PDA

View Full Version : Intel is rumored to have struck a deal with Sony to provide Larrabee GPU for PS4


Pages : [1] 2 3

AirRaid
02-07-09, 01:31 AM
Thus, possibily kicking Nvidia out of NEXT generation console design wins.


Intel is shooting for PlayStation 4, but has it scored?

A new rumor suggests that Intel has succeeded in its efforts to place its forthcoming discrete GPU product, codenamed Larrabee, in the next generation of Sony's PlayStation game console.
By Jon Stokes | Last updated February 6, 2009 2:20


I've known for a while, and even mentioned on Ars, that Intel has a team that's actively courting the Sony PlayStation 4 contract, and Intel VP Pat Gelsinger affirmed to me in an interview that the company would love to be in a next-generation console. But The Inquirer's Charlie Demerjian has published a whale of a post-CES rumor claiming that Intel's forthcoming Larrabee GPU did indeed score the GPU spot on Sony's next-gen console.

There will be a ton of skepticism over this, and for good reason—I myself have actually had informal, off-the-record conversations that indicate to me that there may not be a lot of love for Intel on the technical front inside of Sony. But this rumor has a lot going for it. I'll enumerate the plusses and minuses below, but before jumping in let's hand the mic over to official Sony PR for their take.
Jon Stokes


"We do not comment on rumors and speculations. Our utmost priority is to further increase the installed base for PS3 and PSP, with more new and exciting entertainment and services (game/non-game and package/network)," a Sony spokesperson told Ars. "PS3 is still in its third year from launch and it is too premature to talk about the next-generation home platform. At this time, nothing concrete has been decided."

I actually believe that nothing concrete has been decided. But Sony may be leaning one way or the other. Let's look at the forces at work.
It's all about the (rapidly shrinking) bottom line

The number one, overriding factor in any decision that Sony makes right now is money—and I don't mean, "how will we grow our console marketshare and conquer the living room," but "how will we stop hemorrhaging money and ensure that, whatever happens with the next generation of consoles, we attain profitability with the PS4 as quickly as possible." Given this new reality, I find Charlie's claim that Intel essentially bought its way into the PS4—technical considerations be damned—very convincing.

This "ten-year console" stuff, where Sony looks at a console's overall profitability over the course of a decade? That's the kind of thing you can afford to do when you're not staring into the abyss. Intel has deep enough pockets and enough fab capacity to take a real hit to its margins on Larrabee and offer Sony a cheap GPU with guaranteed availability. If any semi maker is going to survive this recession and come out the other side still fully invested in the success of a discrete graphics product, it will be Intel.

As for the Kuturagi-style grand visions of Pixar-quality graphics in the living room, and networked consoles all changing the way we entertain ourselves, that, too, is bull-market bull. With the PS4, Sony will just want to stay in the game, and have a very quick path to profitability. One might even go so far as to say that, at this point, Sony execs probably wish they had gone the Wii route.

Note that these same financial pressures also drastically change the cross-platform development equation from the console vendor's perspective. In the distant, more profit-friendly past past of early 2008, console makers still courted exclusive titles, and Sony in particular counted it as a major plus that games optimized to take full advantage of PS3 wouldn't be easily portable to Xbox or the PC.

But in today's world of shrinking margins, Sony's incentives have shifted 180 degrees, and with Larrabee (especially if it's paired with a Nehalem-derived CPU), Sony can actually boast, "write it once, run it on the PlayStation 4 and the PC," to developers.

To sum up, Sony has paid a heavy price for its efforts to attract exclusive titles to the PS3 by promising developers superior visuals, and that's a price that the company cannot afford to pay with its next console.
What about Cell?

My guess is that if Sony were free to fantasize about the console that it would ideally like to produce with PS4, it would probably just double down on Cell. And why not? The same things that make Cell hard to program will also plague Larrabee. The programming problems that come with the many-core paradigm—a paradigm that both Cell and Larrabee fit under—are fundamental, algorithm-level design problems that are essentially ISA-indifferent. (Yes, this is a shift from my previous "x86 will own the GPU stance.")

So Sony could safely just do more of Cell with PS4 by just increasing the number of dedicated vector units and general-purpose cores. This would also give the company free backwards compatibility with existing PS3 titles, and, of course, enable it to leverage existing investments in the PS3 developer toolchain and in Cell itself.

