Sony could be looking to AMD for the heavy lifting in the PlayStation 4 if recently reported rumours are anything to by, ending the reliance on the home-spun Cell CPU and Nvidia graphics.
First suggested by Forbes last week, gaming site Kotaku claims that in-the-know games industry sources have backed up the suggestion that AMD graphics will feature in the next-generation PlayStation games console.
Sony has always favoured hardware designs that might be charitably called ‘eclectic’, giving game developers no end of headaches compared to more straight forward architectures. However despite the theoretical power of the Cell architecture, once heralded as appearing in many Sony devices in the living room, significant advantage over the Xbox 360 failed to materialise.
With Sony reporting stratospheric losses and mounting concern in the games industry that difficult-to-develop-for consoles with higher specifications could cause game budgets to spiral out of control, adopting an off-the-shelf solution from AMD – possibly an entire APU – makes firm financial sense.
Compared to similarly CPU/GPU integrated devices from Intel, AMD’s Fusion APUs are graphics performance heavy – just the ticket for a games console. Although given the volume that such a part would eventually shift, any PlayStation chip would undoubtedly be some bespoke part quite different from the APUs featuring in today’s mid-range laptops.