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back to article Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Sony PlayStation 4 - or, as we say in the trade, a PC. Yes, the PS4 will indeed be based on an octo-core x86-compatible processor, incorporate 8GB of GDDR 5 and will be equipped with a PC-centric GPU. It’ll have a hard drive too, plus the inevitable Blu-ray drive. It will incorporate 802. …

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FAIL

Re: Proof of the pudding

The demos look just plain lame!

Impressive what?

Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?

The demos just show that the PS4 can offer no better graphic quality than what an old PS3 can already achieve.

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Re: Proof of the pudding

>Do you work for Sony and you need to sell c*ap at any cost ?

Sod off Joerg.

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Boffin

Re: What a shame! What a fraud! @Joerg

I tend to agree with your assessment of the hardware: x86 is a steaming turd that should've been excised from the computer industry *decades* ago. Unfortunately, it seems the lack of cheap RISC-based, cost-efficient alternatives have brought another casualty in the war. ARM might wrestle the PC market in the near future, but they just aren't there yet as to be seen for a next-gen console at this point.

That said, I'll probably cling to my PS3 for a bit longer. I still have a backup one with OtherOS, which I sometimes use to tap on the CellBE processor. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

I remember a 166mhz Pentium PC being over £1000 when the original Playstation released. It was a lot longer than 6 months until the PC could do anything approaching decent Arcade racers, beat em ups and platformers

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

"The Sony PS3 Cell CPU when it was released was beyond anything Intel had to offer at an higher price."

erm, well the Xbox was released a year earlier and still outperforms the PS3 on the vast majority of titles that are on both consoles, so i think you are falling for the Sony advertising fluff...Cell has high theoretical performance, but in practice it doesnt deliver.

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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

"I remember a 166mhz Pentium PC being over £1000 when the original Playstation released. It was a lot longer than 6 months until the PC could do anything approaching decent Arcade racers, beat em ups and platformers"

PCs didn't get decent cheap 3D acceleration until 1996. However, I call bullshit on your examples. Only 2D sprite-based platformers used to suffer on the PC due to absolutely zero acceleration in those days. Anything 3D made the consoles look like the primitive last-years-tech that they really were, before they were even released.

You might have heard of this little game called Doom? Or Quake? Or any flight sim ever? Good luck attempting any of those on the Saturn or PS1.. in fact, Doom was ported, and on both machines it had a border around the edges and a crap resolution.

Then the 3DFX card came out and the rest was history.

These days, yes, console releases tend to follow the pattern of being decent for six months, then utterly humiliated in the polygons-per-second fight by cheap commodity PC hardware.

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Mushroom

Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

"As mentioned, CPU performance in a game system is fairly meaningless for most games, and doubly so for console type games, it's the GPU that does all the real work."

Not sure if that is true anymore. Most people are unlikely to plug their PS4 into anything more than a Full HD/3D TV for quite a while yet. The PS3 can already do Full HD/3D, not particularly well but it's not far off, so maybe just one or two steps up the graphics architecture ladder would do fine for most people (maybe equivalent to a modern <£75 graphics card). It will be more important to enhance the gaming experience, better AI, better physics, better details, better interaction, and all that comes from the CPU not the GPU.

As any PC gamer knows when selecting their CPU, AMD is for Office/Productivity, but Intel is for gaming. Add into the equation the lower power demands and better thermal efficiency of Intel line and it is a no-brainer.

Looks like the PS4 is going to be another George Foreman grill, lots of heat and not much performance.

(FYI, I'm a long term PlayStation gamer, from the very first days, I've bought every generation on Launch Day - until now.)

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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

On a modern gaming rig, the physics is done on the GPU, not the CPU. It's all math, so GPU is far more capable than any CPU at delivering good physics affects. After all, a GPU is just basically a glorified multi-core math co-processor.

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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

Yes the actual maths compute stuff for physics is often offloaded to the GPU but much of the work still requires a decent CPU.

Also, just seen it confirmed that PS4 will NOT support 4K for games, so it will be only FullHD/3D at best.

