How 300 tech stars in 2 countries worked 5 years to create a revolutionary chip, born in Austin.
Richard Doherty got an early glimpse of Sony Corp.'s forthcoming PlayStation 3 video game console a few months ago as it whizzed through a demonstration of a road-racing game featuring Manhattan street scenes in brilliant cinematic detail.
"My jaw dropped when I saw the high-definition rendering," said Doherty, a technology analyst who works for Envisioneering Group. "The detail was fantastic. It will captivate people."
When Sony contacted IBM to create a new chip for its next PlayStation, IBM asked Jim Kahle to lead the project. Kahle, with a silicon wafer that goes in the processors, helped the teams overcome language and cultural barriers. When they did, they created a chip estimated to generate billions of dollars.
PlayStation 3 makes its debut in U.S. stores Nov. 17, a week after its release in Japan, and it's expected to be a big hit despite a hefty price tag and limited supply before Christmas. Global sales of about 38 million consoles by the end of 2008, plus more revenue from game software, are expected to give a significant boost to the $26 billion interactive gaming industry.