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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:50 am 
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Mr Carrot wrote:
I hope this doesn't mean all new titles will go to PS4 only


I can't see it. Exclusive paid for games aside, developers and publishers will focus on whatever sells the most units, as always.



Spawny wrote:
I think there's something wrong with me, cos I couldn't give a stuff about the next generation of consoles. Maybe it's all the rumours that've been floating about of always online, and games being tied to one console as soon as you play them...


That's because there's little they can do but put some newer PC parts into a little box... and that's just not exciting especially as it'll soon begin to look dated.

And they're just rumours at this point, but I don't see why either Sony or MS would take the negative PR hit over it, when DRM from existing companies already restricts how you can use your games. They might as well let the likes of EA and Ubisoft continue to receive the majority of the criticism and bad press instead. Besides, let's remember it's Sony here, so I don't believe a word they say.

Bit of a kick in the teeth that it won't play any previous PS games due to incompatibilities, but Sony think that's OK for customers because they can always buy them again and play them via streaming using Sony's new streaming tech they got from their purchase of Gaikai. Don't think paying again for the same stuff is exactly what Playstation gamers really want. Everything here seems designed to kerching Sony some more money rather than make anything new or compelling for gamers.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:00 pm 
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conscience wrote:
Spawny wrote:
I think there's something wrong with me, cos I couldn't give a stuff about the next generation of consoles. Maybe it's all the rumours that've been floating about of always online, and games being tied to one console as soon as you play them...


That's because there's little they can do but put some newer PC parts into a little box... and that's just not exciting especially as it'll soon begin to look dated.

And they're just rumours at this point, but I don't see why either Sony or MS would take the negative PR hit over it, when DRM from existing companies already restricts how you can use your games. They might as well let the likes of EA and Ubisoft continue to receive the majority of the criticism and bad press instead. Besides, let's remember it's Sony here, so I don't believe a word they say.

Bit of a kick in the teeth that it won't play any previous PS games due to incompatibilities, but Sony think that's OK for customers because they can always buy them again and play them via streaming using Sony's new streaming tech they got from their purchase of Gaikai. Don't think paying again for the same stuff is exactly what Playstation gamers really want. Everything here seems designed to kerching Sony some more money rather than make anything new or compelling for gamers.


It could be that, although I still tend to prefer console gaming as it means I can game and browse at the same time, often I find if I'm using the PC for gaming then I get kinda bored and don't play for as long.

They are rumours, yes, but MS don't seem to be in a rush to dispel them. I'm not a big fan of the used game market, since most places will give you about 1/4 of the price of the game in credit, and then stick your used game on the shelf for only a couple of quid less than a brand new one which is a total p!$$ take, but it's handy to be able to borrow or rent games rather than having a choice of not playing or laying out £40.

Backwards compatibility is a nice feature, but MS certainly didn't do it very well last gen. Some Xbox games were on the list of games the 360 could play, but even then they tended to run poorly, and as a result my Xbox is next to my Xbox360, while my PS2 and PS3 share the shelf below on the TV stand. I don't know if there are technical reasons that they can't achieve decent backwards compatibility, or if they simply don't want to, but there we go. If you can't do it right then it's probably just as well to not do it at all.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
It could be that, although I still tend to prefer console gaming as it means I can game and browse at the same time, often I find if I'm using the PC for gaming then I get kinda bored and don't play for as long.

They are rumours, yes, but MS don't seem to be in a rush to dispel them. I'm not a big fan of the used game market, since most places will give you about 1/4 of the price of the game in credit, and then stick your used game on the shelf for only a couple of quid less than a brand new one...

Backwards compatibility is a nice feature, but MS certainly didn't do it very well last gen. Some Xbox games were on the list of games the 360 could play, but even then they tended to run poorly, and as a result my Xbox is next to my Xbox360, while my PS2 and PS3 share the shelf below on the TV stand. I don't know if there are technical reasons that they can't achieve decent backwards compatibility, or if they simply don't want to, but there we go. If you can't do it right then it's probably just as well to not do it at all.


There's nothing stopping you multitasking on your PC is there? I game and browse on my PC sometimes when the game allows EG I may have FM open plus a browser, and sometimes even a messenger or a video windows as well so three things going on at once, so that preference of yours is hardly a console only feature.

