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As PS3 ends production, lets see what Phil Harrison said about it in 2006

Gamesradar's Leon Hurley writes: "PS3 production is ending in Japan as we speak, and likely the rest of the world soon after. Sure, it had some problems over the years, costing way too much at launch, while the Cell chip caused trouble as developers got to grips with it.

I think you'll all agree it evened out in the end eventually. However, what did Sony think of their then new baby in the months leading up to launch? Let's delve back into a 2006 Official PlayStation Magazine interview with then head of Worldwide Studios, Phil Harrison, to find out."

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Sunny_D2664d ago

The PS3 was a beast. Best looking console games came out on it. The cell was ahead of its time, in fact it still is ahead of its time to be honest.

Godmars2902664d ago

Still say that if things had been held off for a year or two things would have been different. If not better.

Would have gotten Eight Days to Vegas at the very least.

nitus102664d ago

If the PS3 was delayed for a year then the XBox360 would have had an additional year lead.

Sony had to remove haptic feedback from their controller due to litigation which Microsoft supported https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... although Sony later did come to an agreement with Immersion which resulted in the Dual Shock 3. In addition, there was also the Bluray versus HDDVD format war and again Microsoft prolonged the war by supporting HDDVD and by creating an addon player although they never made an internal HDDVD player for their XBox360 https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... .

Godmars2902664d ago

*Everything* should have been delay. Launched when it was technically ready and understood, rather than corporately expedient.

The 360 should have been held back, which likely would have kept RRoD from happening, allowed for better quality testing at least, while the delay of UE3 would have made any number of early MS and Sony titles viable rather than buggy flops. Maybe even saved Too Human.

As for BR vs HDDVD, given how that turned out, the overall waste of money and effort which netted MS nothing in the end, I don't even know why you brought it up.

ShadowKnight2664d ago

I wanted them to make a Syphon Filter

ABizzel12664d ago

PS3 would have been significantly more successful if Cell was replaced with a more traditional CPU, and a more powerful GPU / RAM.

Cell was a powerhouse for the console years down the line, but it was also the biggest issue for the console the first 3 - 4 years of it's lifecycle.

1. Without Cell PS3 could have launched at $399 and $499 without taking a huge loss like it did.
2. Launched with 3rd party parity or even better support than the 360, and avoided the bad media (Valve)
3. Had more software features and parity with 360

3 things significantly more important than anything Cell provided.

bouzebbal2664d ago

been playing on consoles since Atari 2600 and PS3 is the best one i ever owned.
i could experience genres outside my comfort zone and i ended up loving them, and some amazing IPs (Dead Space, Uncharted, LBP..).

rainslacker2663d ago

Sony actually wanted to release sooner than they did, but they had to wait it out for the optical drive to become available through sourcing which delayed it over 6 months at first.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2663d ago
masterfox2664d ago

Yep is still is, Killzone 2 for example incredible ragdoll effects and physics looks insane even by todays standards, I can go all the way to the first Uncharted, the motion of Drake and how it reacts to the environment and shooting gameplay parts is just damn impressive, there are dozens of examples how the PS3 can hold up against todays new gaming tech easily.

2664d ago Replies(2)
Imalwaysright2664d ago

The cell was a disgrace for Sony and game development. I have no idea of what you're talking about.

2-bit_hustler2664d ago (Edited 2664d ago )

He’s talking about what ex-AMDer Christophe Riccio [1] and ex-ICE Team /Naughty Dog programmer Cort Stratton [2] were talking about 3 years ago.

[1] https://twitter.com/g_truc/...

[2] https://twitter.com/postgoo...

rainslacker2663d ago

Almost every aspect of how the PS3 was designed is now commonplace in modern game development. Not in the same set up as the RSX/SPE's, but in how all that worked together to actually make the machine a powerful system....which is was if it was used the way Sony actually intended it to be used.

Disgrace isn't what I'd call it. Trendsetting is more apt.

Imalwaysright2663d ago (Edited 2663d ago )

@ rainslacker

And what did it help sony and devs last gen? Sony had a console €200 more expensive than the 360 being outperformed left right and center in most multiplatform games in last gen initial years and when the devs got to grip with the cell, the PS3 it was STILL being outperformed in most multiplatform games. Sony lost billions with the PS3 last gen and half the market share they had in the previous gen. The cell, the separate pools of memory and the blu ray drive that was not needed last gen (360 outperformed the PS3 throughout the whole gen with a DVD9 drive) were a disaster for Sony.

Then we have the developers side https://www.cnet.com/news/s... so what did this meant for devs? Definetely higher development costs, more sleepless hours http://www.denofgeek.com/us... and most likely delayed games.

"Trendsetting" ?! Which console today has a PPE and multiple SPEs? None, absolutely none because that architecture was a disaster. Cerny knew it http://www.eurogamer.net/ar... Gabe knew it https://www.engadget.com/20... and devs knew it http://www.businessinsider....

