Submitted by -Mezzo- 765d ago | opinion piece

The Real Reasons Microsoft, Sony Chose AMD For The XBOX One And PS4

Forbes - It has been two weeks since E3, the world’s largest gaming show, and the final pieces of the game console puzzle are starting to come into place. The public knows what the XBOX One and the PlayStation 4 look like, what they will run, what they won’t, digital rights management and their price. Ironically, I have yet to read or hear exactly why Microsoft and Sony chose AMD silicon to power their new consoles and my goal here is to simply lay it out. (AMD, PS4, Xbox One)

Death  +   765d ago
Interesting read. the SOC design was a huge factor. Nvidia was never an option since they refuse to scale their pricing with production costs over time. Nvidia and their pricing pretty much sent the original Xbox to an early grave.
kwyjibo  +   765d ago
If that were the case with Xbox, why did Sony go with Nvidia for the PS3?

As soon as you go x86 SoC, you have to go AMD. The interesting thing from the article is that they considered ARM though.

I didn't think ARM was anywhere near close enough to be considered.
hesido  +   765d ago
Of note, Nvidia screwed Sony, contantly stating how unified shaders were not ready for mainstream and implied their DX9 cards will have separate vertex / pixel shaders, while AMD was working on Xenos. Months after PS3 release, they released their unified shader arcitechture gfx cards, which was kept under wraps, and would have been years in the making (as it was a major design change from previous cards)
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kneon  +   765d ago
ARM was considered because it's the only viable CPU that Nvidia could get access to. If you want both the CPU and GPU on the same die your only real options are ARM/Nvidia, X86/AMD or X86/Intel. And you do want them on the same die to reduce costs and power consumption/heat output.

Of those 3 options the obvious choice is x86/AMD. Intel hasn't yet matched the graphics performance of AMD, though that looks to have improved quite a bit with Haswell. And games developers are more familiar with x86 so ARM is not the best choice.

But the Author doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable about software development. The actual CPU architecture is largely irrelevant for the kinds of apps he's talking about. It's the APIs and tools that determine the ease of development unless you need to get down to the bare metal, and that will typically only be games that need that level of optimization. The facebook, twitter etc apps will just use the high level APIs.
Mounce  +   764d ago
PS3 went with Nvidia and you have to think. That's why PS3 didn't get a price cut in particular at E3. It has been quite some time since the last price cut and they chose not to because the Cost of production, between the Cell and Nvidia were still incredibly present.

With this? That'd mean PS4 and Xbox One down the road of their lives can get easier price cuts compared to the current gen which was painful for both the consumer and the companies involved.
vulcanproject  +   764d ago
This isn't some mystery.

AMD could provide an APU- a GPU + a CPU on the same package, with all the other bells and whistles at the best price.

Nobody else could deliver the whole package, either because they don't own the technology or they couldn't do it at the right price.

AMD also have a good track record with this sort of project which helps as well...
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wishingW3L  +   765d ago
because it was the cheapest option? AMD always offer better performance for the money than Nvidia but Intel CPUs utterly destroy AMD's CPUs.
ShwankyShpanky  +   765d ago
Funny, I've had Intel employees tell me different. They said it was Intel's production methods that give them the market edge, not the horsepower of the chips.
360ICE  +   765d ago
Intel promotes Intel.
Some questionable intel you've got there. Ha!
NarooN  +   765d ago
When it comes to the market share, it's because the average user has no idea about any differences between AMD and Intel. There were various cases of Intel bribing various OEM system vendors (like Dell) and consumer stores into not putting AMD chips into their products, and not selling AMD products in their stores. Google it, lol.

Nowadays, a lot of manufacturers are afraid to put AMD chips into their stuff out of fear that the average joe won't buy it because they see that fancy blue sticker on it. It's like how Bobcat destroyed Atom, yet people bought Atom-powered products anyway. Jaguar, the successor to the Bobcat design (and what is powering the CPU-side of the APU's in these systems) will further expand the performance and efficiency gains, but it won't matter since the vendors and manufacturers are too dumb to put them into more products.

In terms of production methods, I don't know what any Intel employee would mean by that besides efficiency of the chips, which is definitely a big factor in the mobile arena, but means nothing in the desktop sector. The truth is that desktop parts are NOT the main source of revenue for either AMD or Intel. Both companies are focusing more on Servers but moreso the mobile segments.
ShwankyShpanky  +   765d ago
@360ICE: Actually, I'd say that's more of a point against them than a "promotion." Basically admitted that AMD has better chips, but Intel can consistently crank out more of them.

The comment came from an Intel engineer when I was visiting one of their fabs.

@NarooN: By production methods they meant efficiency/quantity of actual chip production.
The Great Melon  +   765d ago
Intel is just years ahead everyone in the silicon industry with its fabrication methods. AMD is at the mercy of the tech that GlobalFoundries can currently produce.
vulcanproject  +   764d ago
Theres nothing really 'wrong' with AMD central processors for desktops and laptops, honestly I wouldn't mind an AMD machine.