The used game market is OK so long as you're buying and not selling. If I were selling I'd use freeads etc.

Dunno much about Xbox backwards compatibility, but the original PS3 was backward compatible, until the necessary extra hardware was removed from future models on cost grounds as Sony tried to make the PS3 cheaper to make.

And that's an awful lot of real estate you need to house all that hardware, a bit of thought to backward compatibility and you'd just have two boxes instead.

If there is some way you can stream titles for free that you've already bought for PS/PS2/PS3 then that may make the PS4 an interesting proposition to some, but that won't be so attractive if Sony insist you pay again per title, and/or even worse make it a monthly fee to access any streaming titles, in which case it'd be 100% cheaper to stick with all the boxes you currently have laying around.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:57 pm 
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conscience wrote:
There's nothing stopping you multitasking on your PC is there? I game and browse on my PC sometimes when the game allows EG I may have FM open plus a browser, and sometimes even a messenger or a video windows as well so three things going on at once, so that preference of yours is hardly a console only feature.

The used game market is OK so long as you're buying and not selling. If I were selling I'd use freeads etc.

Dunno much about Xbox backwards compatibility, but the original PS3 was backward compatible, until the necessary extra hardware was removed from future models on cost grounds as Sony tried to make the PS3 cheaper to make.

And that's an awful lot of real estate you need to house all that hardware, a bit of thought to backward compatibility and you'd just have two boxes instead.

If there is some way you can stream titles for free that you've already bought for PS/PS2/PS3 then that may make the PS4 an interesting proposition to some, but that won't be so attractive if Sony insist you pay again per title, and/or even worse make it a monthly fee to access any streaming titles, in which case it'd be 100% cheaper to stick with all the boxes you currently have laying around.


Much easier using 2 screens though, like when playing FIFA I can refresh AGR and see what's going on while my substitutions are being made without having to pause / change windows, it's a convenience thing. If I'm playing FM then I just jump between windows and the game keeps going, try that in Far Cry 3 and a tiger rips your face off :D Actually I think that while playing Steam games you can only use the Steam browser anyway.

Bingo, trading in games at stores is a mugs game.

Xbox backwards compatibility sucked, plain and simple. It made games glitchy, distorted sound, and was prone to crashes / freezing. I know the original PS3 had hardware emulation, then I think they went to software emulation, and then no backwards compatibility at all. It is a lot of space, yes... but that's why I have a large TV unit, my Freeview box and N64 sit on the bottom shelf, and the Wii used to be on there too until it migrated to the living room. The main irritation is actually swapping plugs over!!

The only way that Sony would make them available for free is if they knew that you already owned them, and I don't think there is any such service in place to verify that. So they'll charge, and some people will pay because they chucked out their old consoles ages ago, some will just use their old consoles.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Why did you have the Wii and N64 in the same place when they were completely backwards compatible? Moron.

And buy yourself another screen. I just hook my laptop up to my TV. Have FM/Movies on the TV and browser on my laptop. So that's no excuse.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:13 pm 
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I ditched my PS1 as the PS2 is backwards compatible, but I kept all my games apart from the real dire ones.

I found the box in the attic the other day with the PS2 and all the PS1 and PS2 games. Was tempted to put it up, for about 30 secs


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
Much easier using 2 screens though...

The only way that Sony would make them available for free is if they knew that you already owned them, and I don't think there is any such service in place to verify that. So they'll charge, and some people will pay because they chucked out their old consoles ages ago, some will just use their old consoles.


Again, why can't you have multi-monitor set up with your PCs? Both nVidia cards (2 screens) and AMD/ATi cards (3 screens) have support for it.

And that's what you get for buying off Steam. My most recent purchase (Guild2 Renaissance) was a £5 DRM free download from GamersGate. Besides, Steam with all their lovely restrictions wanted nearly double for it.

Or some people will just not bother with a new console as the gaming landscape continues to change. For the first time in Q4 2012, mobile gaming was worth more than console gaming as people get their gaming fixes on their mobiles instead, Nintendo are in trouble as WiiU sales have slowed to historically low numbers, so there's no guaranteed success for any one of the new consoles. And speaking of Steam they are still rumoured to have a Linux console in development so there'll be much more competition around for people's gaming money than ever before. Sony will do well to sell as many as they have before.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:20 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Why did you have the Wii and N64 in the same place when they were completely backwards compatible? Moron.

