PlayStation 4 Ditching The Cell Processor, Sources Say, Which Leads to Some Wild Theories.

The PlayStation 4 will not use Sony's Cell processor nor any possible successor to the vaunted chipset that was introduced to the world through the PlayStation 3, gaming industry sources tell Kotaku.

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NYC_Gamer2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Sony should ditch the cell since its been nothing but problems for developers.

Colwyn2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

the cell gave developers problems but it gave amazing results of high quality games like uncharted , killzone and such. the cell isnt a new thing anymore so developers should be useto it by now. it doesnt really matter to me anyway, because my hopes are that the ps4 will play ps3 games and be more than 10 times as powerful as a ps3.

aCasualGamer2423d ago

Since PSV just launched, i believe they are taking that into consideration when developing PS4. They wan't to use a chip and architectural design that suits well for integrating it with PSV.

I really hope that's the case.

RedDead2423d ago

Shoulda ditched the cell for a better GPU imo

raytraceme2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Agreed why use another chip when developers are really getting used to the cell.

Take frostbite 2, ue3, cryengine 3, and Sony's first dev. engines for a look and see how optimized cell is for these major engines.

Why would developers want a new chip from Sony when there are next gen engines that are optimized for the cell???

You guys should also note that the cell is remarkably good at scaling so a 32 core cell can be used at about (I think it was) 80% efficient, maybe more by now.

Also cell is highly optimized for physics calculations so lets not forget about that when it comes to future gaming where destruction is a must.

Shaman2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Cell is very good at parallel computing (like GPU) but its much worse at that than good GPU. Its nice CPU that gives alot of performance per watt, but new cpu designs are much more efficient and dev friendly, and with beefy GPU they will be able to get good ports and 3rd party games like 360 this gen. There is no need for CPU design thats almost decade old. It was good for its time, when they didn't have good enough GPU, but now, 20% faster GPU will result in better graphics than couple of SPEs. There is no need for that anymore...

Every penny is better spent on GPU than CPU when it comes to graphics. Thats how it was, thats how it is and thats how it will be. It comes with lots of bonuses too : easier to port, easier to develop, cheaper and in the end better. They learned from PS3, that can be seen with Vita and probably PS4.

EDIT @raytrace me
Don't forget that developers have trouble keepeing 6 SPUs in line as it is, with 32 there would be whole lot of stalls and performance problems. It would be literally pain in the ass to develop for. Beside, you would be better of with good DX11 GPU anyway.

kaveti66162423d ago

No one wants to get used to doing six times more work than they have to.

It's not like getting used to waking up early in the morning.

Oner2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

@ RedDeadDestroyer ~

"Shoulda ditched the cell for a better GPU imo"

Why? The 360 has a "better" GPU, yet it hasn't produced ANY titles near that of God of War 3, The Killzone Series, The Uncharted Series, The 2 GT Games, Heavy Rain, MGS4, anything near/like TLoU and quite a few others...

I wonder what a talented dev with a PS4 based on/off the Cell but with a better GPU and more ram would be capable of creating.

@ raytraceme ~ +WellSaid

NewMonday2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

this would give a reason to why pick AMD and replace the cell:
"AMD will provide both the CPU and GPU for the PS4, meaning that AMD, not Sony, would engineer the main processing and graphics chips for the machine. Should AMD be doing that, they could go with the AMD Fusion architecture, which puts CPU and GPU on the same chip"

and another bonos is that developers wont need much time to make games for it, multi-plat games just need to be simply rescaled

inveni02423d ago

I doubt they're ditching the CELL. The CELL gave a lot of power and flexibility. The only real issue wound up being GPU and memory. If the PS3 had had a better GPU and 1GB of RAM (or even just the RAM), few people would have ever complained .

They should stick to the same arch but improve the SDK.

pain777pas2423d ago

aCasualGamer makes a good point. They will have to take into account that people would or should want to play their PS3 games on the next Sony console and should plan accordingly. The next generation is going to be wacky. I do not know whether to be excited or terrified. I hope Sony sits back and releases a console to be remembered. 4th home console and 6 PS branded device. Boy how time flies. They should keep in mind or the gaming community that some PS1 games are still playable and may offer more content then this generation... I will site the front mission 3. Somehow, they have to create a device that is easy for developers to use and get something up and running fast. You know it was such a revelation watching the dev awards and hearing how instumental Epic was to saving the 360 from what Epic said would have been a disastre. ND, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla G, Japan studios and Santa Monica studios need to be consulted on how powerful the box should be. Epic will help Microsoft again for better or worse but judging from how much I like the Vita I think that they should take the same approach with the PS whatever it will be called.