Ultimately, the question of which horse Sony bets on next hinges on the numbers, and specifically on whether Intel is able to paint Larrabee as the cheaper option going forward, even when the cost of ditching the hardware and software investment in Cell is factored in.


http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/02/intel-is-shooting-for-playstation-4-but-has-it-scored.ars

mojoman0
02-07-09, 01:42 AM
hmm very good move on their part, but I wonder if it will end up paying off. I think the PS4 is sitting in the same boat as Windows 7 in terms of public speculation.

|MaguS|
02-07-09, 08:16 AM
Nvidia already has a contract with Sony for the next GPU, Intel would have to buy out nvidia or offer sony a really good deal.

The last bolded sentence is the nail in this rumors coffin, its known that Sony will be using the CELL for the PS4. I dout they would drop off support for the chip when its so scalable and their developers are already comfortable with it.

|MaguS|
02-07-09, 08:31 AM
http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/sony-shoots-down-intel-gpu-in-ps4-rumours-525563

Best response from a Company PR Rep!

TechRadar spoke with a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe rep who told us in no uncertain terms, "it's nonsense, and is quite possibly the best work of fiction I've read, since Lord of the Rings."

oh and heres the old article regarding Sony and Nvidia.
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6129001.html

AirRaid
02-07-09, 01:31 PM
Nvidia already has a contract with Sony for the next GPU, Intel would have to buy out nvidia or offer sony a really good deal.

The last bolded sentence is the nail in this rumors coffin, its known that Sony will be using the CELL for the PS4. I dout they would drop off support for the chip when its so scalable and their developers are already comfortable with it.

Larrabee in PS4 if very iffy at the moment. Nothing is for certain.

As for Nvidia's contract with Sony for the GPU, it is a contract for another game machine, not specifically PS4. In 2006-2007, the contract was widely believed to be for the PSP2. Nothing much has been heard since. There are rumors that Imagination Technologies would be providing a PowerVR SGX GPU for PSP2, but there's nothing more on that either.

The most likely course of action for Sony to take with PS4, is a 4xPPE, 32xSPE CELL, and a new Nvidia GPU of the DX11 generation or later. Thus, keeping BC with PS3, but increasing the performance significantly.

slightly off-topic:
The current PS3 isn't the most well balanced machine. It's got a very powerful CPU coupled with a relatively weak GPU.

So when it comes time to up the performance for PS4, the CPU should get less of an upgrade than the GPU.

A 1 TeraFlop CELL (from 32 SPEs) would be 5x more powerful than the CELL in PS3. So the GPU increase would need to be bigger, say, 10x more powerful than RSX. Nvidia's current highend PC GPUs are already at least 4 times stronger than RSX and with SLI configuration, PCs can already get 10x the performance of RSX.

abcgamer
02-07-09, 01:41 PM
Yes I also read that in another site about Intel Sony deal
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/851/1050851/intel-design-playstation-gpu

There was already some rumor, leaked info about PS4 also using cell processor but we will see. PS4 is not going to come any time soon, not before 4-5yrs for sure (nana2)

Lyme
02-07-09, 05:14 PM
LBEE is going to flop. For all of Intel's best intentions, their graphics drivers/software always sucks.

LovingSticky
02-08-09, 10:26 AM
with Larrabee (especially if it's paired with a Nehalem-derived CPU), Sony can actually boast, "write it once, run it on the PlayStation 4 and the PC," to developers.

I don't think so. Sony is really bad in SW development, and even worse in tools offered to developers. HW used does not mean that much anymore, if compilers and APIs can handle it. Pretty much anybody can buy HW components and put it together in a nice package, but not develop great SW. That is why we see games developed natively for Xbox 360 and only ported to PC and PS3. Nothing beats Visual Studio 2008 (and XNA Game Studio 3.0 for Zune).

|MaguS|
02-08-09, 11:02 AM
Sony has gotten alot better since the PS2 days and with all their internal studios now sharing code and tools their 1st party titles are really starting to shine. Developers like Naughty Dog and Insomniac also provide tools and help to 3rd party developers and Sony also purchased many studios who worked on tools to help with development.

Really right now it comes down the how different the architecture is between the platforms. PS3 requires alot of different work to accomplish the same things then the PC and X360.

Lfctony
02-08-09, 01:05 PM
Sony is not bad at software development and its tools are not bad. They were made intentionally difficult to program to extend the life of the console... :headexplode:

|MaguS|
02-08-09, 01:12 PM
Sony is not bad at software development and its tools are not bad. They were made intentionally difficult to program to extend the life of the console... :headexplode:

What? You sound like a crazy person!

