2012, more than a year and a half ago."
Tamasi goes on to remind potential new console owners that these closed platforms aren’t upgradable, so you’ll be stuck with it for the next 5-10 years. "If history predicts the future, then these next-generation consoles, while being more powerful than the current ones, will very quickly end up more than an order of magnitude behind the PC."
Nvidia commands a ton of respect in the PC Gaming community, however it’s not hard to see that the company’s comments might be ever so slightly biased. AMD after all handed down a definitive spanking when it came to bidding on contracts for next generation consoles, leaving Nvidia completely shut out for the next several years. According to Tamasi however, losing the console business was intentional. "I'm sure there was a negotiation that went on," Tamasi told GameSpot, "and we came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay."
Some developers have actually been so bold as to claim the PS4 will outperform current PC’s due to its innovative use of fully integrated GDDR5 RAM, but only time will tell for sure. I think its safe to assume our dream machine 5 years from now will run circles around a PS4, but the real question is how it will stack up to current generation PC’s. Keep in mind the most popular GPU today as reported by Steam is an Intel integrated part, and two generation old Nvidia hardware is the runner up.