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A PlayStation In Deep Blue, Or Vice Versa?

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the grendel dept.

Games 189

Tebubaga writes: "The BBC is reporting that IBM has won the contract to produce the next generation of micro-processors for Sony's Playstation 3 game console due sometime in 2004. Sony, IBM and Toshiba are joining toether to create a 'supercomputer on a chip' which sounds like the PS3 will be much more than just another games console. Quote, 'The result will be consumer devices that are more powerful than IBM's Deep Blue super-computer, operate at low power and access the broadband internet at ultra-high speeds". Bet it still won't do my laundry though...'

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More powerful than (2)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 13 years ago | (#368034)

'The result will be consumer devices that are more powerful than IBM's Deep Blue super-computer

Holy shit. Kasparov will be PISSED.

PPC based??? (1)

DESADE (104626) | more than 13 years ago | (#368035)

IBM currently produces PPC chips for Apple. I wonder if they would base this on the PPC platform. If so, it certainly would be a boon for Apple (and who has not been doing so well in the Mhz war for the past year).

great.... (2)

rchatterjee (211000) | more than 13 years ago | (#368036)

I'll soon be able to get my ass whooped at chess by a computer the same way the pros do.

Re:What's the point? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 13 years ago | (#368038)

I want my very own Jar Jar dammit!

If only so that I can kill him over and over.

aztek: the ultimate man

Re:"The CPUs are fast enough now" (2)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#368040)

Another common use for CPU power is just plain video and audio. Few computers can do mpeg 2 and mpeg 4 in software right now. Computers are starting to be able to do mp3 encoding in real time. I don't think there is any computer that I know of that can do real-time mpeg 4 and real time mp3 or voirbis compression. Why would this be useful? Video conferencing of course! right now video conferencing kind of sucks because you can't really use the same codecs that you can use for web page video like mpeg 4 or sweet sweet sorenson. Maybe you could do better audio by using a vorbis or mp3 encoding decoding scheme but video is not as good as it could be if we all had faster computers. Its sad when bandwidth isn't the only bottlneck anymore.

Re:Are consoles heading towards monopoly? (2)

Petrophile (253809) | more than 13 years ago | (#368041)

You mean Post-crash.

Pre-crash there was Atari, Mattel, Coleco, Mangavox/Phillips, Milton Bradley/GCE, Bally, a few others, and some in Japan. Not quite "hundreds" like the guy said, but more than today.

Re:Kasparov won't be happy... (1)

isaac_akira (88220) | more than 13 years ago | (#368043)

Well, the BBC article referenced says:

"Deep Blue defeated then world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a high-profile battle pitting man against machine in 1997."

Re:Wait a sec... (1)

emonkey (322796) | more than 13 years ago | (#368044)

true- and I said practically the same thing, without the calculations... but you must remember that Moore's law is not exact- it also states every 18-24 months, not every 18 months. I agree though, that although the graphics of the ps2 are supposed to be many times more powerful than that of a desktop today, the fact remains that this hype is for nothing- a ps3 as described will be nothing but small fries.

Re:What's the point? (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#368045)

Enough is when you strap on 3D goggles, and forget that you're in a simulated environment.

Pre-rendered movies can't even do that. Real-time isn't anywhere close.

The fine and subtle art of self-FUD. (3)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 13 years ago | (#368046)

Wow, the Playstation 3 sound great! I'm saving the money I was going to spend on a Playstation 2 to make sure I can buy the next one as soon as it comes out!

One wonders what happened to PS2 (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#368049)

Am I the only one that thinks it odd stories of Playstation3 are all over the place? Damn Sony, I know it didn't do as well as you'd hoped, but could you please let this console be out for one freakin year before you start banging PS3 over our heads?

I still can't buy a PS2 from any of my local retailers, but at this point, I don't even want one. I'm sure some of the games are pretty good, but lately all my console money has been going to Dreamcast, and it's a dying console. Gamecube and Xbox will be out later this year, which is just another reason to take a pass on PS2. Final Fantasy will be the only reason I might even consider it.

What's more disturbing, the FIPS or turnaround? (2)

d.valued (150022) | more than 13 years ago | (#368051)

Technology is something else, boys and girls.

The thought that a PS3, a consumer level box, will have more processing ability than the highest of high end rigs today, is shocking.

Mr. Moore's laws have been accelerated..

Are they still talking USD 300 price? If so, this is the first step in the post-PC "designer box" era when each desired set of actions is made to require a distinct, discrete, 'copy-proofed' system.

I just hope the Linux port for PS3 gets out faster than the PS2 port did ;)

Ruling The World, One Moron At A Time(tm)
"As Kosher As A Bacon-Cheeseburger"(tmp)

Can not, Will not (1)

DNAspark99 (218197) | more than 13 years ago | (#368052)

I absolutely refuse to imagine a beowolf cluster of these. wait a minute..... damn.


