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INTERVIEW: Unlocking PS3's Cell Power

Unlocking the power of the PlayStation 3's Cell processor is a difficult task, but how much so? High Moon Studios' (Darkwatch) technical boss Clinton Keith tells Next-Gen how much the Cell has to offer and how his studio plans to bust the processor wide open.

Late last week, Vivendi Games and its game studios wrapped up a workshop with Cell microprocessor co-creator IBM. The point of the "Cell Summit" was to help Vivendi-owned studios such as High Moon get to know the PlayStation 3's complicated CPU.

In the midst of that workshop, Next-Gen caught up with High Moon chief technical officer Clinton Keith, who spearheaded the two-day gathering. Here, he talks about the complicated nature of PS3 development, when developers will fully realize the PS3's power, the trade-off between ease-of-development and sheer power and working with IBM further down the line.

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next-gen.biz
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CG3861d ago (Edited 3861d ago )

In 5 years time we'll still be hearing: "When will devlopers unlock the power of the cell" lol then again the sony fanboys should be masters at playing the waiting game by now!!

For the time being il enjoy playing nextgen games while the rest of you wait!!!

weekapaugh3861d ago

i have both systems, there is no difference in the graphics right now. motorstorm is a first-gen game and blows away any first-gen 360 game.

BIadestarX3861d ago

"there is no difference in the graphics right now. motorstorm is a first-gen game and blows away any first-gen 360 game." Tell that to all the reviews and comparizon between both consoles where the 360 is told to have better graphics (I'm talking about 3rd party games). Tell that to game industry for saying that Gears of War look better than anything the PS3 has so far. And I would spect the most expensive market to be more powerful on all areas; don't you think? "no difference in the graphics right now" is that a good thing? When you pay more you spect more, and since you pay more now, you should spect more now. The PS3 should be better (not the same as the 360 or less); why else with one be buying a console that has less games, inferior online service if is not better?

Merovee3861d ago

My 360 flopped 3 times. My PS3 is flawless as is my Wii. When MS can make things that aren't broken from the start they may have a chance. As of now all 3rd party games have been developed for 360 and ported to PS3 quite cheaply and easily. It's called Lowest Common Denominator. You make the game for the system with less power and port it to the system that can easily handle it lol. As for Gears, you can thank the Unreal Engine for that, not Xbox. Too bad it takes 5 hours to beat it. While for the same price Resistance has a Longer Game, More Weapons, Larger Varieties of enemies, and better replay value. Wait for the first "Made for PS3 then ported to Xbunk" titles and you'll see what a drop in quality looks like.

ArmrdChaos3861d ago

Add how many copies has Resistance sold to date?
How many awards has Resistance raked in?

You may wish to try games on something other than the "Easy" level if you wish them to last longer. The main appeal to Gears just as it is with Unreal Tournament is the multiplay, but if you prefer to just play with yourself then I guess that is your choice.

I couldn't help but notice that common word again...WAIT...been hearing it a lot.

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grifter0243861d ago

HEHE funny it was a good read and I like how he put the whole news post on the front.. Now some people will actually read the news before posting.I espically like this one " We’ve actually got a prototype on the PS3 that simulates liquid like no one’s seen before and we’ve actually built a little minigame around that to take advantage of that… The goal of this small game was that [we] might be able to put out a small downloadable game that somebody might buy for five dollars, play it on their 1080p television set with their PlayStation 3 and just really show people an experience that no other console can give them on their $3000 TV set." Someone is gonna buy a game about water and show his friends how he justify's buying a 600 dollar console.. with water... WOW brillant just brilliant I love this... It will take some time for a DEV to control the CELL but a prototype of water is something that wont justify buying this console. Sorry....

BrotherSic3861d ago

"Once those complexities are unwound, how dramatically will the PS3 development environment change?

This is what we’re looking forward to that in eight years down the road"

8 years? I know Sony kept saying about a 10 year console but if the next Xbox comes out in 3/4 years time and steps up like it has this generation then surely the PS3 will be dead within 6 years

GaMr-3861d ago

Yeah your right. Just like the PS2....

wait what ???? ; )

GaMr-3861d ago (Edited 3861d ago )

Normally let this slide. But I dont know if your interpretation of " 8 years" is because you hate sony or your biased or maybe you just dont get it. (im not flaming you) but.

He doesnt mean. Park your PS3 for 8 years its not gunna be worth crap till we get this cell thing right.

What he is saying is when you look at a game today (2007-2008 and those games already look freaking amazing) and you look at a game 8 years down the road your going to S)-(it your pants. Thats how drastically improved they will be over 8 years. Its the typical learning process on all platforms. It just appears to be more stretched out cause the "CELL" is not your conventional processor.

BrotherSic3861d ago

i understand your viewpoint but to be honest i dont buy into the 'Cell hype' just reminds me of all the talk of the emotion chip which was surpassed by the xbox after 1 year.

I just think in 6 years, technology will have moved on and be more advanced than the Cell. If it is so successful surely an competitor (Xbox) will place a new version in a new system which would have learnt from the experience of sony.

GaMr-3861d ago

But as Sony has learned the hardway. At $600 dollars and being a year behind in the competition in terms of sales not to mention have the entire media staring at them. The "All hype under deliver approach" will not cut it this gen. They played a big hype card last gen it worked due to lack luster competition. This Gen they tried it and it kinda already back fired on them. Xbox360 is banging on all cyclinders and Wii is...well...im not sure what the wii is. well anyways its all proving grounds at this point. Sony is a smart company in contrary to what you all may think. They know Hype parade aint gunna move PS3's. So no one is asking you to buy into hype. Im sure at this point none of what this guy said is hype. Hey either believes what he is saying or is under a completely wrong impression. Time will tell. But im pretty sure they Hype parade is over. Most of the news I see anyways is Sony turning over a new leaf of approach on the PS3 and im glad they did it sooner than later.

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miasma3861d ago

@ sodslawgy...Yeah i was thinking the same thing.

i am one of the many waitng on the PS3 to be more of a worthwhile buy in terms of games for me, i do hope these "workshops" get developers more up to speed and knowledgable about working with the Cell processor so the final result would be more great games sooner than later.

@ grifter024...i kind of agree with you about your view on that $5 "water" game, but it is actually a very smart move by them. Being an advertising creative director, i can definitly say that items like that work on several levels (which i won't waste time in going into), but one of which is obviously being a teaser to drive up interest, while other official games are in the works. it may be cheesy, yes, many are, but if done right can be very effect in showing off to the gaming community what is to come in the next two to three years, but just as important, can also show other developers what next-gen games should be aiming for (and hopefully good story lines go along with it) and gets everyone to start raising the bar for game developement quicker. i personally think that last part i mentioned about the developers is more important because developers, much like creatives, hopefully strive to do better with each new project.

techie3861d ago (Edited 3861d ago )

If these devs have created a mini water game with water that's so realistic...then this code is then passed onto other ps3 games. The more programming they do of things like this the bigger database of work they get to use in other games. It's all good.

Anybody think the water game is super rubadub? lol

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