John Carmack speaks on next gen console power.


Super Elite
Jun 2, 2005
When John Carmack--the programming mastermind behind Doom and Quake--talks, the video game industry listens.

In a preview of a recent interview with PC Gamer UK, Carmack sheds more light on his feelings about the Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of sheer power.

Judging by his statements in the interview, it's clear that Carmack prefers working on the original Xbox, which he claims is capable of impressive performance with little programming effort. As for the PS2, Carmack scoffs at its "mess" of multiple processors before noting that the situtation is now "much, much worse" on the Xbox 360 and PS3 because they contain even more complex multi-core CPU systems. Carmack even makes the bold declaration that "when you do a straightforward development process on [the Xbox 360 and PS3], they're significantly slower than a modern high-end PC."

His analysis of the PS3 and Xbox 360's graphic subsystems, however, is far more generous--he describes their graphical horsepower as "really good," but he still gives high-end PC video cards the overall performance edge.

Though he prefers to stay out of the limelight, Carmack has lately been more open in offering his analysis of Microsoft and Sony's forays into their next-gen consoles. Recently, he noted that although the PS3 has the edge in overall power, the Xbox 360 offers a simpler development platform, a sentiment he echoes in his most recent interview.

Of course, suddenly all the console ->insert polite word for fanboys here<- are going to say he has no credibility right? He ought to, considering he single handedly did most of the work for the Doom 3 engine which was used for Doom 3, Quake 4, Quake Wars, Prey and more. Not that i expect anyone to admit this.

I said over and over about the xbox being so great and all, and devs loving it and how devs detest the 360s hardware, but you guys are always like "O but the devkits"... yea, whatever.

Basically, carmack just mirrored my stand on all topics in this entire forum.

And dont give the "O but you need a $4000 PC" line, my PC has everything he mentioned and it was a $1250 PC.


Super Bias Moderator
Dec 1, 2005
Was your previous post deleted, because I swear I commented on this before?? I think I said something like this:

Anyone who thinks that consoles are going to be more powerful then PCs are generally lacking in common sense. It doesn't take much brain power to realize that a system that runs a multi-function, multi-featured OS while running High End games, is more powerful then a gaming console. I still play all games, on all systems, surely there are quality games that are only released on consoles, and there is also games that are only released on PC or simply play better on PCs.


Dec 10, 2005
Also, the major reason that the consoles are much slower at least this time around is that with a PowerPC based core the operations per Mhz are alot less than the number of operations per Mhz or hz on a Intel or AMD pc. PowerPC has less operations per something hz than Intel and AMD. That still doesn't explain if they are more or less powerful than a standard PC. In terms of Graphics and physics processing its possible that the new consoles will have a great advantage over standard PCs until the PPU and next GPUs come out later this year. The Cell has the most potential for Physics, and AI processing over standard PCs and will until they begin to get more complex.


Editor /Tech Adviser
Staff member
Jan 5, 2006
For a long time I've lost respect for John Carmack, on top of that ever since Quake II his games have been sub par at best, and the Doom II engine wasn't optimised in the slightest (ok Quake IV had an updated D3 engine but it was still bloated needlessly), John needs to rethink his game engine analysis because there are many better game engines out there than D3's and run silky smooth.

If there are any developers whom I trust the most in terms of development on other platforms then it's Epic, that team is full of specialists and legends.