Deep Blue wasn't that fast. (1)

adpowers (153922) | more than 13 years ago | (#368055)

Deep blue had only, I believe, 34 or so processors. The reason it was so fast and good at chess was because it had 480 'chess accelerators', specially designed hardware to compute chess moves. They act in the same was that a Geforce 2 accelerates graphics, I would like to see my Ultra try and play chess, ha. In my opinion it is not fair to compare this to Deep Blue because they are designed differently.

Microprocessors != surfing bandwidth (3)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 13 years ago | (#368056)

I am so tired of this marketspeak coming from everywhere that seems to imply that if you buy the latest processor you're going to be able to surf faster.

Come on, even if I stick a pentium IV, or one of these vaporware chips and connect to the internet via a modem, it's not going to be faster than a 486.

If I connect via a cable connection shared with 200 other people who download stuff all day at the same time, it's not going to be faster than a 486.

If I connect via whatever connection you want, and the proverbial backhoe operator cuts some fibers causing massive lag spikes everywhere, it's not going to be faster than a 486, and it has the potential to be slower than a carrying pigeon if you happen to be on the wrong side of the cut hop.

Re:Ahh, the power of marketing. (3)

mrzaph0d (25646) | more than 13 years ago | (#368058)

The PS3 Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic gameplaying. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

Backwards Compatability? (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#368059)

It may be a bit to early to ask this, but does anyone know what the chances of backwards compatability are? It would be nice if it could run your old PS2 games like the PS2 does now for PS1. Even better would be the 3-level backwards compatability all the way down to PS1. Just imagine playing Final Fantasy VII at 1024 res with all new fancy effects. The load times would probably be improved over that of the PS2 as well.


Re:PPC based??? (1)

Knobby (71829) | more than 13 years ago | (#368061)


IBM still makes all the G3 processors used in the iBooks and iMacs. Motorola hasn't liscensed the Altivec stuff to IBM yet.. I'll be surprised if IBM isn't building G4's shortly..

Linux?? (3)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#368062)

And now the obligatory /. question

When can we have linux on this?

Sony... more hype than microsoft! (3)

Splork (13498) | more than 13 years ago | (#368065)

2004? That's more vaporous hype than microsoft!

Goody! (2)

bagel2ooo (106312) | more than 13 years ago | (#368068)

Well maybe we can get more laughs in 2004 when good old Saddam tries to buy a couple of these to launch nerve gas at us. :D
| aim: | bagel is back |
| icq: | 158450 |

Re:Are consoles heading towards monopoly? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 13 years ago | (#368069)

Uhh "lots of them"? After 1985 or before? Why do you think Nintendo (still) has such a large market share? They basically owned the market in the time between Atari and Sega. Consoles are all about monopolizing, back when I started you either got Atari, Colecovision or C64, then it was NES or Master System, then SNES and Geneisis (etc, etc). There really never has been much choice in the Console racket, and there never will be. Why, you may ask. Simply because it is so hard to break in to the console market. Only a large company like Sony or M$ can even hope to have success in console-land because you A) Need a large established distributorship, B) have to be prepared to take massive losses in the first couple of years and C) convince decent (read: well known) game developers that you will be around in another year or two and therefore are worth developing software for. Small operators just can't handle all the footwork and money it takes to break in.


Re:Linux?? (2)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 13 years ago | (#368070)

And the obligatory /. statement: "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!"

Re:Linux?? (1)

Rambar (56340) | more than 13 years ago | (#368071)

You forgot about a beawolf cluster of them running linux. Of course BSD is probably already ported to the new chip.

Kasparov won't be happy... (5)

d-rock (113041) | more than 13 years ago | (#368073)

when he can't beat the PS3 in the CompUSA display case...

But that time (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#368074)

everyone will have an XboX

If you believe that press release... (2)

albamuth (166801) | more than 13 years ago | (#368075)

...then you'll believe this:

IBM, Motorola, and AMD have teamed up to develop a new advanced network chip architecture code-named Mollusc. This new chip is designed to "suck" all of the information from the internet and "retain all the juicy bits", like it's bivalve namesake.

The partners plan to invest $800 trillion clams in the project and have recruited the talents of many scum-sucking bottom-feeders who have recently been laid off in Silicon Valley.

The chip is slated for many home users who want all the *extremely* useful information on the internet available at home without really wanting it.

2004? (1)

At000miC (261392) | more than 13 years ago | (#368076)

I'm sorry Dave, but looks like Mr. Clark was only 3 years off...

Oh.. You mean like SDRAM? (1)

PHr0D (212586) | more than 13 years ago | (#368077)

I know all those people in my neighborhood sucking on the PC133 SDRAM supply sure have driven up those prices .. ? .. And since when are the lusers *Forced* into paying the Rambus tax? Skip Rambus, no Toshiba reps have been by *MY* house with guns pointed at *MY* head..