PS3 Crazy ken is gone and then PS4 Cerny comes along with a completely different design "philosophy". He went out of his way to ask devs what they wanted from the PS4 maybe because he is a developer himself and understood that the cell meant for developers. The PS4 has a AMD Jaguar with X86 architecture in all its glory. Much easier to develop, less expensive to develop for and way easier to take the most out of the hardware which is good for us, the consumer.

rainslacker2662d ago

Wasn't talking about how it helped or didn't, and neither were you as far as I can tell. I was talking about how it wasn't a disgrace as you stipulate. Sony designed their system because they knew this was the way game development was headed. They didn't do it in a way that was easy though, and with the new architecture which was unfamiliar, it made it harder to develop for early on. As the generation progressed, it wasn't as much of a problem, because devs learn, and all those things they learned last gen they carried over into this gen, because the way the PS3 was meant to be used is now what is being done.

In the process, Sony and IBM now get all sorts of money from patent rights, because many of the new things seen in GPU's over the last 10 years are directly from CELL architecture and RSX principals.

Such a disgrace huh?

Now, is your argument to refute my reply just a change in subject? If so, fair enough. The difficulty of the CELL came down to the fact that it required resources on the part of devs to learn new things which take time, and even more time to become fully acquanted with them. But they did learn, because they wanted to make better games, and in the process learned techniques which they will still use today.

Sony should have maybe been better at preparing devs for it, but at the same time, they built their machine with the intention of allowing devs to have some amazing resources for making games well beyond what other tech was available at the time. They gimped the system in some places though, namely memory, and that probably hurt them more than anything.

Anyhow, I know what devs said about the CELL. I was there when it released. I heard all the fan boy arguments who made out those comments to be more than it ever was. I don't need to reread the quotes. Later, I worked with PS3. While it was certainly different, it wasn't that hard to figure out. And when you actually do figure it out, it is quite remarkable what they achieved for the time of it's release. It's a shame that it never actually could manage to utilize all that power in full. Even ND couldn't do that, because the set up had limitations, and a lot of the CELL's power did go to waste.

Imalwaysright2662d ago (Edited 2662d ago )

I wasn' specific in my original comment as to why I criticized the cell and after I told you why I criticized it, you're telling me that I'm trying to change the subject? I was talking about hardware or if you will PS3 architecture and how it hurt Sony and game developmet, not how games were being programmed.

"they built their machine with the intention of allowing devs to have some amazing resources"
What? Then why make it hard to develop on purpose and make it hard for devs to tap those "amazing resources"? That makes no sense whatsoever to me.

"Later, I worked with PS3. While it was certainly different, it wasn't that hard to figure out."

Kaz Hirai disagrees, Cerny disagrees, Gabe Newell disagrees, many other devs disagree and I empirically disagree considering how the PS3 was outperformed throughout the whole generation by a supposedly weaker console.

I'm not very knowledgable on the subject and what I know is from hearing those guys, the games themselves and Sony's actions: complete 180 in terms of design philosophy with no more dumbass, facepalming inducing difficult consoles to develop for and a change in architecture from the cell with its PPE and SPEs to a x86 architecture. An 180 that clearly is paying dividends considering that the PS4 is far more successful sales wise in the same time frame and has much more goodwill from the industry itself than its predecessor.

2-bit_hustler2660d ago

Multi-plats aren’t the measure. The PS3’s top-tier exclusives are, and they outperformed EVERYTHING in the XB360’s portfolio (multi-plats and exclusives) at both the pixel level (lighting, shading, etc.) and technical level (real-time physics, simulation, animation, etc.).

The Cell, a UNIFIED memory architecture and Bluray storage of uncompressed assets were to thank for that. Sure, you can compile a mile long list of devs that hated the Cell; but in time their hatred of what the Cell represented will come back to bite them. Mike Acton put this way:

“Yeah, multi-core isn't tomorrow's tech - it's here now. You can kind of get away with it on other contemporary platforms, but next-gen, and the gen after that - there's no option. These are skills and lessons that you have to learn in order to survive in this industry. Another example is to take the generation jump between the SNES/Mega Drive and PlayStation/Saturn … People didn't survive, and they bitched, but you have to do it because the world changes.” [1]

SIE lost billions and market share to get out ahead of a changing world [2][3][4]; but its devs gained the skill of using asynchronous compute engines (ACE) and learned how to program the PS4’s GPU (Southern Islands-based) ~ 8 years in advance by using the PS3’s SPEs.[5][6]

The Cell isn’t just a PPE and multiple SPEs (hardware). It’s also SPURS and STM (software). STM can be implemented in any hardware via customization. [7]

When done, the hardware can then “replicate” the behavior of SPURS. [8]

That means the hardware becomes a virtual Cell. So, the question of what console today has a PPE and multiple SPEs is of no importance.

[1] see last Q & A http://www.develop-online.n...

[2] play 8:29 – 8:42 https://www.youtube.com/wat...

[3] see slides 22 & 23 http://www-05.ibm.com/hu/ne...

[4] see slide 19 http://ai2-s2-pdfs.s3.amazo...

[5] https://twitter.com/repi/st...

