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February 29, 2012 // 11:38 pm - 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."

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

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#63 - MayThaM - April 5, 2012 // 6:05 am
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good bews

#62 - Bashtee - April 5, 2012 // 3:31 am
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Considering the rumors about GCN as a base for the GPU, I'm pretty sure it will not be something below a HD7800. Considering the APU, this might actually be true, but again - it will probably be an APU with a GCN Core, like for example the coming Trinity processors. Anything below that will definitly not be able to play anything in Quad-HD or even 1080p 3D.

#61 - elser1 - April 5, 2012 // 3:30 am
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i want more than dx11 graphics in a year or 2 thats for sure.
sounds like a fail to me should be new dx 13 or 14 id say..oh well time will tell.

#60 - PS4 News - April 5, 2012 // 3:06 am
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Previously we covered rumors that AMD is building the PlayStation 4 graphics tech, Sony may ditch the Cell processor and the PS4 being codenamed Orbis, and now IGN reports that the next-generation system will sport AMD's A8-3850 APU and HD 7670 GPU.

To quote via (linked above): The PlayStation 4, reportedly codenamed Orbis, may utilize custom chips based on AMD's A8-3850 APU and Radeon HD 7670 GPU, sources have told IGN, offering the combined performance of both integrated and discrete graphics processors.

According to the official product specs, the A8-3850 packs a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated graphics chip. The APU will work in tandem with the system's dedicated GPU, the HD 7670, a DirectX 11-enabled card clocked to 1GHz with up to 1GB of dedicated VRAM.

The HD 7670 is a rebranded version of last year's HD 6670, sporting identical specs across the board. If you recall, the HD 6670 is the same card that we reported will be used in the Xbox 720. The implication, of course, is that the two systems will effectively go toe-to-toe as far as discrete graphics are concerned.

By current standards, the HD 6670 is an entry-level processor with a price of about $74.99. Benchmark tests place framerate performance for taxing titles games like Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 set to high settings at a resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) with average framerates of just over 30 frames-per-second.

The chip also supports HDMI1.4a output, which is necessary for the system's rumored 4k output. Naturally, a comparably lightweight operating system and console-optimized games will likely improve performance, but the PS4's real edge could come from the secondary GPU provided by the APU.

Onboard the A8-3850 is an HD 6550D, which makes the APU capable of running games at baseline specs and lower resolutions without the help of a discrete GPU. When the APU is paired with the HD 7670, however, Sony will be able to utilize an asymmetrical CrossFire configuration to share the load of realtime graphics processing.

Our sources caution that while current plans for the device make use of the the chipsets mentioned, it is possible that changes could be made prior to the system's launch.

With publishers rumored to have already begun development for the system and the system slated for a 2013 release, additional details are sure to emerge over the next few months.

Update: For further clarification, the chips being used in the PlayStation 4 are based on the off-the-shelf parts detailed above and are being custom tooled for the console. Exact specs may vary.

Finally, from the alleged PS4 spec sheet below with additional details in the Sony Project Orbis PDF:

  • CPU: 22nm Cell Broadband Engine X Processor @3.2 GHz with 16PPEs and 128 SPEs
  • GPU: 22nm Custom Nvidia/SCEI 'Quantum Leap' GPU @2GHz - based on a GK104 x2 Kepler Architecture
  • Memory: 10GB XDR2 + 10GB GDDR6
  • Storage Capacity: Included 250GB/320GB Model depending (Upgradable)
  • Operating System: Sony Aether GUI
  • Maximum Video Resolution: 2160p 2D and 1080p 3D
  • Maximum Audio: 11.1
  • Media Formats: PS4 Game Disc, PS3 Game Disc, PS2 Game Disc, PS1 Game Disc, HD Blu-Ray Disc, DVD, CD and Digital Distribution
  • Controller Input: DUALSHOCK 4, DUALSHOCK 3, PS Iris, PS Vita, PS Omni, PS Certified Xperia, Sony Tablet, PS Move, PS Eye, Sixaxis, Remote Controller, USB Controllers, Keyboard and Mouse
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Ethernet, PS Vita Memory Cards, MMC/SD/SDHC/SDXC and XQD Memory Cards support

Updated alleged PS4 specifications:

  • AMD Fusion APU - Codenamed 'Liverpool'
  • AMD x86 Quad Core at 3.2 GHz
  • ATI r10xx (3rd generation) GFLOPS at 800 MHz and 1843 - Codename "Tahiti"
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Blu-ray
  • HDMI 1.4 - 1080p output
  • 320 GB + HDD
  • 16 GB Flash Memory

It's said that developers urge Sony to upgrade the RAM - 2GB seem quite a bit few.