DragonKnight2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

There are two things I'd like to bring up for discussion. One is something people should already know, and the other is something I'd like opinions on from the more tech savvy individuals.

First. Kaz said that he's bringing in the first party devs to help create the next PS system. He said their input would be the most valuable because they know what they want to work with, what they'd want to try out, and how to go about making it simple yet effective for them to do it. Working with Sony R&D, devs like Sony Santa Monica or Naughty Dog could have a say in how the PS4 handles the games they want to make, and that would be a very good thing.

Second. Wouldn't it be possible for Sony to have a Cell chip simply as a redundant chip to be used for PS3 BC and have a completely different chip design for the main PS4 tasks and games? I mean, they did it with the launch PS3's and their BC by adding the Emotion Engine chipset for PS2 emulation, why couldn't they do it again? That way people could have their cake and eat it to. I also highly doubt that it would be so expensive either, considering how much Cell's production costs have dropped. Just a thought.

ProjectVulcan2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Does NO ONE but me read technology sites? It was pretty much certain CELL would not be used in their next generation machine after the development of the processor was effectively ended two years ago. Assuming Sony are going for a heavily uprated machine, then CELL is outdated and outmoded.

Its only real chance of being in a new machine is for backwards compatibility, as CELL just can't be emulated in software easily.

The CPU is almost certain to be a POWER7 or derivative thereof. This is a far more modern RISC architecture, and would in all truth be far better for games than CELL could be. CELL's terribly small and slow local storage and no branch prediction is frankly rubbish for game code. What you really want is a big fat unified chunk of cache. Just like every modern desktop scale processor....

CELL cost sony a fortune and while it enabled a few select games to do excellent things, despite PS3 coming out a year later PS3 has rarely demonstrated much more performance than 360. Be honest, PS3 is a year newer and it should thrash 360 in every game, multiplatform or not, but it doesn't.

This is a combination of factors but also the blame must lie in no small part with the CELL, with the difficulty developers have had, with the weak programming tools around initially. With the ill conceived idea of trying to use another CELL as a GPU before being replaced late on by an Nvidia GPU.

Developers DO NOT WANT to have to split their code into dozens and dozens of threads. It is simply inefficient, time consuming, difficult and terribly expensive as a result for them. Why else do you think the most powerful platform around- PC, still utilises only 4 or 6 large cores instead of dozens of smaller ones.

Be realistic, it is already hard for developers and publishers to survive with the spiralling cost of game development. A straightforward machine would be welcomed by developers and would ultimately be better and more positive for the industry as a whole.

Sony must give developers what they want this time around, instead of dictating to them. Lets face it the games are what the machine is all about, so the guys that make the games plus their support is the most important asset a console can have.

dcbronco2423d ago

Dragon that would be adding a $30 chip for something Sony has always claimed wasn't wanted. They will most likely be focused on keeping cost down.

Computersaysno2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Sony ditched backwards compatibility long ago. Dont forget that most Ps3s sold do not play PS2 games. Really i think they realised it was expensive and not really that important to the consumer. Well how can it be, if everyone (you lot) still bought a PS3 that didnt play Ps2 games?

People will moan for ten minutes, then shut up and buy the new machine anyway. You know you would. Which is why sony should concentrate on that now.

People should just get over the BC thing. Keep your old machine if you want to play the original titles. I know it is nice if you can replace an old box with a new one and keep the old functionality but it would only made the new machine costlier.

Sony already quit on BC once this gen. I would not be that surprised if they forgot about it totally with their next machine because of how difficult it would be to emulate cell, or expensive to include it. You shouldnt be surprised either.

yabhero2423d ago

Ten time as powerful sounds expensive... I think it will be more powerful than WiiU and NextBox... put Sony it stupid enough to overpower it again. If Ninty and MS and easily do 6 times I say PS4 does 7 maybe 8. Though you'll only see that in exclusives.

