The chip that started in the PlayStation 3 ended up in the world’s fastest supercomputer, and heralded a heterogeneous computing future
The PlayStation 3 was an awesome system.
Even though it makes sense for current consoles to pursue a more PC-like architecture, I always loved the ambition of the cell chip, and it's a shame stuff like that didn't continue
I've always wondered what ps4 games would have looked like if they'd stuck with the cell with 8gb of ram?
It would have continued if it fared better... the PS3 had a good run, but a much slower start than the PS4 in part due to price, difficulty porting games etc... I owned both Xbox and PS3 last gen an I ended up getting a lot of third party games on Xbox for slightly better graphics (!), controller, etc. This time around i feel it's the opposite, I'd rather play everything the Sony console! :D no shame in the cell chip not continuing in my book :)
Well like the article says, they considered a Cell 2, which would have been even more powerful. That and a bunch of ram? That sure would have been something...
Yeah I hope this wasn't a case where greed hindered technological progression. There's so many stories of companies picking one technology over the other because certain people that were in control could make more money choosing the inferior option :(
I think it was less greed over profits, but rather pure survival. There was a period in the PS3's life where it was burning through money and developers were struggling - all while the rest of Sony was struggling. Over the next few years, the PS3 built up momentum, and ended pretty strongly, but it was during that fateful period when Sony were considering to make another Cell, and I think the thought of putting down another $400m for a chip just seemed too risky. And, from a business perspective, no one can fault what they did with the PS4 - with the console now the centerpiece of Sony's comeback strategy.
Most of what made CELL unique for gaming is now used in GPU's for GPU compute. IT's not quite as streamlined as it was in the CELL, but it's still there. If CELL continued, then it'd be massively more capable in a lot of things like physics, lighting, and shading than what we see with current GPU's, but current CPU/GPU combinations tend to be better at the more general purpose and more often used things you see in modern gaming. CELL was built for the way the development cycle was headed, and Sony doesn't get enough credit for thinking ahead like that. But yeah, it wouldn't make much sense to keep pushing CELL tech, since current CPU's and GPU's are more than capable.
It might have been the better technology but certainly not the best choice for Sony, it cost them badly last gen with the cost and difficulty developing for it.
indeed. I still value my classic fat Ps3, still play on it till this day.
PS3 was an awesome system PS3 is an awesome system
So many great game times with me PS3. So close to me heart Uncharted, Sonic, Gundam, The Come Back King of Gaming!!!!!!! Woohooo!
Disagree. It was a complex mess created to make it harder for the competition to get the software and it backfired. Sony is my favorite game company followed by nintendo but i wont deny their flaws/screw ups.
Still Sony's best IMO
Apart from its games, I loved the PS3 for how strange it (or Sony) could be: Cell Processor, PlayStation Home, the Spider-Man font, the boomerang controller, Wonderbook, Kevin Butler.
Playstation home was great especially that XI puzzle community game. Met so many gamers solving the puzzles together. Edit even [email protected] I felt like I was contributing to finding cures for deseases.
Oh yeah, [email protected] - that brings back memories!
Strange Sony is the best Sony
“Black holes can dodge bullets” thanks to the PS3!
I learned something new today. Cluster of PS3s = cheap, efficient, capable super-computer. Never woulda thunk.
The US Army had lots to make a super computer. "Made of 1,760 PlayStation 3 processors and 168 general purpose processors, the Condor Cluster provides extreme power for its relatively low cost. It has the ability to calculate 500 trillion floating point operations per second (TFLOPS), but was made for $2 million thanks to the cost of the PS3."
That was the US Air Force, not the US Army.
Crazy to think there's still a cluster of PS3s still running too, that's some legs right there
Some times I wish Sony was in a position to take risk like this from a gaming standpoint again. Ps3 was a great system. But pc architecture is almost mandatory at this point
Yeah, despite the success of the PS4, sadly I can't ever see anyone taking a risk like this again. For as long as home consoles exists, I think they'll rely on mostly off the shelf tech from this point on
The PS3's design was definitely not ideal for all games but some games that were really optimized for it like God of War 3 and Ascension still impress.
God of War 3 and The Last of Us made my jaw drop
It certainly meant exclusives were always a cut above the rest, that's for sure
Ascension still looks better than a lot of PS4 games
It's a shame it was never ported to PS4. God of War 3 remastered looked excellent on PS4 so Ascension would have looked even better.
What a fascinating article. I contributed many hours to [email protected] The black hole discovery is fantastic.
I used [email protected] buddy, what was the black hole discovery? Never come across that before and I'm super into science and black holes/quantum physics etc
It's at the bottom of the article - in addition to [email protected], researchers used a PS3 cluster for black hole science, and are still using 400 of them to this day.
Anyone else miss Ken Kutaragi?
Cell never became a widely used processor like Sony was hoping it’d be It still made PlayStation 3 a great console though
PS3 still awesome:)
Quite an informative read… I have a sneaking suspicion that the gaming industry hasn’t seen the last of CELL.
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