And buy yourself another screen. I just hook my laptop up to my TV. Have FM/Movies on the TV and browser on my laptop. So that's no excuse.


Are you thinking of Wii and Gamecube? Cos I don't see anywhere that an N64 cartridge would fit in a Wii? :coffee:

conscience wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Much easier using 2 screens though...

The only way that Sony would make them available for free is if they knew that you already owned them, and I don't think there is any such service in place to verify that. So they'll charge, and some people will pay because they chucked out their old consoles ages ago, some will just use their old consoles.


Again, why can't you have multi-monitor set up with your PCs? Both nVidia cards (2 screens) and AMD/ATi cards (3 screens) have support for it.

And that's what you get for buying off Steam. My most recent purchase (Guild2 Renaissance) was a £5 DRM free download from GamersGate.

Or some people will just not bother with a new console as the gaming landscape continues to change. For the first time in Q4 2012, mobile gaming was worth more than console gaming as people get their gaming fixes on their mobiles instead, Nintendo are in trouble as WiiU sales have slowed to historically low numbers, so there's no guaranteed success for any one of the new consoles. And speaking of Steam they are still rumoured to have a Linux console in development so there'll be much more competition around for people's gaming money that ever before. Sony will do well to sell as many as they have before.


Cos I can't afford another monitor... I'm having a kid!! :p

I don't buy off of Steam... but a lot of games require Steam to work, FM13 does, Civ5, etc. Actually I did get Far Cry 3 straight through Steam as nowhere seemed to have the PC version in stock.

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
Are you thinking of Wii and Gamecube? Cos I don't see anywhere that an N64 cartridge would fit in a Wii? :coffee:

Hmmm :doh:

Spawny wrote:
Cos I can't afford another monitor... I'm having a kid!! :p


You already have a TV just use that as a second monitor :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:32 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Are you thinking of Wii and Gamecube? Cos I don't see anywhere that an N64 cartridge would fit in a Wii? :coffee:

Hmmm :doh:

Spawny wrote:
Cos I can't afford another monitor... I'm having a kid!! :p


You already have a TV just use that as a second monitor :wink:


Thought so... moron :D

Now you're just being far too logical :p

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:40 pm 
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I have no idea what you all are talking about, steam, double monitors.

Whats wrong with a TV and a console eh!


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:35 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:47 pm 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Cos I can't afford another monitor... I'm having a kid!! :p


You already have a TV just use that as a second monitor :wink:


The man has a point Spawny. You said you already had two screens is why I said you can use them both on your PC as well. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:09 pm 
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lol at that video.


They've got a point too... how are things like a 'share button' even a new feature? Does anybody really think integrated social networking features are must-have new console features? :blink: Under 12s might appreciate it, maybe, but it's only going to annoy more mature gamers who have zero interest in it.

The specs seem unremarkable too, Sony described it as a "turbo-charged PC" and they're right, sort of: it is a PC, but hardly turbo charged. Anyone who has bought a relatively decent PC recently already has similar hardware at home, perhaps slightly better as the numbers I've seen for 8-core AMD performance doesn't quite match Intel's 4-core i5 2500K.

Obviously we'll know more when we see how they tweak it.

So what's going to make anyone want to buy Sony's version of a stripped down PC? Sounds like they intend to drip feed more info between now and Christmas so I guess we'll find out.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:18 pm 
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conscience wrote:
idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
Cos I can't afford another monitor... I'm having a kid!! :p


You already have a TV just use that as a second monitor :wink:


The man has a point Spawny. You said you already had two screens is why I said you can use them both on your PC as well. :p


Ok, that's kinda cool actually...!!

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Spawny wrote:
Ok, that's kinda cool actually...!!


It is. :geek: Just plug in a second screen and see.

I tried it on mine, the second screen was an older 1024x768 monitor but it was auto-detected and then just worked straight away, so I'd describe it as hassle free unlike in the past. And it was very useful. I only disconnected it because I need that second monitor for another PC, I'd definitely have kept it connected otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:05 pm 
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I meant it's kinda cool cos it works :D Firefox open on the TV screen, and Football Manager on the monitor :fonz:

Not tried with Steam yet to see how that works this way, but so far so good.

