Why Sony is rethinking the Cell

Tagged: sony, Computer Hardware, Gaming, Technology
Source: Fudzilla - Read the full article
Posted: 6 years 42 weeks ago

Over the Christmas holidays the rumour mill started churning out a claim that Sony is considering ditching its Cell chip in favour of something more Intel flavoured. Several news sites picked up the story that Sony had a guts-full of the Cell and wanted to move to a multi-core chip from Intel.

However the move has left many scratching their heads. The Cell is still a good chip with many advantages in performance and creative research this generation. Its reliability has also seen the beast wired up to many DIY supercomputers.

But apparently Sony is blaming a lot of its problems on the fact that it has proved difficult to find developers to write good code for the Cell. Many of the skill sets out there are for Intel based chips and software houses are not keen to become focused on one bit of hardware. Interestingly it is the same decision that another cell user came up with two years ago. Apple messiah Steve Jobs saw what was happening with the Cell and scrapped it in favour of Intel multi-core.

The PS3 has been a disappointment to Sony and after years on the market is only just starting to make it is development costs back. It would be easier to blame the Cell for the outfit not attracting attention, however most of our sources claim that the problem was never the chip.

When the PS3 launched there was considerable optimism that it was going to be the world's leading games console. If it had archieved the same sorts of sales as the the Wii for example then the Cell would have become the default standard for games consoles. Developer skills would be there because everyone would want to write code for the leading console. Unfortunately Sony made its PS3 too expensive and had its clock cleaned by cheap and cheerful consoles.

If Sony does move away from the Cell chip it is an admission that it has to complete with the other consoles on the same terms. It can no longer afford to be flashy or rely on unusual technology.



Tiv's picture
Joined: 08/12/2009
Posts: 3584

I kind off have to agree that the Cell is the odd man out this time. It's still a powerful processor and at least gives a second option. I'm not so sure riding Intel is the best way in the long run. Perhaps it's just like they said, a matter of programming skills, but also the cost of those specific programmers is what Sony is trying to avoid to compete with the competition of Xbox.

I sleep fine at night knowing we are banning people who deserve it.  Tivon
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development of games on the pc, ps3 and 360 are too costly. by having hardware that is more complicated would mean more cost is spent on research as opposed to using already known environment and quickly cashing on the cow.

sony and microsoft are both stuck. they can only rely on technology to maintain their audience, hardcore. to become broader then what they have, they'll have to go outside this box of technology. they will have to invest in understanding the audience. this is something that both sony and microsoft have problems with. this is why a company like nintendo and apple are able to do this, because they understand the audience.

office from microsoft for instance has gotten good enough. this means the need for constant new products on this software has become unnecessary because the current condition of the product has reached a saturation of point of satisfaction based on the customers need. sure you can release a new version but it won't do anything that the previous can already do. even worse, the product gets broken because they try to improve it but instead difigured it.

it's worse for game developers and publishers. game developers and publishers who give support for the 360/ps3 are shooting themselves. they don't realize it because of ignorance and arrogance. hardcore games cost too much. this means they need more returns. but that is hard to do when you have a limited audience. how do you fix this problem? go to the other console, the wii. but with the wii, you have to work hard and understand the audience, something that is hard to do.