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.

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Death1973d 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.

kwyjibo1973d 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.

hesido1973d ago (Edited 1973d 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)

kneon1973d 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.

Mounce1972d 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.

ProjectVulcan1972d ago (Edited 1972d 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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wishingW3L1973d 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.

ShwankyShpanky1973d 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.

360ICE1973d ago

Intel promotes Intel.
Some questionable intel you've got there. Ha!

NarooN1973d 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.

ShwankyShpanky1973d 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 Melon1973d 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.

ProjectVulcan1972d ago (Edited 1972d 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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xJumpManx1973d 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.

ZeroX98761973d 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 Gamerfiend1973d 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!

kewlkat0071973d ago


Can't disagree with that..I wonder what kind of power/muscle an Intel/Nvidia console collaboration would be like...

aquamala1973d ago

I didn't think there were reasons other than AMD submitted a lower bid

ginsunuva1973d ago

AMD also were already giving them CPU's. So they gave a package CPU/GPU deal.

o-Sunny-o1973d ago

Lower cost. I'm ready for PS4 like never before! ^~^

RandomDude6551973d ago (Edited 1973d 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

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