I may have to concede that you and IDFD had a good idea!! :ninja:

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idontfeardeath wrote:
Spawny wrote:
But James and Pak both said they were voting JSP


:doh:

You know what Paks like. He's probably voted JSP for woman of the year or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I doubt it'll be a drip, they'll probably keep quiet then have another blow out press conference at E3


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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Inside the PlayStation 4: A balanced approach to building a game console

Past consoles valued performance above all else; the PS4 is different.


by Andrew Cunningham - Arstechnica



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Enlarge / Mark Cerny gives us our first look at the PS4's internals.


By the time Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 at last night's press conference, the rumor mill had already basically told us what the console would be made of inside the (as-yet-nonexistent) box: an x86 processor and GPU from AMD and lots of memory.

Sony didn't reveal all of the specifics about its new console last night (and, indeed, the console itself was a notable no-show), but it did give us enough information to be able to draw some conclusions about just what the hardware can do. Let's talk about what components Sony is using, why it's using them, and what kind of performance we can expect from Sony's latest console when it ships this holiday season.

The CPU

Image
AMD's Jaguar architecture, used for the PS4's eight CPU cores, is a follow-up to the company's Bobcat architecture for netbooks and low-power devices.

We'll get started with the components of most interest to gamers: the chip that actually pushes all those polygons.

The PS4 eschews expensive custom chips like the Cell in favor of one of AMD's accelerated processing units (APUs). This APU shares surface-level similarities with the chips you can pick up for your desktop from Newegg or Amazon, but the details are very different: it combines eight CPU cores based on AMD's Jaguar architecture and a GPU capable of 1.84 TFLOPS of raw performance on the same die.

The choice to go with an AMD CPU makes sense for a few reasons—the company's chips don't have the best x86 performance, but they're generally considered to be "good enough" for most tasks, and it's also likely that Sony could extract a better price out of the small and troubled AMD relative to the still-dominant Intel. The company's experience in high-performance graphics also can't be discounted; Intel's graphics products have improved at an impressive pace over the last few years, but they still don't have what it takes to power a high-end game console.

However, this does have implications for the console's CPU performance. AMD's CPU architectures have largely lagged behind Intel's in both instructions-per-clock and performance-per-watt since Intel released its Core 2 Duo CPUs way back in 2006, and though price cuts have helped it stay more-or-less competitive at the low and middle sections of the market, it has been effectively shut out of the high-end CPU market for years now.

The eight Jaguar CPU cores in the PS4 are going to be even slower than AMD's flagship Piledriver architecture—Jaguar is AMD's follow-up to Bobcat, which is actually the company's low-power CPU architecture intended for use in netbooks, tablets, and other small computing devices. This isn't automatically a bad thing—Bobcat is already much faster than Intel's analogous Atom processors (and Jaguar will definitely widen that gap), and the Bobcat and Jaguar parts that make it into netbooks and tablets are more likely to be dual-core chips rather than the octo-core configuration in the PS4.

The upshot is that there's a fair amount of CPU performance here—nothing record-breaking, but more than enough to work with. But it does mean that developers who want to take full advantage of the PS4's CPU are going to have to optimize their games to be heavily multithreaded. Sony's development tools will probably help developers do this, and taking advantage of eight x86 cores is still likely to be less difficult than developing for the complicated Cell processor (note that one of Sony's refrains at last night's unveiling was all about ease-of-use for developers). Still, it's an interesting move given that most games on x86 PCs still benefit more from a few very fast CPU cores rather than many slower cores.

The decision to go with Jaguar cores over something based on Piledriver (or even Steamroller, Piledriver's follow-up) is almost certainly about keeping overall power consumption as low as possible, especially when the console is being used for non-gaming activities, as is becoming more and more common as game consoles morph from dedicated gaming machines to do-everything set-top boxes. Both Bobcat and Jaguar support fairly aggressive power gating, which can turn entire CPU cores off when they're not being used—if you're doing a task that's more demanding of the GPU or uses the PS4's "secondary custom chip" (more on that in a bit), the console can simply switch off all of the unused CPU cores, saving power and cutting down on the amount of heat being generated.