Fact of the matter is however they are inferior to Intel as a product. They aren't as fast, they aren't as power efficient or as cool.

They just aren't. Which is why they have to be sold for less money.

Intel have the edge because they are a much bigger company with a lot more money for R&D and thus also have the absolute bleeding edge manufacturing process, while AMD make do with older processes.

Intel as always months and sometimes years on the latest process before AMD.
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xJumpManx  +   765d ago
AMD are cheaper bang for the buck, but they also run much hotter than the Intel counterparts. I always go Intel had nothing but probs with AMD chips and overheating.
ZeroX9876  +   765d ago
had a bad experience with a pentium 4 prescott back in the days, it heated like it was a hell furnace!
never had any problems with AMD, but my cooling system is well build, not something an average console can get for a decent price
SDS Gamerfiend  +   765d ago
WRONG! I have an AMD 3.3-3.7ghz Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition CPU overclocked to 4ghz on air and I idle @ 26c!Under load I'm at 35c so you're wrong buddy!
kewlkat007  +   765d ago

Can't disagree with that..I wonder what kind of power/muscle an Intel/Nvidia console collaboration would be like...
aquamala  +   765d ago
I didn't think there were reasons other than AMD submitted a lower bid
ginsunuva  +   765d ago
AMD also were already giving them CPU's. So they gave a package CPU/GPU deal.
o-Sunny-o  +   765d ago
Lower cost. I'm ready for PS4 like never before! ^~^
RandomDude655  +   765d ago
Price/Performance and manufacturing.
Larrabee was considered-too hot/large for performance
Powervr 6 didn't hit performance target
Nvidia was too conservative with licensing fees.
Cell 2 wasn't getting shrunk and was off the roadmap.

Pretty simple choice actually
#5 (Edited 765d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
OSIRUSSS  +   765d ago
Didn't MS choose Nvidia for its E3 presentation?
loulou  +   765d ago
what with the games that were running on xbox one dev kits???
ShinMaster  +   765d ago
Yeah, the ones running on windows 7 with nVidia GTX cards.

#6.1.1 (Edited 765d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(1) | Report
loulou  +   765d ago
what forza, ryse and the other one though?
Gameratheart  +   765d ago
Lol, yup. The only way ms wouldn't look weeker is to use a Titan...
NarooN  +   765d ago
More than just price, the APU concept as a whole was a huge reason, and Mark Cerny himself said this before. The fact that the CPU and GPU are on the same die, and both fully share the memory instantly without having to copy it back and forth between the CPU and GPU logic is a pretty big deal for computing in general. We will see greater gains from HSA than we would small incremental upgrades in CPU horsepower over the years in the future.

Not only do these APU's take up less space on the motherboard, but they're also more efficient in general in terms of power consumption and cost. Nvidia has no such solution available, thus they wouldn't be able to deliver anything meaningful other than some overpriced solution (would probably try to get them to put GTX Titans in these boxes, lol).

Then there's other things like Nvidia's policies for licensing fees and whatnot, and other companies didn't meet any expected requirements.

Overall, it was a no-brainer. Stuff like these APU's and SoC solutions is the main reason why AMD bought ATi all those years back in the first place. This is also why they announced that they weren't trying to overtake Intel in the performance race anymore.
ZBlacktt  +   765d ago
Ever read the story about the PS3 and the XBox 360. Almost the same case. Sony comes to IBM in the year 2000 says make us a super chip never seen before. Then 3 years later MS shows up and says " Make us one too!!! ".


It just shows Sony was first in the current Gen as well.
#8 (Edited 765d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
strigoi814  +   765d ago
On board graphics.

Scrumptious  +   765d ago
Hopefully the console wins will translate to some additional market share on PC. I read that some PC games will be released optomized for AMD hardware now. I have aways supported AMD for the price/performance and hope they get some additional market share.
BattleAxe  +   765d ago
At some point I will need to buy a new Graphics Card, and I've been super happy with my GTX 260, but perhaps I'll have to take a look at AMD.
mkotechno  +   765d ago
Want other reason? Retrocompatibility in the next-next-gen.
SDS Gamerfiend  +   765d ago
I'm currently running an AMD Radeon HD 6970 wit 2gb GDDR5 and I run battlefield 3 on ultra settings no prob!
AnteCash  +   765d ago
An ancient proverb true to this day.

mippledipple  +   765d ago
I always use AMD in my PC so I guess I can't blame them!
Lone_Man  +   764d ago
very compelling and knowledgeable article...
MuhammadJA  +   764d ago
AMD maybe great for consoles, but nVidia is still No.1 when it comes to PC GPUs. There's a reason why AMD drop support for their older GPUs not to mention how their newer ones always show stuttering when you play newer games with max settings. nVidia maybe overpriced, but you get what you pay for.
Flames76  +   764d ago
Better choice its that simple
AndrewLB  +   762d ago
The article neglects to mention the single more important factor that Microsoft and Sony based their decision on.

-AMD was the lowest bidder.

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