A reliable fire-starter in the everlasting Sony vs. Microsoft rivalry is which console has the better graphics. Sure, time has elapsed and leveled the playing field considerably, but don't tell that to each fan base's most ardent defenders. Just as soon as an Xbox 360 owner will say that Microsoft's system is better suited for multi-platform games, a PlayStation 3 owner will return fire arguing that Sony's first party developers better optimize their system's potential.
A key driver of the differences: Xbox 360's are built with AMD's "Xenos" graphics processors while the PlayStation 3 is powered through Nvidia's RSX "Reality Synthesizer" units.
You can almost guarantee, then, that the two were vying for each console manufacturer's affection before contracts were signed off on next generation systems. And while we'll likely never get an official word from Microsoft or Sony as to whose product they'd really prefer under their hardware hood, a key piece of information on a future AMD relationship with Sony may tell us all we need to know.
An upcoming article in the March issue Forbes aims to shed light on how AMD, popular for their designs of high-end PC GPU's, is priming future growth strategies for specialized markets - video games included. One approach is a concept AMD chief technology officer Mark Papermaster refers to as "ambidextrous computing," where the company's CPU and GPU designs are outfitted to play nicer with the technology of other manufacturers.
Sure enough, the article claims Sony is buying in:
Read points to AMD’s work in gaming consoles as a model. Microsoft uses AMD’s graphics technology inside the Xbox. Work on another yet-to-be-announced collaboration with Sony is under way, potentially unseating Nvidia, which powers the PlayStation3. Sony won’t comment.
We won't jump to conclusions... but only because it requires a small step. If the PlayStation 4 is Sony's next console (And why would it not be?) then there's only one thing a "collaboration" could mean. With Sony planning to adhere to the "ten-year life cycle" and declining to announce the PlayStation 4 at E3 2012, there's a slight chance that more modifications are still in the works for the PlayStation 3; a new graphics cards, though? It feels a little bit too late in the game for that.
Whatever your purchase plans are for next-gen consoles, we can't imagine gamers would lose out. AMD has previously waxed about the Avatar-like potential of the next generation, and if Epic's Samaritan tech demo from E3 2010 offered any kind of foreshadowing as to what developers are planning, we wouldn't rule it out.
Ranters, do think the PlayStation 4 will incorporate AMD's processors? Should graphics be an important focus of next generation design?
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