:bleh:

evilchris
02-08-09, 03:13 PM
Sony better do something. They completely lost this generation of the cONSoLE WArZ. They gave it all up for Blu-ray.

Microsoft killed them this go.

|MaguS|
02-08-09, 03:25 PM
Sony better do something. They completely lost this generation of the cONSoLE WArZ. They gave it all up for Blu-ray.

Microsoft killed them this go.

um Sony has sold 21 Million units worldwide, MS has sold 28 Million... thats not killing them... especially when you consider two things, one MS launched a year earlier with no compitition and gave ALOT of consoles away (mnt dew promotion anyone?) and secondly the PS3 is still more expensive then the X360.

So yeah, Sony is not doing as bad as you want them to be. Oh and Blu-Ray is on the up. Attachment rate is growing and player prices are falling fast.

evilchris
02-08-09, 08:06 PM
I'm talking games Magus. This is the console section. 28 million is 33% over 21. That's HUGE.

The PS3 got them their Blu-ray win, agreed. It cost them GAMING dominance.

Medion
02-08-09, 08:24 PM
I'm talking games Magus. This is the console section. 28 million is 33% over 21. That's HUGE.

The PS3 got them their Blu-ray win, agreed. It cost them GAMING dominance.

To add to that, the tie-ratio is also killing Sony. Last I checked, MS is averaging 8 games per console, and Sony 5 per. If that is still accurate, then it shapes up like this.

Consoles Sold:
Microsoft - 28 million
Sony - 21 million

Games Sold:
Microsoft - 224 million
Sony - 105 million

Now do you see how Sony is getting killed? Not only are they losing more money per console sold, but they're selling fewer units, and recouping far less in game royalties. To save money, which Sony is still bleeding, they're likely going to have to go with a Cell-based solution for PS4. Cell was developed in 2002, and PS4 will release no sooner than 2012. Tell me this, how would you feel about the Xbox 360 if it had launched with a triple-core Pentium (one) processor? Old tech is not a good thing, the Wii being the exception.

|MaguS|
02-08-09, 09:13 PM
To add to that, the tie-ratio is also killing Sony. Last I checked, MS is averaging 8 games per console, and Sony 5 per. If that is still accurate, then it shapes up like this.

Consoles Sold:
Microsoft - 28 million
Sony - 21 million

Games Sold:
Microsoft - 224 million
Sony - 105 million

Now do you see how Sony is getting killed? Not only are they losing more money per console sold, but they're selling fewer units, and recouping far less in game royalties. To save money, which Sony is still bleeding, they're likely going to have to go with a Cell-based solution for PS4. Cell was developed in 2002, and PS4 will release no sooner than 2012. Tell me this, how would you feel about the Xbox 360 if it had launched with a triple-core Pentium (one) processor? Old tech is not a good thing, the Wii being the exception.

But sony makes up in the losses in the PS3 with the PS2 and PSP which hardware both are turning profits and on the software end. PS2 software is nolonger reported by the NPD but its still selling, the system alone sold 400K in Dec08 which for a 9 year old console isn't bad. Take into account that the console is still very popular over seas and in Japan (where new games are still being released regularly) Sony is doing better then MS in the console game market really thanks to their continued support for their older hardware.

The trend is showing that the PS3 is selling better then the X360. It only took the PS3 117 weeks to reach the 20 million mark while it took the X360 over 125 weeks to accomplish this. Mind you that the X360 has seen multiple price cuts and has always been a cheaper console then the PS3. I bet if Sony were to go to the $299.99 price point the systems sales would pick up significantly on a monthly basis.

evilchris
02-08-09, 09:19 PM
Magus it's cool if you just admit it. X360 beat the PS3. I won't look down on you if you admit it. You can still like the PS3 and enjoy KZII with the PS3 at #3 in the current generation.

evilchris
02-08-09, 09:28 PM
BTW, the situation at Sony isn't as rosy in reality Magus:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20090129/bs_nf/64395



Video Games Lead Sony's 95 Percent Profit Drop

Sony on Thursday reported a 95 percent decline in profit for the fourth quarter of 2008. The electronics maker didn't get the sales boost it hoped for during the holiday shopping season as consumers turned to competing products.

The Japanese company said sales decreased 24.6 percent year over year as its electronics division sales plunged 29.3 percent in the wake of yen appreciation, the economic downturn, and intensified price competition.

In the Sony Pictures segment, sales decreased 21.8 percent year over year due to a boost from the worldwide home-entertainment release of Spider-Man 3 in the same quarter of 2007, Sony said.