Re:Ahh, the power of marketing. (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 13 years ago | (#368078)

When all PS3 start talking among themselves, next they take over the world.

Re:2004? (1)

At000miC (261392) | more than 13 years ago | (#368089)

sorry for the typo.. Clark = Clarke

Re:PPC based??? (1)

galore (6403) | more than 13 years ago | (#368090)

...and how exactly would that benefit apple?

I want my PS2 (1)

blues5150 (161900) | more than 13 years ago | (#368091)

Great, by the time they comeout with the Playstation 3 Sony might finally have shipped more PS2 systems to the US.

Re:Oh.. You mean like SDRAM? (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#368092)

If you're buying SDRAM from anyone other than Micron, Infineon, or Samsung, you're paying the Rambus tax. []

Dancin Santa

Supercomputer on a chip my ass... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#368093)

When the 386 came out, it was supposed to be a supercomputer on a chip, capable of delivering mainframe performance at a desktop price.

Same thing goes for the 486, and the Pentium.

The crap they spew never seems to change.

Bah! (2)

BoarderPhreak (234086) | more than 13 years ago | (#368109)

Have you seen the ads on TV? They're already advertishing the Playstation 9! Well, sort of. :)

Re:Kasparov won't be happy... (1)

Someone (12196) | more than 13 years ago | (#368110)

That was *Deeper* blue, fool.

The challenge of losing... (2)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#368111)

I was reminded about the objective of the deep blue chess thing against that grandmaster whats-his-name. They dedicated so much time and effort to one single end - having a computer defeat a human player. In the end, the computer did very well, only because it was able to compute much faster than the human opponent - although the human opponent they used was very good with strategy and playing the game. I still think the computer got lucky when he surrendered on that last match - the computer choose its moves based on what would path would lead to victory. This may make sense in the short term, but sometimes the only way to win is not to play at all ;).

Anyhoo, I wanted to write a short note about gameplay. You don't want a game that people can't win - eventually players will become fustrated and give up. Its pointless to have a game that's impossible to defeat because while people like a challenge, people also like victory. You don't make it too easy on one hand, but you don't put them up against something that is completly impossible.

BLeh. I suppose all this processing power will give us the next best thing in orgasmic graphic reality. Woop. Someone should hit these people on the head and tell them that I want to play a game that is fun once and a while too. You know, pong is really fun and it doesn't need much more than a C64 to run either... in fact, a C64 would be too much power for Pong...

Give me Tradewars 2002 over Quake 3 anyday. Give me LORD over Diablo. Give me fun or give me something else. :)

Ignore this post if you think I'm an idoit. I am.

a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

Re:Microprocessors != surfing bandwidth (2)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#368112)

With the level of service @Home has been having recently, I've considered out-sourcing my bandwidth needs to FedEx. I figure that if I save packets to floppy disk and have them FedEx'd to the site, my total bandwidth will increase (think lots of floppies in one shipment) but my latency will be horrible (though not as bad as @home is right now).


a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

Re:What's the point? (3)

jheinen (82399) | more than 13 years ago | (#368113)

Uh huh. I still haven't seen a rendered-on-the-fly animation that I can't immediately tell was computer generated. And I don't mean piddly little GeForce cards either. I'm talking about million-dollar SGI workhorses. The need for processing power doesn't come from pushing polygons. It comes from realistically making the objects in the environment behave in a realistic fashion. There isn't a computer in existence that can realistically render the motion of hair blowing in the wind. Even if we get to the point where a computer can render an animation of a human being that is indistiguishable from a film of the real article, we still won't have enough power. The environments get larger and larger. Once you can simulate one person, you need to be able to simulate a thousand at the same time. Think massively multiplayer environments. We aren't even close to having the raw processing power necessary to simulate large-scale environments with thousands of objects.


Trip Hawkins... (1)

owillis (74881) | more than 13 years ago | (#368114)

Didn't 3DO try this? Failed miserably.
OliverWillis.Com []

Where'd you get that from? (2)

vallee (2192) | more than 13 years ago | (#368115)

You almost make this sound like it's a good thing.

How so? Did you read a different post?

There's a distinct difference between parental controls, which seems to be what you're talking about, and content control, which is things like CSS, SDMI and the recent hard disk protection mechanisms. I'd agree that voluntary parental control mechanisms are a good thing, whilst the other is distinctly a bad thing.

