|PlayStation 4 Ditching The Cell Processor, Sources Say, Which Leads to Some Wild Theories.|
The PlayStation 4 will not use Sony's Cell processor nor any possible successor to the vaunted chipset that was introduced to the world through the PlayStation 3, gaming industry sources tell Kotaku.
What we're hearing from sources follow a Forbes rumor last week that chip-maker AMD would make the graphics chip for a PS4, a shift from the PS3's use of a graphics chip from AMD rival Nvidia.
The abandonment of the Cell architecture would thrill the many game developers who have struggled with the complex chipset, but it could also be viewed as the admission of a mistake.
But with no Cell or Cell successor in the PS4, what would Sony do? Here's where the reporting turns to speculation. One theory I've heard is that AMD will provide both the CPU and GPU for the PS4, meaning that AMD, not Sony, would engineer the main processing and graphics chips for the machine. Should AMD be doing that, they could go with the AMD Fusion architecture, which puts CPU and GPU on the same chip. AMD has already been putting chips like this out (one was considered for the MacBook Air), which would enable Sony to turn to developers and say: you could be working with the PS4 architecture right now; just work on an AMD Llano chip or something. Would developers like that? They'd have to prefer it to Cell and—what do you know—here's one of gaming history's best programmers, id's John Carmack, saying in an interview with PC Perspective last year that AMD Fusion-style chip architecture is "almost a forgone conclusion" for the future of computing.
A Sony rep declined to comment on this story, citing the company's policy not to comment on rumors and speculation.