Finally, from comes the alleged first full PS4 specs below, to quote:

In exclusive we have the detailed first specs (not final) for PS4, most likely first alpha kits sent to developers:



  • 4 core (2 core pairs) 3.2 GHz AMD x86 (Steamroller)
  • aggregate, 10x PS3 PPU performance
  • 512 KByte L2 per core pair
  • 64 bit pointers


  • AMD R10x series GPU @ 800 MHz (Tahiti)
  • aggregate 10x RSX performance, 1.84 TFlops
  • DX” 11.5″
  • cheap branching
  • 18 compute units, focus on fine grained compute & tessellation


  • 2 GByte UMA, pushing for 4 GByte
  • 192 GByte/ sec non-coherent access for e.g. GPU
  • 12 GByte/ sec coherent access for CPU
  • >50% longer memory latency for CPU/ GPU compared to PC!!!
  • DXT is lowest bpp texture compression format


  • 50 GByte BD drive
  • PCAV, between 3.3 and 8x BD, most likely clamped to 6x
  • automatic background caching to HDD
  • HDD SKU with at least 380 GByte
  • downloadable games


  • video encoder/ decoder
  • audio processing unit, ~200 concurrent MP3 streams
  • HW zlib decompressor

Our source claims that the final specs should be 10x powerful than PS3, due to this info has got 10 months. Here is also some spec information on the upcoming XBox system (XBox Quort) alias XBox 720:

  • 8 Kerne AMD64
  • Grafik DirectX 11.x
  • 8 GB Ram (Dev Kit 12 GB Ram)
  • Blu-ray 50 Medien

More PlayStation 3 News...

#59 - moja - March 5, 2012 // 6:39 pm
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True, I understand where you're coming from with that. I can only hope that the initial release hardware is stable enough in terms of 'Sony modularity'.

#58 - Denida - March 5, 2012 // 3:29 pm
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Don't be sure they won't be taking more off of it! As for BC, I agree with you, as Sony will likely still want to sell PS3's too.

But in reference to them waiting on MS fully that seems unlikely as making a new console takes time, plus xbox360 came out a good deal before PS3, and that didn't help them, far from...

#57 - moja - March 5, 2012 // 7:34 am
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Well, I don't think Sony will take as much of a loss per console as they did with the PS3, which should result in removing less stuff from it. As far as the graphics are concerned, both MS and Sony need to put something relevant in there, because I want native 1080p for consoles and better engines for the PC(!).

Backwards compatibility? Pf, I've pretty much written that off, and am interested in what MS will do (hell, at least they tried instead of sucker-punching their fans). I think they'll push PS One compatibility to the Vita, because to be honest it's getting a little old of a trick, and my laptop does better upscaling/rendering than their emulator.

And for the love of consoles, Sony, don't give us another new disc format. Bluray is fine for now, leave your trojan horses in storage. Oh, and before I forget, both major players PLEASE don't slap some evangelical tech in there and fail to cool it properly.

I think they are waiting for MS to see what the status quo will be.

#56 - HeyManHRU - March 5, 2012 // 5:24 am
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leukotic, I had nightmares after that post. If consoles ever do become like that I would probably loose all faith in humanity and live on mars.

#55 - inginear - March 4, 2012 // 5:54 pm
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the day that consoles are not purchased and owned out right by consumers, or require an active internet connection to play any game is the day that i give up console gaming. except for the consoles and games that i currently own.

when the aforementioned day does come, hopefully there will be another industry crash like the one around 1981-1982. if the game companies (manufacturers and developers) don't take the long term effects on consumers into consideration along with their profit forecasts then they all deserve to crash and burn.

#54 - leukotic - March 4, 2012 // 2:38 am
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Quote Originally Posted by inginear View Post
better yet, the ps4 will be a leased console with users paying for the time that they spend on the system. it will start with a low lease price from the stores to prevent lawsuits from people claiming that they own the hardware that they purchase. and it will continue to charging customers accounts automatically for the amount of time that the console is powered on, no matter what is or is not happening.

and it may further continue to making customers purchase timed licenses for games and applications that they want to run on the system. customers may extend the timed license by purchasing another complete timed license without any way to prorate or divide the license to smaller time frames.

You know this probably isn't very far off, and I can easily see this happening in the near future. I can see the marketing hype now "Get a PS4 today for only $12.99! And brand new games only cost $20!" Then once you get it you realize that you are essentially renting the console from Sony, and that they are going to charge you various monthly fees and service fees based on how you use the console.

Want to use the Blu ray drive? That will be an extra $20 a month. DVD drive? $10 extra a month. Want to play more than 2 games a month? That will be an extra $10.99 per game played. Internet access, downloading games, and playing games online? $2.50 per GB (on top of the price for the games) and $0.02 cents per MB when playing online games. Want a package deal that includes a lot of different options and a pre-set MB limit (that you get charged 10x for if you go over) for online game usage? $100 a month for the bronze package. $150 a month for the Gold package. And $200 a month for the Platinum package. And to top it all off they will charge you $0.05 cents for every KWh you use the system, they will market this as a way "to help conserve energy".

An internet connection would be required to authenticate the console each time you turn it on in order to relay the usage stats to Sony for billing purposes. Any means to circumvent or tamper with this process will immediately terminate the console and require you to return it to an authorized PlayStation processing center. Failure to do so within 15 days and you would be charged a $450 service fee. You will have the option to reactivate your console after 5 days from the original termination date for a minimal fee of $50, each re-occurrence would add an additional 20% surcharge onto the previous fee.

The console will essentially turn into something like what the mobile phone companies are doing, except much much worse!