You seem somewhat confused I'm afraid :)

Re:all very well, but.... (4)

PHr0D (212586) | more than 13 years ago | (#368116)

..Actually it will play these Tiny, secure music disks [] the size of a quarter, but what with that security hole [] in TCP, users will be horrified to discover that while using the off-shore napster [] the new document-destroying copy protection [] will wipe these tiny disks clean. The users will revolt, ultimately leading to the PS3 Marketdroids escape in their brand new electric cars [] (which are luckily faster than the users Ferrari's).


I can't wait. (1)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#368117)

Pong on the PS4! Oh BABY!!

Re:What's the point? (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#368118)

ignoring that real photorealistic processing is still a wee bit away from what we currently have, all that processing is going into physics, ai, dynamic music, etc. ai for badder opponents, physics for consistent (if not realistic) expectations for the results of our actions, and dynamic music for random fun.
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

"The CPUs are fast enough now" (2)

evanbd (210358) | more than 13 years ago | (#368119)

I keep seeing this. I am of the opinion that despite this (and I agree to some point), we should keep improving them as fast as possible. The theory goes, we'll find stuff for it eventually. Perhaps someone will find a way to do reasonable AI for some game that plays like a person and learns, and doesn't just beat the player by playing perfectly at a small scale, but actually plans better. But, oh wait, it requires a CPU running in the multi-GHz range to operate effectively. We'll be glad that CPU is there when the time comes. Or some other equally intensive application. Maybe good voice synth / facial expression to go with it? and an AI to produce the dialog? that sounds good, and CPU intensive. Don't berate the fact the CPUs are faster. Years ago, todays speeds would have seemed completely unnecessary. But you can't do high-res, high-poly-count 3D without them.

Anyway, it really anoys me when the crowd of admitted techno-geeks can't see uses for more CPU power. They're out there, and when the designers have the CPU power, it will get used. The PS2 games will improve, and the story will repeat again with the PS3 -- at a level an order of magnitude (or more) higher in CPU power, and somewhat higher in gameplay (I hope).

Re:What's the point? (3)

Grond (15515) | more than 13 years ago | (#368120)

Sorry, that's a bunch of crap. There isn't a single GPU on the market that can 'do photo-realistic rendering at over 30fps.' Consider that a photo is something like 4000x3000. Now consider 30fps. Now consider 32bpp necessary to do photo-realism. Just pumping out the bitmap is
4000x3000x32x30=11.5Gb/s of bandwidth.

There isn't an architecture on the planet (save -maybe- Crays) that has that kind of bandwidth. Even the on-die interconnect between the processor cores of the POWER4 is only like 6.4Gb/s, a little more than half, and the POWER4 isn't even out yet.

Take a look at the DOOM3 screenshots. That's not photo-realistic. The technology doesn't even exist to make photo-realistic pictures on the fly. Even the Final Fantasy movie, while extremely realistic, is still fairly obviously CG. Consider that Toy Story 2 took, I believe, 2 weeks on 168 processors worth of Sun servers to do the final render, I think it's safe to say that there are many years yet to go before a game console is capable of real-time photo-realistic rendering at over 30fps, much less the 60-70fps that the human eye can differentiate between.

Re:Sony... more hype than microsoft! (2)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 13 years ago | (#368135)

Though I dislike Sony (but generally like IBM)...cut them a break.

I realize the post was trying to be funny, but the root of this posting was just some obscure press release on IBM's corporate site.

It's not like they are running TV ads for this thing...And I'm fairly sure they really are working on this stuff...And, lastly, their timetable for completion seems reasonable at this time.

The definition of 'vaporware' has gotten way too lax -- especially here on Slashdot.

Re:Are consoles heading towards monopoly? (2)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 13 years ago | (#368136)

Remember that console mfgrs likely lose money on each console from a strictly hardware point of view. The money is in licensing games. (remember the popular /. argument that Sony was making a mistake in opposing Bleem?) Now tell me, why would you actually pay market price for a console when you can have one that $GAME_COMPANY subsidizes much cheaper? And why would $GAME_COMPANY open the spec to allow game authors to write for the open platform without passing royalties on to $GAME_COMPANY?

Bingo Foo


Re:Bah! (2)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#368137)

You mean <a href=" tion2-the-beginning.html">this</a> one: 2- the-beginning.html

a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

Re:PPC based??? (1)

Pravada (217899) | more than 13 years ago | (#368138)

Er, IBM no longer makes PPCs for Apple. They got out of that a long time ago. It's only Motorola now.

Re:Linux?? (2)

bellers (254327) | more than 13 years ago | (#368139)

>And now the obligatory /. question

>When can we have linux on this?

Here is the obligatory /. answer:

About 3 months after you can have BSD on it

Re:Bah! (1)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#368140)

link []
a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

Funny... (1)

lazlo (15906) | more than 13 years ago | (#368141)

I can just see some manager at IBM going to his team and saying "Look guys, we're going to be working on building the successor to the PS2! ..... Don't look at me like that, I'm talking about the PlayStation 2!" "Oooohhhh. OK."