[6] https://twitter.com/postgoo...

[7] see list of inventors as well as entries [0013] & [0015]; also see entry [0070] regarding program code 1103 for (ASIC) or other hardware circuitry http://www.google.com/paten...

[8] see 3rd & 4th quotes http://www.gamechup.com/ps4...

2-bit_hustler2660d ago (Edited 2660d ago )

With an STM-ized APU, the CPU covers PPE functions and the GPU covers SPE functions. Shuhei Yoshida said of the latter:

“There are a lot of hidden powers in our system. You may be familiar with GPGPU and PS4 has a lot more GPGPU processing in it, which is difficult to learn and master, similar to a Cell processor.” [9]

Before I cap this off, here are 2 quotes from 2 different devs separated by 7 years regarding the PS3 & PS4.

Shaun Himmerick:

"We had to play catch up on the PS3 because of the memory constraints and how it renders -- how it processes is just different. And it's harder on the PS3. The Xbox is just like a dumb PC, which is great because it's easier to build a game on a PC." [10]

Stefano Castillo:

“We all come from a PC background, except one developer who has experience with Rockstar Games. But yes it was difficult. PS4 required a total rewrite of the graphics engine because the way you need to work on the console is totally different." [11]

What does that mean for devs? It means that the inglorious x86 is no savior; and that the true nature of the PS4 is one of PS3-like difficulty.

As for Gabe Newell and those of his ilk, they are defenders of an archaic lethargic PC convention. Anything that challenges or defies it is a “disaster” to them.

[9] see the last paragraph of 7th Q & A http://www.gamesindustry.bi...

[10] see 3rd paragraph https://www.engadget.com/20...

[11] see 1st quote http://www.teamvvv.com/en/n...

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2660d ago
TWB2664d ago

The Cell was a fascinating piece of technology, but Im not sure if we can call it "ahead of its time". I guess it depends on your definition.

It was a pain to develop for, and it was done so intentionally, because Sony would have loved to have a near monopoly with the system after PS2. If people would have fell in love as strongly as they did for the PS2, the idea was to force devs choose or prioritize PS3 due to the nature of development for Cell, and that way choke the competition. Not something incredibly malicious, but just business as usual.

The development difficulties were their own thing, but PS3 also significantly increased the time required to get anything substantial running on the machine. I dont remember the exact term used for this timeframe, but I recall Sony or some dev gave examples about the required effort. On PS1, you only needed 3 months, PS2 bumped it up to 6 months and PS3 even further to 9 months. I think they also mentioned that PS4 brought that time back to 6 months (even with the complexities of modern games).

2-bit_hustler2659d ago

Dominic Mallinson defines “ahead of its time” as the Cell being the precursor to today’s APUs. [1]

Peter Hofstee defines “ahead of its time” as the industry moving in the direction of C/GPUs. [2]

So how “we” define the Cell being ahead of its time doesn’t matter.

Moreover, the Cell wasn’t intentionally made a pain to develop for because of that rubbish John Carmack/Gabe Newell conspiracy theory you pushed.

When Mike Acton [3][4] was asked whether he believed the Cell was a nightmare to develop for, he answered:

“What I've always said is that bad code, and bad data design in particular, is bad on any architecture, but it's particularly bad on the PS3 because the Cell is a much more modern, much more heterogeneous design. It's much more parallel, and so requires good data design and good code. So if you're poorly designing your data and your code, then yeah, I can see why it'd be difficult to take something like that and try and manipulate it to work on the PS3, especially when people have invested a huge amount of money and time on something that basically doesn't fit a modern methodology. Yeah, it's going to be time-consuming to get that to work - if it's at all possible.” [5]

Non-performance programmers -- who make up most of the industry -- love it when processors allow them to be as sloppy and undisciplined as they want. The Cell left them little to no room for that, so devs whined and cried about it.

By the way, a much shorter ‘time-to-triangle’ doesn’t amount to much, because Stefano Castillo said of the PS4 when trying to port Assetto Corsa:

“We all come from a PC background, except one developer who has experience with Rockstar Games. But yes it was difficult. PS4 required a total rewrite of the graphics engine because the way you need to work on the console is totally different." [6]

[1] play 8:29 – 8:42 https://www.youtube.com/wat...

[2] see slides 22 & 23 http://www-05.ibm.com/hu/ne...

[3] http://cellperformance.beyo...

[4] see slide 7 https://d3cw3dd2w32x2b.clou...

[5] see 4th Q & A http://www.develop-online.n...

[6] see 1st quote http://www.teamvvv.com/en/n...

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2659d ago
ShadowKnight2664d ago (Edited 2664d ago )

PS3 and Metal Gear Solid 4 was a beast!! NTM, the last of us :)

FallenAngel19842664d ago

People laughed at and mocked Sony's 10 year plan for PS3.

The fools

InKnight7s2664d ago

Last long term console and now lets new mid gen era begin.

OldGuyStillGaming2664d ago

I hated that I had to go through 3 systems
1 through warranty but still...
One of my favorite consoles of all time