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Facepalm

$ony PS4: Made of fail.

Sorry, I have been a devoted $ony fanboi since the PS1. Owning a fat, slim and the same with the PS2 and the PS3. I didn't mind too much when they excluded PS2 titles from the PS3 (with the exception of my original release 60GB) but I won't be buying this pile of crap.

I rip selective Blu-Ray titles I own (not download) to watch on my media server and Cinavia has killed this device as a media server. But the killer for me is an incompatibility with PS3 games some of these are £50 a pop for Jobs sake!!!

Filling up my XMB with pay-to-use video apps I never wanted (and can't remove) and a complete inflexibility when it comes to what the user wants sees me heading for the exit on this release.

But I think the biggest con is it doesn't matter how pretty it looks, if the gameplay isn't there then what's the point. Yet another COD or FIFA??? Look at that high resolution blood, wasn't that worth spending all that cash on exactly the same shit in a different package? I think not.

The industry seems rife with forcing what they want on us and not what the customer needs.

THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE!!!

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Re: $ony PS4: Made of fail.

This sounds very much like someone complaining about features on a console that hasnt even been released yet...

I take it the streaming of PS3 games to a PS4 isnt good enough for you when it comes to backwards compatibility?

On a personal note, I would like to see a HDMI passthrough on this device. If I dont want to stream my PS3 games then I could at least hook up my PS3 via a passthrough to play them for real

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Anonymous Coward

Re: $ony PS4: Made of fail.

Xbox 720 has HDMI passthrough...

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The EyePad makes sense now

One bit of new during the announcement made sense of that Move-enabled tablet the Reg featured a few days back: 'Digital Clay'. During the PS4 presentation, the its 'Move' controller was used to 'sculpt' 3D models. Combined with Sony's 'EyePad' ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/19/sony_patents_eyepad/ ) there is the makings of a capable content creation system. The obvious applications are for creating levels and avatars, but there are applications beyond gaming. For certain scales of models (human-sized, creatures, vehicles), using a TV with a 3D cursor and tablet could be very usable indeed.

The general consensus about the PS4's graphical prowess is that the games almost look like films, except that characters still move like video games (an issue with the game engines used, I assume)... The rendering of human heads looks very impressive, as did a Havok physics scene with a million objects.

And it turns out that Bungie's next game, 'Destiny', is everything I hoped it would be - a blend of Elite, Halo, Planetside, Cowboy Bebop, Iain M. Banks, Borderlands and Star Wars Galaxies. Being produced for current and next gen consoles, with intention of a PC version.

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Lightbar?

...tracked by an Xbox Kinect-like “light bar” hooked up to the console.

Sounds more like the Wii's infrared tracking bar than the Xbox's doppler system from the name.

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Facepalm

Pics of peripherals

But none of actual console it seems.

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Re: Pics of peripherals

Going by Sony's past PS design efforts, I'm not too worried that the PS4 will be a carbuncle in the living room.

Curiously, the original Playstation was in part a homage to Frog Design's work on the Apple Macintosh, according to the head of the Sony Design Centre. Other geeky design details included using a more lavender shade of beige, so that UV ageing wouldn't be too yellow, and using a more expensive three-part injection mould for the case, with its cooling vents.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pics of peripherals

There's a very good reason why there are no photos of the console....

Sony and select game developers working on launch titles have the workings of the PS4 in a beige box to help them get the titles ready for Christmas. They've already produced some very good demos and now it's down to Sony to work out how to pack the contents of the beige box into a smaller form factor that is still well ventilated enough to stop them from overheating and burning out in 3 months of extreme gameplay..... The race is on Sony you need to fit it in a box that can look stylish and keep it cool without making a massive noise and drawing too much power and get it produced and to market before December.

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JDX
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Sounds good to me

Upgrade the specs but otherwise keep the old device and bolt on all the cool new things from their own and competitors' products. Nothing is wrong with the PS3 after all.

Very pleased they haven't messed about with the controller - keep the DualShock but add a couple of tweaks.