Finally, the x86 CPU has implications for backward compatibility: the PS4's internals are so far removed from the PS3 that software emulation isn't going to be possible, and including the PS3's internals in the PS4 in the same way that early PS3's included the PS2's chips to enable backward compatibility would add too much cost for too little benefit. Sony has suggested that it might offer to stream some PS3 titles à la OnLive or Nvidia's Grid server, and while cloud gaming has its own downsides (latency being the most notable) it's going to be the only way this new PlayStation will be able to play games made for its predecessor.


The GPU


Image
The PS4's GPU is much quicker than the PS3's, but high-end desktop GPUs will already outperform it. The Tech Report

We don't know the exact architecture of this GPU, but there are only a couple of likely candidates—either AMD's currently shipping "Graphics Core Next" (GCN) architecture (many of which originally came to market as Radeon HD 7000-series products), or a next-generation revision of the same architecture. It's difficult to tell which is more likely; the spec sheet that is circulating merely says that these chips are "next-generation," but out of context it's not immediately clear what generation it's "next" from. However, AMD's roadmap through the end of 2013 is largely composed of GCN-based products, so it's likely that the PS4's GPU will share most of its architecture with cards from AMD's Radeon 7000 lineup, albeit with some customizations and enhancements.

In either case, we know a few things, and we can infer some others. Sony is claiming that the GPU has 18 "compute units." Let's assume these are the same "compute units" as the ones used in the Radeon 7000 series, and that each unit is composed of 64 of AMD's stream processors, four texture units, and one render output unit (ROP). In a GPU with 18 compute units, you'd end up with 1,152 stream processors, 72 texture units, and 18 ROPs. This figure isn't directly comparable with any one of AMD's current desktop or laptop GPUs, but given the cited number of FLOPS, it should perform just a bit better than AMD's Radeon HD 7850.

The last generation of gaming consoles blew the doors off of currently available PC parts in terms of graphics performance, but the PS4 isn't doing that—the 7850 is a solid performer, but even compared to today's GPUs, its performance is probably best described as "upper midrange." That card does get you good performance for the price, though—Newegg currently lists 7850 cards starting at around $170. This compares favorably to the $400-or-so you'll pay for a higher-end Radeon HD 7970, for example, which is generally about a third faster than the 7850. Getting two-thirds of the performance for less than half the price is a solid value proposition and should help keep the price down (though we won't know that until Sony has a price to give us).

What does all this mean? Well, the PS4's SoC should be capable of some really impressive visuals at 1080p, even on 3D TVs, with more impressive results than the Radeon HD 7850 itself, since game developers working with consoles can always optimize their engines and games to squeeze more performance out of console hardware (a nice side effect of having a single, stable platform to target). GPUs have also become quite a bit better at certain tasks than they were in 2005 and 2006—modern GPUs have made great strides in lighting and particle effects, which should really help to combat the brown-and-grey color palettes of so many of this generation's games (see this excellent Gamasutra article to see the technical reasons why this has been such an issue). Newer GPUs can also take over some of the heavy lifting from the CPU for tasks like physics processing—remember, GPU-assisted computing technology like CUDA and OpenCL didn't even exist the last time we got new game consoles.

However, if you were expecting the PS4 to support 4K gaming, you were probably destined to be disappointed this time around—the very highest of the high-end graphics cards available today can deliver playable performance for today's PC games at 4K, but the days when this highest-of-the-high-end performance would be crammed into a console are over. Sony has said that the PS4 will support 4K output for video and photos, but if you get a 4K TV at some point during the PS4's lifespan it looks like you'll have to live with upscaled games, barring any sort of software update or developer trickery that enables it.


The RAM

There are two things you need to know about the PS4's memory: there's a ton of it, and it's fast. The PS4 comes with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM—this fast memory, which far outperforms the DDR3 in most of today's desktops and laptops, is generally only used in graphics cards, and the most common configurations still only use 1GB or 2GB (though higher capacities are available).

The PS3 had only 512MB of RAM, and that was split up into two 256MB chunks for the system memory and the graphics memory, respectively. In the PS4, the system and graphics RAM is unified—assuming that there's no artificial cap imposed on how much memory the CPU or GPU can access (and we have seen some rumors based on dev kits that the GPU can only access about 2GB of it, though that is unconfirmed at this point), this means that they can both grab as much memory as they want to be used in whatever way they need it.

