At the moment, the big US banks are rolling out "chip and sign", where you slide the card into a reader, but sign with a digital pen rather than enter a PIN. From a security standpoint, it's no better than the mag-swipe and sign system, as nobody verifies the signature anyway.
No, it's much better than the magstripe system because you can't clone a chip card, whereas its trivial to clone a magstripe card (e.g., using a skimmer). Magstripe: something you have, except it's easy to copy, so the bad guys might have it too. Chip and sign: something you have. Chip and PIN: something you have and something you know.
Sure, chip and PIN is more secure, but it's not true that chip and sign is "no better than the mag-swipe and sign".