Sony Considers Multi-Core CPU for PS4

Dennis Faas's picture

Sony's PlayStation 3 has only in the past year started to emerge as a legitimate contender for the console crown currently held by Nintendo and its Wii. However, even as PS3 sales slowly inch up, news of the company's next gaming system has recently emerged.

According to a report from Japanese industry insiders "PC Watch Impress," Sony is currently working on a multi-core CPU (Central Processing Unit) to be used in its next gaming console, tentatively (and likely) dubbed the PlayStation 4.

Sony Exploring Multiple Options for PS4 CPU

It's not yet known what the exact specifications for this processor might be, but sources have told PC Watch Impress that Sony is considering several different possibilities for the PS4, starting with a modified version of the Cell processor already used in the PlayStation 3. That architecture could be combined with new technology from chip maker Intel called Larrabee, a "a hybrid between a multi-core CPU and a GPU (graphics processing unit). (Source:

The Cell Architecture

If Sony is to continue using the Cell processor architecture, it will want to change a few things in the way it is implemented. Part of the reason for the PlayStation 3's slow start, aside from its initial astronomic cost, was that the processor was considered difficult to use by many developers.

Several years ago, famous Doom co-creator John Carmack noted that the PS3's asymmetric CPU was a big problem for game makers and that, by comparison, Microsoft's Xbox 360 was much more developer-friendly. (Source:

Rumors are that these kinds of opinions by game makers could lead Sony to scrap the Cell processor technology altogether.

Next-Next-Gen Gaming Still "A Long Way Away."

It seems now that the most probable processor for the PlayStation 4 would be of multi-core design, with (hopefully) more input from developers as the processor slowly inches toward its conclusion. (Source:

Still, it could be years before we even get a glimpse of the PlayStation 4; although the Xbox 360 marked the beginning of this current gaming generation way back in November 2005, most industry insiders speculate that the arrival of the next-next generation of consoles is still "a long way away." (Source:

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