TechSpot

Sony is shipping second generation PlayStation 4 kits to developers

By Shawn Knight
Nov 2, 2012
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  1. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Enthusiast Posts: 148   +41

    killeriii,

    I don't think you understood my posts. Initially Sony didn't drop the price on PS3 because they were losing $ on each one sold. Each PS3 cost them between $800-900 to make. They later dropped PS2 BC entirely, first hardware based, then software, which reduced the cost of manufacturing the PS3, including the Slim. This is a fact that it costs money to implement BC:

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Sony-OnLive-Gaikai-PlayStation-Streaming,news-15427.html

    To ensure BC with the Cell, it would mean either including physical hardware of the Cell or spending millions of dollars on trying to emulate it in software. Either of these options would drive the cost of PS4 (especially the 1st option). The outcome would be either higher costs to Sony, or they would pass on those costs to us via higher price for PS4. Since Sony is losing $ hand over fist, it's likely they would pass on the costs on to us. But based on how well PS3 Slim and all other PS3's without BC sold, it's clear consumers prefer lower price over BC and higher price.

    Secondly, you say Sony is dumb to have switched to x86 CPU design but it was the Cell that was a terrible mistake - it was costly, hard to program for and terribly underpowered without years and years of optimizations. By going with an x86 CPU, Sony will achieve all 3 things at once:

    1) Cheaper CPU (AMD's APUs cost $100-125 in retail, which means Sony can get it way less directly)
    2) Faster CPU (while AMD's CPUs can't hold a candle to Intel, they are still far superior to IBM's PowerPC or Cell architectures for games)
    3) Ability to easily port x86 PC games to the console and ease the life of programmers/developers by using common PC components.

    The main question mark is will there be a separate dedicated GPU along that APU, and if yes, what is it?

    The decision to move away from the Cell to x86 is a good one even if it means losing BC. If you still want to play PS1/2/3 games, why would you be buying a $400+ PS4 in the first place? BC has become this entitlement that wasn't there. NES --> SNES --> N64 for example.

    If PS4 doesn't have BC, what's the option? Going with an Xbox or Wii U and getting no PS1,2,3 BC anyway. That's why BC is not a big deal. If PS4 doesn't have it, people will still buy PS4. If PS4 has it, it means millions of dollars (I.e., losses to Sony) or higher price for us consumers.
  2. killeriii

    killeriii TS Enthusiast Posts: 213   +14

    No, actually, I meant it was dumb to go to a cell and then to an x86. But I think dedicated hardware should be the path they take, not this generic x86 crap. I have a computer for that. I miss the days when a console was unique in hardware design. You'd think with 7 years for design, they'd have something better on the table.

    And, No, I don't think BC is mandatory. But, it should be an option for longstanding customers. All disc players burn out sooner or later. NES-SNES-N64 systems can last forever. I know, I have them and they work as good as the day they were made.
  3. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Enthusiast Posts: 810   +91

  4. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120   +11

    While I don't entirely disagree with you, I don't agree with your second opinion, this is a highly debatable subject the PPC structure on a video games console is highly efficient with it's out of order instruction processing that is very good for gaming and longevity on a console, I agree the CELL CPU is absolute marketing garbage and is an god awful CPU, but PPC in general is very very good for gaming, the x64/x84 is great for PC development because of the OS behind it, also worth noting that if the stock PS4 has anything over 3GB of RAM then it's an x64 platform and not a x86 platform.

    PPC has always been known for it's ability to out perform the equivalent intel/AMD CPU, and seeing as all hardware companies are not going to be forking out for i7's I think we can safely say that the PPC consoles will out perform the x64 PS4 at least in CPU performance as the A10 is still a budget end build for a gaming PC (let's hope for developer optimisation).

    Also what happened to the PS4's 10 year shelf life before the next system is released? By my estimates the PS4 should not be released for another 3 years according to Sony.
  5. No it wouldn't be overkill. The PS3 in very limited by it's small amount of memory. It basically has zero multitasking capabilities. The in-game XMB is basically useless because you can't do two things on the PS3 at the same time. It also causes framerate problems on some games and makes some games unable to be played in full 1080p resolution. Low memory is the reason why things like cross-game chat aren't possible on the PS3. Sony likes it's consoles to have a life span of at least ten years. The amount of memory they put in the PS3 was very short-sighted considering that most basic computers had more memory in 2006 than the PS3 which is expected to play HD games and be on the market for a decade or more. 16GB really isn't that outrageous for a powerful HD gaming multimedia device like the PS4 which is expected to be around for 10 or more years. Plus, memory is relatively inexpensive so there's no reason to cut corners.


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