ZippyZapper2423d ago

No it gave Sony "amazing results" everyone else had problems.

thehitman2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

To be honest I think it would be smart if Sony re-used the exact Cell in the ps3 in the ps4. Its still an extremely strong processor and because they use the same one they could spend more money on R&D on making smaller chipset more effecient and then spend loads on the GPU which what the weakpoint of the ps3 was. Much better GPU more ram and thats all you need in a ps4. Sony could easily build a machine that way that can output 1080p @ 60 frames with only a 150-200 dollar price hike. A major problem with the cell was it was too ahead of its time in terms of complexity but now developers should be more accustomed to it and them knowing it will be the same means they dont have to relearn something new and old engines they can just build upon them especially their first party studios.

sikbeta2422d ago

No BC will be a total fail, this gen pushed psn/live games + dlc and all that, PS3 BC cannot be avoided this time, PS4 should have it...

TheXgamerLive2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

First off sony should keep the cell, the ps3 wasn't given enough power, 360 either. But w/the cell it had 256 + 256 w/approx. 83 of that going to the Operating system o.s. so it made devs have to pull hard to do what they needed well that and the cell was cross desined w/other hardware in mind besides gaming.
I think sony should tweek it for gaming only make it BW compatable and then maybe make it a 14 core cell w/atleast 8 gigs of memory. Give it something to work with so devs don't have to spend 2x to 3x as much on developing than Xbox devs do.

Both have learned from their mistakes and I know what were hearing is only rumors, same with Xbox and the durango specs, those specs are a joke. What we will see from both systems are truly going to be incredible I believe.

I'm a diehard Xbox gamer but more importantly i'm a gamer and I wanna see sony improve and utilize the cell.

NewMonday2422d ago

they could have a model with the CELL, and a cheaper one without it.

Kos-Mos2422d ago Show
Exoil2422d ago Show
andibandit2422d ago

VulcanProject speaks the truth

DeadlyFire2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

Cell 2.0 is blended into Power7. The 32 SPU design vs. the 8 core Power7 with 32 threads. Is it really all that different?

Cell developed 2005. Power 7 developed 2010.
Cell = 90 nm Power 7 = 45 nm Power7+ = 32nm.
Cell does 256 Glops. Power 7 does 264 Gflops
Cell does up to 4.25+ Ghz as it was tested. Power 7 does up to 4.25 Ghz.

Cell 2 had rumors of up to 4 PPE and 8 SPEs per PPE with 32 threads. Basically 4 cores with 8 threads per core.

Power 7 has 4 core, 6 core, 8 core. With up to 4 threads per core with 8 core maxing at 32 threads.

Almost parallel to Cell technology if you ask me. Which is why I believe they stopped Cell 2 design in 2009. It basically would mirror Power 7 design/performance. There is also this.

Its not going to be impossible for PS3 games to be compatible with Power series CPU. I would understand if it were say NVIDIA or AMD based CPU. Its still built around same principles as Cell tech. Just in a simpler fashion with up to 5+ times the power of Cell. Its certainly possible it can emulate it just fine.

ProjectVulcan2422d ago

It is true concepts and ideas from CELL have made their way into modern IBM power chips. CELL lives on in some design lessons in POWER7 but the idea of having SPEs each with a small amount of local memory and a dispatcher type general purpose core like the PPE is finished.

POWER7 is closer to conventional RISC design and typically has a huge wad of unified cache. Any POWER derivative for console would probably be a custom core with maybe less cache than the server variants but it would still be a very capable CPU and well suited to a developer friendly console architecture. RISC in this form is well known and well understood by any dev worth their salt.

Brosy2422d ago Show
Bebedora2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

Shaman: I think you are correct. Cell equals parallel processing and programmers will not really make use of it in a near future. It's just too complicated, statement of a guy from IBM. As stated, it can do math, like for a HPC, if I am correct.

I was hoping using Cell in the PS3 would evolve parallel processing tech to a mature state, and evolve more. But I think now it is like banging your head at a brickwall and getting one inch, while more conventional, prooved and tested progamming methods will get yards ahead in using the hardware.

Just look at the XB360. It is very 'competent' just because Cell programming is so advanced and cripples the result. Kudos to the ND team and others to harness this processor so well. Othe constraints are to add to it all, like the bandwith of memmory and it's limits. Today I can say all this without feeling I am that wrong.

I think parallel processing is the future, but the tools aren't there yet to use in a commercial product. It is the wrong way at this point. Sadly.

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Nozzle2423d ago

I don't think Cell would appreciate you saying that...

Persistantthug2423d ago

Also, without a CELL PROCESSOR, or some sort of CELL "related" cpu, then there can be no PS3 backwards compatibility.

That would mean many of the games that were made and purchased in the store, they wouldn't work anymore.

Show us even a remote piece of evidence, or I call this an EXTREME rumor.....certainly a baseless one.

