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


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152w 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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#33 - inginear - 153w ago
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the ps3 has been more stable during it's life than the 360 has been. and the ps3 is smaller than most theater receivers, so i fail to see the large size as a valid argument.

as far as graphics, ati/amd is not a bad choice if they intend to keep advancing the parallel processing architecture. and given the advances in cpu architecture since the ps3 was developed, the main cpu should be able to calculate the physics fast enough to negate the need to have physics calculations on the graphics processor. theoretically the graphics processor will be able to work faster without the added overhead from calculating physics.

if they work it right, they could make every 240hz television operate like the dedicated playstation television that allows two players to each see their own full screen at the same time without seeing the other player's screen. hell, they could probably allow that same capability for four simultaneous players if the television has a fast enough refresh rate.

#32 - barrybarryk - 153w ago
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I really don't want another console the size of a house, that guzzles electric, is incredibly loud and that takes another 2 years after release before a stable one shows up. Just make a console that works this time Sony.

#31 - Prince Valiant - 153w ago
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I don't think they will really go with the 6670, at least I hope they won't.

The 6990 has drool worthy specs, imagine running two of them in Crossfire.

#30 - Neo Cyrus - 153w ago
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Let's just hope it has a proper graphics card this time and that they don't pull an MS and use an entry level GPU like a 6670... which is 2010 technology and a fraction as powerful as the 6970... which is in turn stomped by the 7970. Let's also hope they decide to include some RAM this time, especially considering DDR3 costs less than dirt right now.

#29 - HeyManHRU - 153w ago
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Lol, the graphics can be as good as the graphics on the PS2 and I'll still play if the game is fun.

#28 - elser1 - 153w ago
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i agree. i will always play consoles i'm just sick of my mates giving me crap about how great there graphics are on pc.. LOL

#27 - HeyManHRU - 153w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by elser1 View Post
i hope it has bc also for ps 1 2 n 3 .. bf3 is amazing on pc running full capabilities. i love it on ps3 but its a different game. you gotta see that the ps3 is old now in terms of power. i wish they make ps4 upgradable so it doesn't become obsolete.. the differnce between pc n ps3 is massive imo. lets just hope its better than we can hope for, and no ylod..

One reason I prefer consoles over PCs is that I don't need to upgrade it every 6 months or so, the games already cost a fortune anyway.

#26 - Konbowski - 153w ago
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As a software engineer, OpenCL is the way to go when it comes to parallel programming. So ATi is a very good choice. Nvidia on the other hand haven't been good for the last 3 years or so, and CUDA/Stream is a pile of crap.

#25 - Prince Valiant - 153w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by Zentsuken View Post
I agree, I really hope they make some kind of "expansion" to the PS4. Lol no, not like the Sega Megadrive/Genesis where at the end of its life it looked like a behemoth. What I mean is adding like a small slot where you can add more RAM in the future. NVIDIA all the way, I've never liked ATI cards (although I do have one on my HTPC cause its cheaper haha)

I don't know about you guys, but the PS4 could take years to get released and I wouldn't mind since I still have a huge backlog of PS3 games lol.

Specs are usually very close for cards in the same range. The only major difference is that nVidia cards have CUDA and PhysX. I'm an ATI man myself, their cards eat less power.

#24 - elser1 - 153w ago
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i'm in 2 minds. while i want the ps4 soon i know the longer the more advanced it will be,in theory anyways it should be. all i know is ive got one in the bag at launch and i cant wait.on the other hand i may get a 720 or pc depending on what the price and offerings are. i can't wait for ps4news.com

 

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