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Sony to Ditch Cell Processor for PlayStation 4 (PS4) Console?


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134w ago - Following up on our previous article, today Kotaku (linked above) reports that according to inside sources Sony may be ditching the Cell Processor for the PlayStation 4 console.

Below are the details, to quote: "The PlayStation 4 will not use Sony's Cell processor nor any possible successor to the vaunted chipset that was introduced to the world through the PlayStation 3, gaming industry sources tell Kotaku.

What we're hearing from sources follow a Forbes rumor last week that chip-maker AMD would make the graphics chip for a PS4, a shift from the PS3's use of a graphics chip from AMD rival Nvidia.

The abandonment of the Cell architecture would thrill the many game developers who have struggled with the complex chipset, but it could also be viewed as the admission of a mistake.

Cell was the pet project of PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi, who dreamed that the chip- a "Power Processing Element" married to eight "Synergistic Processing Elements"- would make the PS3 the most impressive gaming console ever. He spoke of a home equipped with multiple devices that were powered by Cell, all of them linking to each other to increase the computational power driving any of the devices.

Cell was not the revolution Sony hoped and hyped that it would be. It also never managed to make the PS3 appear to be significantly more powerful than the year-older Xbox 360. That could have been the Cell's fault or simply the result of development decisions that compelled game creators to make their games run on both the PS3 and the generally-more-popular XBox 360.

But with no Cell or Cell successor in the PS4, what would Sony do? Here's where the reporting turns to speculation. One theory I've heard is that AMD will provide both the CPU and GPU for the PS4, meaning that AMD, not Sony, would engineer the main processing and graphics chips for the machine. Should AMD be doing that, they could go with the AMD Fusion architecture, which puts CPU and GPU on the same chip.

AMD has already been putting chips like this out (one was considered for the MacBook Air), which would enable Sony to turn to developers and say: you could be working with the PS4 architecture right now; just work on an AMD Llano chip or something.

Would developers like that? They'd have to prefer it to Cell and- what do you know- here's one of gaming history's best programmers, id's John Carmack, saying in an interview with PC Perspective last year that AMD Fusion-style chip architecture is "almost a forgone conclusion" for the future of computing.

A Sony rep declined to comment on this story, citing the company's policy not to comment on rumors and speculation."




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HeyManHRU's Avatar
#3 - HeyManHRU - 135w ago
I don't see the PS4 getting released anytime soon, to be honest I can imagine the graphics to be much better than the graphics on the PS3 either.

elser1's Avatar
#2 - elser1 - 135w ago
i can't wait for the ps4. imagine how good it will be, if they get it all 100% right it will be awesome. i prefer nvidia though not that i really know.. LOL

PS3 News's Avatar
#1 - PS3 News - 135w ago
A few months back Sony stated that PlayStation 4 is expected to arrive with rival next-generation consoles, and today [Register or Login to view links] reports that PS4 is in development with AMD rumored to be building the system's graphics technology.

To quote: "Sony is working on an as-yet-unannounced new gaming console, former AMD employees say, and the processor designer may play a key role in the new product.

AMD's graphics technology is already used in Microsoft's XBox 360 console. However, Sony's PlayStation 3 - introduced in 2006 - relies on graphics technology from Nvidia.

AMD declined to comment on the project. Sony Chief Transformation Officer George Bailey also declined to discuss Sony's new console, or even acknowledge its existence.

However, at AMD's analyst day last month, AMD Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert identified gaming as one of several trends that will drive revenue growth at AMD in 2012."

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