Originally Posted by Antiochus
I don't think there is any way to understate the magnitude of 8GB GDDR5. If Sony Ships with these specs and MS ships with what is currently rumored, it is clear the PS4 has a definitive performance advantage. Now, the question is "How will Microsoft counter?". As shown by Sony, even the most recent rumors published online can be outdated in one way or another. No one reported 8GB of GDDR5 and everyone who even suggested such a thing were immediately disregarded if not outright laughed at due to the perceived cost. So, it is conceivable that MS does something to tip the scales now that Sony has tipped it's hand in regards to the RAM. The problem for MS is they now have 2 places to shore up instead of 1. 8GB of GDDR5 feeding a video card that is already 50% more powerful suggests that MS needs to upgrade both the speed and amount of RAM or alternately, Upgrade the Video Card and the speed OR the amount of RAM. In my mind, the options look like this:
xbox 8GB GDDR5 + Upgraded Video Card
xbox 12GB GDR3 + Upgraded Video Card
xbox 12GB GDDR5 and keep the current Video Card
The were previous xbox rumors about a 16 core CPU and 12 GB RAM so perhaps MS already has some surprises in store, but based on the Current PS4 info and the Current xbox rumors, PS4 is looking like the beast.
I don't think MS will or needs to upgrade the nextbox's rumored specs (when has the most powerful console ever won the sales race?). People who post on gaming forums might care, but for the average consumer, slightly better performance isn't going to be the deciding factor in console choice (we're not talking Wii U current gen specs here).
MS will likely come in at a lower price point, offer BC and call it a day. Kinect has been a relative success, and has expanded the 360's audience by pulling in the casual gamer -- my guess is that they continue with this strategy by focusing on being a general purpose STB. Move, on the other hand, has been a relative failure (afaik), and Sony seems to be going back to the basics by targeting the core gamer (initially anyways). Though developers and hardcore gamers are happy with the decision, having 8 GB of GDDR5 is going to add significant cost to the PS4 and will allow MS to undercut Sony by a significant margin.