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JDX
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Re: Sounds good to me

Although they have basically just copied the 360... Kinect + x86. I'm sure developers will be very pleased, it should make porting new code very easy.

Although all that time weeping over how to optimise for PS3 will be wasted ;)

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headphones

Coo. A headphone jack on the controller, not seen that since the 3DO. I wonder if it has a DSP dedicated to the headphone jack audio as well.

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Re: headphones

The Xbox controllers have that too.

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The Steam Console

Will be my choice. I already have a big catalog of games bought through Steam and some (although not FPS, playing a FPS with a joypad is as stupid as not finding out where your GF is before shooting through a door) will be great on a big screen.

My guess is that Valve will release something that plays better and looks visually better than either the M$ or Sony offerings.

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Paris Hilton

CounterStrike and checking on your GF

> not finding out where your GF is before shooting through a door

Why do you want to find out where your GF is before shooting through a door?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CounterStrike and checking on your GF

I believe that was in reference to that Olympic athlete that may or may not have accidentally shot his GF the other day.

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Thumb Down

Better graphics card than the GTX TITAN?

Will this PS4 have a better GPU than nvidia's GTX TITAN?

If not it's already out of date.

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FAIL

Re: Better graphics card than the GTX TITAN?

It's extremely unlikely that any console will ever sport a $999 discrete video card and you either need to work on your trolling, or need to put an ad on a singles site for your lonely brain cell.

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So ready

..... to run PS4 VM on my laptop.

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It's such a shame it's x86

It would be much more exciting for the whole IT industry if they had continued development of the Cell processor. Now (ARM, low end, aside) Intel has a clear run at the processor market and we'll see less innovation.

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Re: It's such a shame it's x86

Well, the other partners in the Cell gave up on it a while back... better to appease developers, I guess.

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Re: It's such a shame it's x86

The Cell lost when GPUs kept jumping up in performance. The writing was on the wall: the future of HPC would be in GPU-based architectures, and I think Sony recognizes this which is why they seem to be putting a solid emphasis on that part.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's such a shame it's x86

"which is why they seem to be putting a solid emphasis on that part"

...by going with AMD? ..........lol

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JDX
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Re: It's such a shame it's x86

You do realise AMD own ATI right, how have competed squarely with nVidia since the 90s?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's such a shame it's x86

AMD will be bankrupt before the year's out. Their hardware has almost always been inferior to Intel and it's too late for them to catch up now.

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Re: It's such a shame it's x86

AMD processors may offer lower single core performance than Intel's high-end parts but their offerings also happen to be considerably cheaper. You should also consider that Intel's built in graphics is orders of magnitude less powerful than AMD's. Yes an Intel i7 coupled with a high-end graphics card will beat anything else hands down in terms of performance but such a system would also cost the better part of a grand. A console is never going to use discrete graphics so the choice is between an Intel APU and an AMD APU. The AMD APU is the obvious choice since Intel simply can't compete on graphics performance.

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FAIL

Re: It's such a shame it's x86

"AMD will be bankrupt before the year's out. Their hardware has almost always been inferior to Intel and it's too late for them to catch up now."

Both use x86 arch. Both are shit compared to pretty much anything else.

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Flame

Obsolete tech

So, the thing is not even released yet, but it's already inferior to my current PC. Decline!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obsolete tech

obsolete? it'll be 6 months or more between GTA 5 being released and you being able to play it on your PC.

all that high spec tech, and all you're able to play on it is crappy on-rail FPS's

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obsolete tech

Clearly you've not used a PC for gaming recently.

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Re: Obsolete tech

The games I enjoy the most are split screen, on a TV, sat on a sofa with mates... far more important to me than the better graphics on a PC. I'm not knocking PC gamers, but those who say 'my pc can do this...' are missing the point of what console gaming is about. Anyway, a PC gamer who is into WOW and uses fancy keyboard might be a different animal to the PC gamer who has a steering wheel, pedals and three monitors for a quick half-hour racing session.