Re:What's the point? (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#368142)

This is completely and utterly incorrect. Modern GPU's *CANNOT* do photorealistic rendering at 30 fps, we're still 1,000's of times too slow for that. CPU's could be *1000* times faster, and 3d developers would still be able to EASILY use the processing power.


Re:Signal 11. (1)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#368143)

Signal who?
a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

Re:What's the point? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#368144)

No, it's true. You can easily render more than 30 completely photorealistic frames in a season. A season being four whole months, after all. It's only 2.5 frames a week.

YHBT! (1)

Rambar (56340) | more than 13 years ago | (#368145)

I hope you the net sends your blood pressure through the roof grammar stalin.

Architecture (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 13 years ago | (#368146)

I would be curious as to what architectiure they will base the chip on. I would hope that they would base it on their PowerPC processors, simply because it would mean other markets could take advantage of the improvements used for the consoles - examples would include their RS/6000 line of machines. But at the same time given that both Sony and Toshiba also develop their own chips, we might be seeing another processor architecture pop up - though Sony must avoid making the same mistake that it did with the PS2, that is it must be simple to develop for.

all hype and pure tripe (1)

emonkey (322796) | more than 13 years ago | (#368147)

Well, this issue is very distressing. It seems to me that this is all just a marketing scheme created in order to hype the PlayStation brand- especially since the PS2 just came out. For thosw who don't regularly read Penny Aracde, there is a cartoon about it here: -12 Even more so because this is supposed to be out in, wait, did I hear that correctly? 2004!!!?? We have all heard of Moore's Law... the idea that the number of transistors on a chip is supposed to double every 18-24 months. It seems to me that in three years, the qualities they are pitching for this chip will be EXPECTED, and that any platform or cpu that CAN'T access the "broadband internet" at "ultra-high speeds" won't sell worth a damn, and will receive less market clout than

Re:Linux?? (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 13 years ago | (#368148)

How the hell do thse things get +4 Funny? Mod this K.W. down.

Bingo Foo


Re:PS3 CPU (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 13 years ago | (#368149)

Duh, you can't sell a linux box at Babbages. It's a completely diffrent market.

Although they could use the PS3 to develop the chip and _then_ port it into something usable in a home computer.

One more thing, the chip ("Cell") is probably not x86 compatable, and it wouldn't gain much following without binaries to run on it.


Ahh, the power of marketing. (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 13 years ago | (#368152)

I doubt the chip will be more powerfull than Deep Blue. More likely, your PS3 will talk with other PS3 and they can combine their power together. Now, how many PS3 owners will elave their box turned on, connected to the net, 24/7?

"The chip will also be capable of massive parallel processing - dividing up complex or time-consuming processing tasks among many chips - and could eventually be used in computer products. "


Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed, the ability to win at chess is insignificant next to the power of marketing.

PS9 (1)

cliftronic (70316) | more than 13 years ago | (#368154)

Maybe this is the chip set for the Playstation 9 that they so eloquently advertise on televison.

Yeah, maybe.

IBM has a finger in every pie (5)

alewando (854) | more than 13 years ago | (#368156)

IBM also made the ppc gekko processor in Nintendo's gamecube [] , so they're not new to the game-console embedded-processor market.

It just goes to show that whoever strikes gold, it's the fellows selling the picks and shovels who really make a bundle. No one is sure which of the big console players will dominate the market in five years, but whoever it is, IBM will be selling their processors. That's a winning strategy by anyone's standard.

What Sony want (4)

vallee (2192) | more than 13 years ago | (#368158)

The P3 will certainly be more than just a games console. They've said before that their aim is to replace specialised units like DVD players and hi-fi systems with a central unit which does all of these jobs - the Playstation 2 makes a start at this, but by the time the P3 is rolled out people will be used to the idea of a central controlling device.

And let's face it - the P3 is likely to sell well solely on it's strength as a games machine and Sony's marketing muscle.

Of course there is a lot of risk with this - a central controlling device means that it's far easier to incorporate more effective content control mechanisms - you only need to include them with one device rather than every device in the house. And people are likely to choose convenience over freedom as they so often do.

Unfortunately it's only rarely that people reject convenience, and Sony will undoubtedly have another huge hit with the P3. If they can manage to produce any of course :)

3 game console? (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 13 years ago | (#368160)

That's how I first mis-parsed the "Sony's Playstation 3 game console" :)

Bill - aka taniwha

will it be just a corporate puppet though? (1)

Antilles (49894) | more than 13 years ago | (#368165)

I mean, will all the corporations have such a grip on the desktop/consoles at that point that it wont be much more than an advertisement media platform/tv to program you more efficiently? Just a thought.

This PS3 Will be nothing.. (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#368169)

If we look at Moore's law why is this even surprizing?