"From the second half of September last year, there has been a sudden deterioration in the economy, and with the effects of foreign exchange it has had severe consequences on our business," Sony Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda said in an Associated Press report.

The Problem with PlayStation 3

Sony's game segment performed even worse. Sales decreased 32.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Sony is moving to reverse that trend. Sony Online Entertainment inked an exclusive publishing agreement with PopCap Games on Thursday. PopCap markets games that appeal to all ages.The agreement will bring five hit titles to the PlayStation Network, with the first, Bejeweled 2, available immediately for download in North America, with European versions to follow later. Zuma, Heavy Weapon, Peggle and Feeding Frenzy will soon be available for download. Sony hopes the agreement will position it to compete more effectively against Nintendo's Wii.

Nintendo has sold 44.96 million Wii units worldwide and expects to report $2.6 billion net income for the year ending March 31. That's 33 percent less than the company projected in October. The company is also cutting its forecast for operating profit by 16 percent and cut Wii sales forecasts by one million in response to the global recession.

Playing Catch-Up

Sony hasn't kept up with Apple on the digital-music front or with Nintendo on the video-game console front, according to Michael Gartenberg, an independent technology analyst.
"Look at the last quarter. Apple sold more iPods than they ever sold before and Nintendo sold more Wiis than they ever sold before. So consumers are spending money in some places, but they are not spending it every place," Gartenberg said. "Consumers are looking for long-term perceived value, and this is something Sony is going to have to work on."
Gartenberg noted that the Wii has created perceived value by appealing to multiple family members, not just hard-core gamers. Likewise, Apple devices like the iPod touch and the iPhone can perform multiple tasks and therefore offer perceived value. "Consumers are not necessarily choosing the cheapest products, but they want value," he said. "Sony needs to generate the perception of value in what they are offering."

Magus why do you always paint such rosy pictures? Do you just make it up on the spot?

The fact is Sony got bogged down in their Blu-ray v HD DVD war with Toshiba while Microsoft and Nintendo left them in the dust because they felt gaming consoles should focus on, well, games.

firehawk
02-08-09, 09:32 PM
The trend is showing that the PS3 is selling better then the X360. It only took the PS3 117 weeks to reach the 20 million mark while it took the X360 over 125 weeks to accomplish this. Mind you that the X360 has seen multiple price cuts and has always been a cheaper console then the PS3. I bet if Sony were to go to the $299.99 price point the systems sales would pick up significantly on a monthly basis


i would assume this is true because most people already have a 360. So naturally the only thing left to buy is a wii or ps3.

You have to go on game sales at this point to determine which is "more popular"

evilchris
02-08-09, 09:33 PM
i would assume this is true because most people already have a 360. So naturally the only thing left to buy is a wii or ps3.

You have to go on game sales at this point to determine which is "more popular"

Excellent point.

ViN86
02-08-09, 09:42 PM
is Larrabee really that promising?

besides PS4 wont launch til like 2012 lol

evilchris
02-08-09, 09:43 PM
is Larrabee really that promising?

besides PS4 wont launch til like 2012 lol

Microsoft will beat them to market even worse on the next go.

ViN86
02-08-09, 10:00 PM
Microsoft will beat them to market even worse on the next go.

true. but i think PS3 has a lot of life in it.

a price drop and PS2 compatibility would really drive sales imo.

Lfctony
02-08-09, 10:41 PM
What? You sound like a crazy person!

:bleh:

But they did.(yeah right!) Kaz Hirai said so... :headexplode:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=14010

As a wrap up, Hirai commented on how the PlayStation 3 was deliberately designed to be difficult to program for in order to increase the overall lifecycle of the console.

I made a mocking statement Magus... ;)

|MaguS|
02-08-09, 10:46 PM
i would assume this is true because most people already have a 360. So naturally the only thing left to buy is a wii or ps3.

You have to go on game sales at this point to determine which is "more popular"

Yes because was all saw how slow the PS2 sales became in 3 years of its life... If anything the PS3 is showing that it has more long term potential to sell better over a longer period of time.

Evilcrhis, I love how you don't increase the font where it shows that profits are down inline with 2007 figures... I know you lack any fair or regular thought but everyone reported loss in profit, even nintendo.

http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/1008395.html

It's the economy... not due to the performance of the actualy console.

As a comparison for you, since you lack any logical thinking. at&t had a profit fall also yet we sold far more iphones and increased our data revenue more then last year...

I wonder how long till your next break down and temper tantrum...