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So Sony's finally laid its cards on the table. Since they've changed architectures from generation to generation, switching to PC-based architecture is actually not too radical on their part, nor is trying an OnLive-like approach to retro gaming. All I can say at this point is good luck to them.

Which leaves Microsoft. Their console evolution has been a bit different from that of Sony, and it might be of benefit to them to try something different than Sony's so as to differentiate itself. I think it would be best if Microsoft didn't jump architectures the way Sony did and stick with POWER CPUs and AMD GPUs. When it comes to specific hardware development, as long as the tools are robust and the hardware capable, the architecture can usually take care of itself, and sticking with POWER gives them a compatibility angle that keeps them closer to Nintendo's niches. As for memory, at least 4GB would be prudent, though with Sony touting 8GB they may want to consider moving up to allow for larger game worlds: cost-benefit analysis pending. Meanwhile, network-based gaming is thankfully a platform-agnostic idea so they can leverage Live to perform many of the same functions without much of a need for architectural changes.

So, Nintendo's already out the gate, and Sony's laid its cards on the table. Now it's Microsoft's turn. Odds are we'll hear from them at E3.

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Windows

Back on the treadmill again...

Ooh look a shiny box that will cost shitloads to start with, games will be close on £60 a copy, most of which will get slated as not being what the gaming faithful wanted and then after 3 years R&D will have been recouped, console will be down sub £100 and the next annoucement comes out and the whole cycle starts again with a brain rotting and tedious inevitbality.

This must be one of those signs when you realise that as a dad, you're actually turning into a "Dad"! Next thing I'll be down the shops looking for elaticated waist slacks that I'll put a belt around and pull up right up just short of my 'nipple-line'! Oh dear God no, help me!!

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Re: Back on the treadmill again...

@Amorous Cowherder

There there, it's okay, I've recently found I suck at Playstation games these days too.

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MJI
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Re: Back on the treadmill again...

I am good at a couple including on line. Fun telling all the kids they have been owned by someone a lot older, or "my sons are older than you"

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Coat

Missed Opportunity

I can't believe they're not making a mobile client for Windows Phone 8.

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The big question is of course;

Will it be running a Linux kernel and did Valve have some hint of this ahead of time when deciding they could convince developers to create Linux ports? It doesn't seem like that much of a far fetched idea to me considering the leaked/speculated SteamBox specs are very similar to that of the PS4.

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Re: The big question is of course;

THAT is a good point...and thinking about it why would they bother to run anything else on it?

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Linux

More significant for Linux gaming than Steam box?

That is what I am wondering too, and given that Sony have used Linux and OpenGL in the past then it is quite likely. The move to x86 surely now would require almost zero effort for developers to make Linux ports of any of their PS4 games? In many ways this could be more beneficial to Linux gaming than Steam's recent announcements.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The big question is of course;

I hope so. If it runs Linux, it will likely be much easier to hack it.

I will be getting an Xbox 720 just because of Xbox Live. I will likely only get a PS4 if it gets hacked.

Sony have got a real problem this generation(Other than loosing billions for the last 3 years) - last generation they had the advantage of being the only console with a BluRay drive - and Microsoft still wiped the floor with them compared to the previous console generation. This time I don't see what Sony's competitive edge is.

Some comentators seem to think cloud gaming is an advantage - but in reality its just filling in the gaps because Sony cant do backwards compatibility when moving to X86. Microsoft certainly have the technoogy (RemoteFX) to do cloud gaming if they wanted to anyway. However, as their console is likely backwardly compatible, I can't see why they would need to....

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Console ports

will eventually have DirectX11.1/OGL 4.2 feature set.

This has to be good for PC gamers who have had DirectX11 and OGL4.x capability for years and scant little game software coded that truly takes advantage of those capabilities.

The quality of console ports if not the content has been improving over the years and some developers do make an effort for the PC port.

I'm looking forward to what both the PS4 and the new XBox bring to the PC gaming scene, even if I am unmoved by the control that each party wants to exert over the use of their respective devices.

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The flagship games are what I'm interested in...would be nice to see something both epic and unexpected for launch

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