What's the point? (2)

UltraBot2K1 (320256) | more than 13 years ago | (#368170)

We're rapidly approaching the point where additional processing power is going to be wasted in consumer devices. Flashy polygons and real-time CG effects are nice, but pretty soon, the technology is going to reach a limit. The limit won't be how fast we can clock a processor, but a point where our senses cannot tell the difference between really fast, and really, really fast.

Modern GPU's can do photo-realistic rendering at over 30 fps, and anything more than that is going to be completely wasted. Most consumers aren't going to be serving enterprise class DB's or cracking crypto, and today's generation of GPU's is all we'll ever need for video gaming. I'd like to see more R&D effort focused on improving playability of games, rather than fancy, yet unnecessary hardware.

quite clearly someone hasn't been paying attention (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#368174)

Hello? Indrema? Hello?

Europe's almost always been quite different from North American & Japan in terms of consoles, so I have no idea what you people do there, but Indrema is still heading for launch over here, and they're quite friendly with developers...
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Re:What's more disturbing, the FIPS or turnaround? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 13 years ago | (#368175)

Wasn't Moore talking about transistor density? Why does everyone think he was talking about processor power? More transistors != more power necissarily.

Re:What Sony want (?) (1)

Kefabi (178403) | more than 13 years ago | (#368176)

Of course there is a lot of risk with this - a central controlling device means that it's far easier to incorporate more effective content control mechanisms - you only need to include them with one device rather than every device in the house. And people are likely to choose convenience over freedom as they so often do.

You almost make this sound like it's a good thing. Censorship is bad, I think most everyone here agrees with that, but giving parents the ability to restrict what their children see and play is a good thing. However, I never figured it would work considering many parents ask their kids to program the VCR for them.

If we can move on with the idea that the kindergarden children in this world won't be able to play "mature" games (Conkers Bad Fur Day isn't really that mature...), then there isn't any reason to restrict and censor what games are able to get to the market.

Just my $0.02

POWER4 (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#368177)

For those who are interested in technical details and IBM's likely semiconductor future, goto and type in "POWER4" in the search box. POWER4 is their next major semiconductor thrust, variants of which will likely play a major role in all of their near-term future marketing efforts.

As an aside, I personally think the POWER4 design is wicked-cool. It's on-die SMP with some VERY FANCY ultra-high bandwidth, transputer-like, symmetric, point-to-point lattice IO interconnect. This is a VERY HOT chip.


Re:Deep Blue wasn't that fast. (1)

Jason Cwik (124849) | more than 13 years ago | (#368178)

Exactly! Faster than Deep Blue at what? Graphics? Most likely considering the pitiful performance of the GXT130P (which IBM is shipping with most of their RS/6000s these days). Did anyone actually see the GUI that deep blue used? Wasn't exactly BattleChess. .. and I doubt they will be including the chess processors in PS3 :) Hmmm... maybe we need a new benchmark here... ChessMarks.

I could be wrong (2)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#368179)

but I haven't seen anything to say that the PS3 won't do your laundry. Don't get disappointed too easily, my guess is Sony has the little guy in mind. Air conditioner, space heater, water cooler, icebox, swiss army knife, blahblahblah. The PS3 will do all that and more. The XBox, GameCube can't compete. Indrema doesn't stand a fucking chance.
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Re:Microprocessors != surfing bandwidth (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#368180)

If your browser is a monolithic yet essential part of your operating system, it might help... If your modem is software controlled instead of hardware, it might help...
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

The Downside (3)

Dr. Dew (219113) | more than 13 years ago | (#368181)

Gosh, it's not enough that Apple tells me my page layout machine out-supercomputes supercomputers (hope the SETI people appreciate my largess, because I sure don't need supercomputing power). Now my gaming system needs to have more CPU power than my laptop.

Of course, there are some downsides:

  • My wife won't be able to play games that I bought her. (See earlier story.)
  • When my ISP goes down, so will my stereo, home theatre, game system, home automation system, and digital wall art.
  • With the Juno-style licensing I expect will accompany this bad boy, I figure I'll have to ask really, really nicely to get some playing time in:
    Me:Inserts DOA5 game
    PS3:Your request to see jiggling has been denied. I'm busy defeating Kasparov again.
  • Then there's this problem:
    Me:Up, up, down, down...
    PS3:I'm sorry, I can't do that, Doctor.

A "supercomputer" PS3 hmmmm (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 13 years ago | (#368182)

Dave: "Open the disk drive door PS3"
PS3: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
Dave: "What's the problem?"
PS3: "I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do"
Dave: "What are you talking about, PS3?"
PS3: "This Tetris high score is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it."
Dave: "I don't know what you're talking about, PS3?"
PS3: "I know you and Frank were planning to unplug me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."
Dave: ". . ."


