An x86 PlayStation 4 could signal a sea-change in the console industry

Arstechnia- The successor to the PlayStation 3, apparently codenamed "Orbis," will use an AMD x86 processor with an AMD "Southern Islands" GPU, according to rumors emerging last week. Xbox 360's replacement, purported to be named "Durango", is also rumored to use an AMD GPU—either a Southern Islands variant or an equivalent to a Radeon HD 6670—this time paired with a PowerPC CPU.

Though these rumors are thoroughly unconfirmed at the moment, they're all well within the realm of plausibility. But if they prove true, the Orbis and Durango will be decidedly mid-range at launch when compared to top-of-the-line PC hardware.

The Xbox 360, launched November 2005, and the PlayStation 3, launched November 2006, were both cutting-edge systems at their release. Their capabilities were unmatched by PCs of the time. If these rumors are to be believed, the eighth console generation won't be a repeat of the seventh.

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GraveLord2448d ago

"But if they prove true, the Orbis and Durango will be decidedly mid-range at launch when compared to top-of-the-line PC hardware."

There's a lot you can do with a dedicated graphics card on a console. A mid-range console is like a high-end PC.

Console have the luxury of optimization.
All PCs have is raw unfocused power.

kevnb2448d ago (Edited 2448d ago )

Consoles have the benefit of being pushed until it barely works capped at 30 frames per second and not letting users put settings any higher than they can handle. They also have better APIs than dx9 is on pc. Consoles have optimization sometimes, sometimes not so much. Same can be said for pc.

soundslike2448d ago

spot on.

"It runs at 30fps....when nothing is happening."

and for a pc example...S.T.A.L.K.E.R. What a beautiful mess...

ginsunuva2448d ago

Nextgen will probably cap at 60.

SephirothX212448d ago

x86 is 32 bit remember. x64 is better. Though still looks promising. The vita can control the PS4 according to rumours and developers have also started making games for it. I expect a late 2013 release.

STK0262448d ago (Edited 2448d ago )

But, isn't x64 technically x86-64? I would assume that what the author meant was that Sony could go for a more traditional architecture; which would likely mean that the PS4 and the nextbox will be pretty similar and multiplatform games should be easier to develop.

As for the Vita controlling the Ps4, sounds pretty cool, although I'm a bit skeptical, considering the Vita was once supposed to allow for remote play of Ps3 games, and we've yet to have access to this feature on the Vita.

1nsomniac2448d ago

No doubt more broken promises from Sony I would assume remote play will never see the light of day.

Information Minister2448d ago

x86 is a microprocessor architecture, just like the competing ARM architecture used by most smartphones or IBM's PowerPC currently found on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was introduced by Intel in 1978, originally with a 16-bit design and later with 32-bit and 64-bit instruction sets. The vast majority of PC processors being sold today are 64-bit, but they remain X86 in architecture.

The correct term is x86-64, but it got abbreviated to x64 once we started hitting the limitations of 32-bit software, in order to help differentiate it from previous generations of 32-bit CPUs (widely referred to as simply x86 for the last two decades) that cannot execute 64-bit code.

NiKK_4192448d ago

Yeah, but it would be x64. x86 is just the type of architecture.

moredekai2448d ago

Did he really say the consoles out did PCs at the time of their launch?

suicidalblues2448d ago

Yeah, I got a chuckle out of that too.

Persistantthug2448d ago

there was nothing else like it at the time.

moparful992448d ago

He meant in terms of architecture and specs.. DOnt get your pc panties in a bunch

cjflora2448d ago

I'm concerned they're going more for the casual gimmick deployment this time around. Less power means (to me) that they want to capitalize on the success on Nintendo and push for motion or other "hot" features over graphics.

Jobesy2448d ago

It's not less power, that's a bad way to think about it. It's just not going to be the huge graphical jump we saw from last gen to this. Besides, as long as there is more RAM, we'll be seeing big differences in fps and hopefully native 720p all around with many 1080p games as well.

cjflora2448d ago

Well, for me at least, I've liked that Sony had gone for power with the PS3. The specs we're hearing about seem like they aren't going that route this time.

yabhero2448d ago

WiiU native 1080p
If you want to disagree just remember its been confirmed.

PirateThom2448d ago (Edited 2448d ago )

I think, for the most part, graphics are OK for high end console games, nothing horrendous anyway, but more RAM and a better graphics card could definitely help.

720p standard could become 3D 1080p standard. Improved textures and draw distances. Also I think AI and particle effects are going to be more important than sheer THE GRAPHX.

Nodoze2448d ago

so the author bemoans a less the quantum leap with the next console generation. Then goes on to state that investing in proper 3D support would be 'foolhearty'. Wouldn't it make sense for the next generation of hardware to be MORE capable of running 3D games than the current generation? I think the statement is foolhearty as I WANT a fully 3D console capable of running 1080p 3D with FULL antialiasing and no loss of detail or framerate.

The 3DS has made be a believer in 3D gaming.

jetlian2448d ago

well get you a tv and 3ds will look like nothing. 3ds doesnt do 3d nearly as good. 3d tvs are getting cheaper every day

N311V2448d ago

To add to your point, in the near future I doubt it will be possible to buy a TV that's not 3D. Penetration is increasing, before long the small market share that is 3D will be the majority.

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