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PlayStation 4 Console “essentially a PC” in its architecture

Playstation 4 Rumors_thumb.jpg 1PlayStation 4 rumours have been coming out in consecutive days, and it could once again be the most powerful console on the market

Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter reports that the PlayStation 4 will, essentially, have the makeup of a PC

There have been rumours already that the PlayStation 4’s architecture will be different to the PlayStation 3’s, featuring an AMD processor and not Nvidia. Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry reports that this could be a reality.

Citing a “reputable source,” Leadbetter’s described the PlayStation 4 as “essentially a PC” in the technology that will be powering the console. Leadbetter goes on describe what this could mean for consoles in the future: “for the first time since the original Xbox, we could be well seeing an x86 processor.” As Leadbetter points out, this shouldn’t be such a surprise for Sony because the Vita’s technology is very powerful for a handheld. As pointed out earlier this week, Ken Kutaragi was the chief force being the Cell technology but his departure means that there could be a “fundamental shift” in the way Sony approaches powering its consoles.

As Leadbetter also points outs, a console powered by AMD could reap big results for Sony. The last generation was the move into high definition graphics but, with that firmly achieved, it’s time for “an enviable set of development tools.” The PlayStation Vita is early in launch, but the graphics and power for a handheld device are large unrivalled at this point. As Leadbetter describes, continuing that approach with the PlayStation 4 makes a “PC style approach to Sony’s next console seem very likely.”

Yesterday there was news that Kotaku had also heard that there would be an AMD GPU in the PlayStation 4, along with a CPU built by the same company. Unlike previous reports which suggested that there would be a different GPU and CPU, meaning no backwards compatibility, Kotaku’s recent report and Leadbitter’s information from contacts could point towards a console that supports backwards compatibility.

This is purely speculation on my part but, if the PS4 is as powerful as a PC, then it’s going to be interesting to the cost of consoles. Sony was hurt by high $599 price point of the PlayStation 3, so they will need to approach their pricing strategy differently.

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Published: Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 Last Modified: March 3, 2012

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