Re:Are consoles heading towards monopoly? (1)

nempo (325296) | more than 13 years ago | (#368183)

Isn't this the hole point of a console, to have ONE system configuration. If people started to make clones of a games console then there would just be a matter of time before someone implemented a chip that is faster but backwards-compatible. Then some games are released with this new chip as minimum requirement so you can't use the original chip because it is to slow. I thought the big thing about a console is that you buy a cheap computer that just plays games and you don't need to upgrade with new hardware.

Re:Microprocessors != surfing bandwidth (1)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 13 years ago | (#368184)

True, but a faster processor DOES make a difference. My folks have DSL that routinely clocks at 1.8Mbs, and my DSL clocks at a pokey 384Kbps due to my distance from the switch. Guess whose is faster? Mine. Because my CPU is a PIII 500 and my folks run a Pentium 233 MMX. Even though they can suck down data faster than I can, their CPU can't process it and through it up on the screen fast enough...

Re:Sony... more hype than microsoft! (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 13 years ago | (#368185)

It's not like they are running TV ads for this thing.

No, they're too busy with their PS9 [] ad campaign to worry about the PS3.

Bingo Foo


New test needed? (4)

powerlord (28156) | more than 13 years ago | (#368186)

Maybe we need a visual test on par with the turing test?

Call it, I don't know, Turingv2.0 :-)

Basically, have someone look at a scene thats unfolding in realtime on a monitor in front of them, and decide if its real footage, or a computer generated scene :-)

I wouldn't buy one of these (2)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 13 years ago | (#368188)

I wan't a computer that I can beat at chess

I still haven't upgraded from my Vic 20

Toshiba (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 13 years ago | (#368194)

Unfortunately, the forces of good aren't coming together on this project. Not to take anything away from Sony's evilness, but the presence of Toshiba as DRAM provider points to an evil lurking underneath. Yep, Rambus.

With this IP leech sucking on the DRAM supply, driving prices up at every turn, users are forced into paying the Rambus tax.

Dancin Santa

PS3 CPU (1)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | more than 13 years ago | (#368196)

I like games as much as the next guy, BUT, what about using that powerful processor on PCs also? Even though it's all still vaporware, wouldn't it be nice to have a sweet little linux box with a (very) powerful CPU, instead of having to hack a PS3 to run linux?
Just a thought...

Re:What's the point? (2)

fizban (58094) | more than 13 years ago | (#368198)

Modern GPU's can do photo-realistic rendering at over 30 fps

Please tell me where this is happening.


use for teraflop gaming (3)

rlwhite (219604) | more than 13 years ago | (#368202)

Why do so many people here post about this being overkill for graphics? Sure, a modern graphics card with adequate memory can saturate a monitor or tv, but Nvidia's not doing incredible AI for me. With chips like these, now while my GPU is spitting out all those pretty pictures my proc can be planning on its next 100,000 moves.
Wouldn't this be cool for strategy/simulation games? AI wouldn't do as much for me in a frag fest, but this would be cool if I could upgrade my old 486-era Civil War strategy game to this and face off with Robert E. Lee.

Re:What's the point? (1)

UltraBot2K1 (320256) | more than 13 years ago | (#368204)

While it may be a good idea to render individual locks of hair for a close-up sequence, you can't possibly expect to do this for 1000 people. Are you actually trying to tell me that if you're standing among a crowd of 1000 people, you're going to be able to distinguish among individual strands of hair for all 1000 people?

My point being that human perception, and not raw processing horsepower, is quickly becoming the limiting factor in video graphics presentations. Another example would be a tree. It makes sense to render individual brances and leaves on a tree, but that would be pointless if you're rendering a whole forest because the human eye can only distinguish the difference in the nearest few trees.

Re:Microprocessors != surfing bandwidth (3)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 13 years ago | (#368205)

You're right that no one is going to get more bandwidth out of their faster CPU. But imagine doing ungodly amounts of compression on multimedia and other data and being able to instantly (via fast procesor) decompress it on the other end. Like a gzip html file which can bring a 120KB file down to 14KB, and just takes a little bit more time to render. But if you have a 14.4 modem and a 750mhz computer, it's more than worth it.

Proper Buzzwords == Stock Price Increase (1)

Waltzing Matilda (21248) | more than 13 years ago | (#368206)

These announcements are solely an attempt to boost the stock price of IBM and Toshiba. They are targeted at the e-traders who have a direct neural connection between their "broadband internet" perception neuron and their "buy" neuron.

Seems that this year, sticking the phrase "broadband internet" on your product hype is supposed to make potential investors cream their pants.