Having a gob of fast memory is going to drive the console's price up a bit, but it should keep things moving briskly; on the gaming side, more memory will allow for the use of larger and more detailed textures, support for higher resolutions (hinting that a 4K future for some games isn't completely out of the question, though for my money it still seems unlikely), and more anti-aliasing. On the system side, it could help to reduce or eliminate mid-game load times—the console is going to be able to load much more into RAM at once, reducing the amount of time it has to spend hitting the hard drive or the optical disk to grab new data. It's a nice bit of future-proofing on Sony's part—even if developers aren't using the wealth of RAM available to them after years of working with 512MB, they'll definitely adjust rapidly.

The "secondary custom chip"

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Enlarge / We don't know that the PS4's "secondary custom chip" is ARM-based, but it's the only thing that makes sense.

We don't know much about the "secondary custom chip" in the PS4, but we do know what kinds of things the PS4 can do in the background without hitting the primary CPU and GPU: downloading updates and games, encoding and decoding video (as seen in the video sharing demo). Sony obviously wants this stuff to be quick, seamless, and invisible to the user, so it makes sense to offload it to another chip so that it doesn't slow down the console's rendering speed.

Sony has spent little time on the specifics of the extra chip (or chips) that accomplish these tasks, but it seems to us that the best bet is something ARM-based. It would be both easy and cheap to build an ARM processor with an integrated video encode and decode block that could handle these tasks using just a fraction of the power of the main hardware, and there are plenty of smaller companies building chips that fit this description for smart TVs and other embedded devices. There also exists the possibility that the video encoding and decoding could be integrated into the GPU without impacting game performance, though we see using an ARM chip for this as being more efficient from a power usage standpoint.

The storage

No real upgrades here; like the PS3, the PS4 will feature a Blu-Ray optical drive for discs and a mechanical hard drive for storage. We know that the Blu-Ray drive will run at speeds of 6X, up from 2X in the PS3, which should be a boon for gamers tired of waiting through lengthy game install processes, but we don't know anything about hard drive capacities yet.

This combination is pretty much the only one that makes sense. For a game console, solid state storage would drive the cost up too far relative to the benefits it would bestow—it's much more important to have room for all of those game installs and downloadable titles than it is for that content to load extremely quickly. It's possible that, as in the PS3, Sony will allow users to swap out their own hard drives in the PS4—if you want lightning-fast storage, that will be the way to get it.

One final thing that's worth noting: if the chipset in the PS4 is related to the AMD chipsets for desktops and laptops (and the presence of USB 3.0 in the console suggests that this is the case), it's probable that it will support SATA III transfer speeds (6.0Gb/s), up from the SATA I speeds in the PS3 (1.5Gb/s). The mechanical hard drive would still be something of a bottleneck here, but it should nevertheless provide a modest increase in data transfer speeds.

A balanced, well-considered console

The PS3 was, in many ways, the last and most ambitious example of the "old way" to design a gaming console—going with a custom-designed chip and hoping that developers, with enough time and effort, would be able to squeeze better and better visuals out of it as the lifespan of the console continued. The "old way" also dictated putting the biggest, fastest, most-expensive parts into that box that would safely fit, done both to make the graphics as impressive as possible on launch day and to lengthen the console's lifespan.

The PS4 (and, according to rumor, the next Xbox) reflects the way computing has changed since the last time new consoles were designed and released. Rather than using expensive custom-designed chips like Cell, it's using gently tweaked versions of off-the-rack PC parts from AMD. Rather than going for top-end chips, the console uses modern midrange parts that are faster than the consoles of yesteryear but don't approach the heights of a high-end PC.

This approach that the PS4 takes may disappoint those who value their polygon counts above all else, but to us it seems quite sensible—the PS4's hardware makes all the right compromises between price and performance, and the result will hopefully be something reliable with good power usage that doesn't cost 599 US dollars.

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 Post subject: Re: Playstation 4
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Not sure Spawnfeatures should be allowed to comment on these kind of threads anymore.

Reproducing heathen.

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