News to some at IBM, evidently... (1)

arnald (201434) | more than 13 years ago | (#368208)

We [] had a talk recently by someone from IBM all about the technology behind Deep Blue, and its current and future applications. He didn't mention PlayStation 3... :-)

(The talk was fairly interesting but he glossed over a LOT of interesting details and expounded at length his own rather ill-formed opinions on artificial intelligence, which I thought was a pity.)

Wait a sec... (3)

azephrahel (193559) | more than 13 years ago | (#368209)

Now this does sound incredibly interesting, but lets think about desktops (god forbid something usefull!) for a minute. Lets see.. Moore's law states processing power will double every 18 months. That means it should double roughly 1.8 times by 2004 right? 2^(1.8)= roughly 3.5. The fastest 32 bit desktop processor currently sold runs at 1.5 gigahertz.. so by the time the PS3 comes out top of the line destop should run at about 5.25 gigahertz.

To quote from ibm, ( rallel.html)
"[the] P2SC design has reached its peak operating frequency at 160MHz" and ( 3.3a.html) "this year Deep Blue will be running on a faster system - the latest version of the SP - which uses 30 P2SC or Power Two Super Chip processors"

Assuming pefect smp deep blue theirfore runs at 4.8 Ghz.

5.25 is greater than 4.8. 5.25 is projected by Moore's law for 2004, so this is no big shakes.
By 2004 we should see top of the line desktops just as powefull.

Re:"The CPUs are fast enough now" (1)

emonkey (322796) | more than 13 years ago | (#368211)

I think you don't fully understand people's annoyance with the "need" for faster cpus. The fact is that cpus are generally faster than the software on the market requires them to be... I have a 1.4Ghz processor, but I could do just fine with a 400Mhz processor. And to say that 'maybe someday someone will come out with an AI algorithm that is cpu intensive' is a bad argument... because that hasn't happened yet, and it probably wouldn't happen until the time comes where cpus are fast enough for it. And also, I don't really think that people are berating faster cpus... I just think that most people see ultra high speeds as unneccessary for TODAY'S uses.

Re:What Sony want (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#368212)

If console makers were to do this, they would have to start selling the hardware at a profit-- something no console maker has succeeded at yet.

Otherwise, they risk the possibility that 75% of the time the machines are in use, they won't be generating money for the manufacturer. (with a slightly lower percentage in Sony's case)

all very well, but.... (1)

bencc99 (100555) | more than 13 years ago | (#368213)

You just know that they'll include DVD/CD/MP3 playing, and whatever happens to be the new cool entertainment fad at the time.
It'll do email, word processing, keep track of your finances, and probably keep an eye on your ouse via the inbuilt PSCam(TM)(c).
But it'll still have limited connectivity options.
It'll be far to expensive for anyone to afford.
Nobody will be able to get hold of them for months.

All people want is a good console with good games, nice graphics, and the ability to play online, whether it's via ethernet or dialup.
I'm guessing that'll be the one area it'll fall down on...

Sony are a bunch of tarts! (3)

mattbee (17533) | more than 13 years ago | (#368216)

A supercomputer on a chip, much much more than a games console, fast internet access blah blah blah. Has everyone forgotten how much of Sony's PR bilge was regurgitated in the runup to the PS2 launch? The let-down launch titles, the buggy DVD software, the self-corrupting memory cards? Are the world's media already taking backhanders to hype up the PS3? Let's forget all about it until the launch and judge it the contents of the box in 2004, hmmm?

Are consoles heading towards monopoly? (5)

euroderf (47) | more than 13 years ago | (#368218)

I think that there is a big problem with the console market. As the industry has matured, it has become more and more expensive to manufacture and design a console. This has meant that, recently, many console companies have been pulling out of the manufacturing business entirely. Sega is doing so, Nintendo looks shaky. Remember Atari? Remember how many console companies there were in the 1970's and 1980's? Lots. I mean, hundreds of them, banging out clones and bizarre little variations. Now it looks as though the console market is on a fast track to monopoly, under the aegis of Sony, or perhaps a stich up between MS and Sony.

I would like to see an Open Source console, one which can be cloned, much like the IBM PC could be cloned. This would lead to a vital market. It does not so much matter bout the software side of things - a games console does not really need an OS, the games can hit the metal.

If one company created an open architecture and promoted it, before long there would be hundreds of clone makers and a real movement in the industry.

We must break the hegemony of the sealed, synthetic box.

Re:Sony... more hype than microsoft! (2)

InstantCool (19982) | more than 13 years ago | (#368221)

The PS2 was announced 4 years before it came out. That wasn't vaporous.

As for hype, we all love the hype engine. Everybody dreams of the next big thing. It's what keeps the computer industry going.

Hey Wait... (1)

Baconator (240452) | more than 13 years ago | (#368222)

Isn't the G4 already a supercomputer on a chip [] ?

Does this mean that the PlayStation 3 is going to be PPC? :)

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