Ulf2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

I agree that there couldn't be PS3 BC.... but there could be PS2 and PS1 BC.

Maybe that's enough. Alternatively, they could like they did with the PS3, and include a tiny fab process Cell in the first edition PS4's, to allow BC, and then axe it later.

one2thr2422d ago

Yeah I agree with, what Persistant said.... And my guess is that some folks forgotten that Sony had actually bought/ purchased the CELL manufacturing plant from Toshiba back in 2011 and that its what's powering the new Playstation Tv's... Guess not everyone remembered that, but then again it could of been a figment of my imagination as well....

B1663r2422d ago

IBM shit canned cell development back in 2009 basically because the cell was crap. I think the fact that the cell has been dead as far as new researd and development for over three years now is evidence enough to know that the cell was dead end...

Persistantthug2422d ago

in 2011 Toshiba developed a Cell Processor spinoff called CEVO....They use it for their TVs.

I too was told that Sony use CELLs in some of their TVs. Had you heard that, B1663r?

Kurylo3d2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )


How many TVs do u know that do realtime 3d graphics? Im sure the only "derivative" of the cell that they have is a peice of cheap junk designed to power things like .... TV menus. Why go out and buy normal processors for your tvs when u can build cheap ones in house and save money. Know what i mean?

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JsonHenry2423d ago

It is good to see Sony learning from their mistakes. Yes, in theory, the CELL could have been awesome. But it didn't turn out that way. At least not in terms of price of R&D vs. performance.

I'm betting Sony will hit a grand slam next round and it will be MS who is getting too cozy at the top that has a rough generation.

hesido2422d ago

It wasn't CELL that really held PS3 back, it was the GPU. When the GPU wasn't helped by cell in multiplats, cell wasn't responsible for lack of AA or lesser resolution. Those are (traditionally) gpu bound applications.

Tsar4ever012422d ago

All I can say about this, is If this latest rumor is true? EVERYBODY, PLEASE SCREAM ALL TOGETHER,


Hah, But more seriously, though wow, where the hell did THIS come from? The CELL is a GREAT processor, but it will forever go on the listing in gaming history as the "BITCH TO DEVOLOP FOR" game console processor right along side of the Sega Saturn's chip, & PS2's emotion chip.

But the CELL BE had a trump weapon, and too bad ONLY the minority 1st party devs were capable of exploiting that weapon to show what the ps3 was capable of when devs know what the hell they were doing. I hope sony uses the Power7 from IBM it's said to be at least 10 times the processing power of the CELL BE, and it's instruction set is every bit as traditional PC's CPUs, so dev won't have any probs making, or port games to it.

geddesmond2422d ago

Nah I don't think they'll ditch the cell. I do think they'll have a new graphics chip in the PS4 along with 8 to 12 cells for performance back up but Sony is too heavily invested in making the cells that they won't walk away. Especially with the financial troubles the company has been in the last few years.

I mean it the cost of making cell chips for sony must cost peanuts per chip by now. Investing in something new would be very costly.

Kurylo3d2422d ago

Its called the next gen. Cell is last gen, it costs peanuts at this point for a reason. Its a weak ass processor compared to todays cheap computers.

geddesmond2422d ago


You obviously over estimate the power next gen is going to be.

2422d ago
TheMailman2422d ago

Why should Sony join mediocrity and ditch Cell?

2419d ago
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LX-General-Kaos2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

That may have been the best possible thing to do. Like it or not it has only brought trouble and bad fortune to the Sony Playstation. This time im sure it will be something much easier to develop for.

Sony has a better shot if they build their hardware around the wishes of 3rd party developers as they have done with the Playstation Vita. There will no longer be inferior multiplat titles for the Sony Playstation.

Rated E For Everyone

TruthBTold2421d ago

That's what I think. Ps4 will be inspired by the vita. Powerful, easy and cheap to develop for.

ChiVoLok02423d ago

They will now use the Cell 2

dirthurts2423d ago

Did you even read the article?
There really is no benefit to using a complicated cpu like the cell. Especially not when other chips are faster, cheaper, and easier to code for.

ChiVoLok02423d ago

Yeah I read it I just ignored it. Don't take it so seriously.

kneon2423d ago

It has many benefits, one of which is scalability. A new chip with more and faster SPUs would be trivial for developers to adapt to. And then of course there is backwards compatibility.

One thing everyone seems to overlook is that not long ago Sony bought out Toshiba's share of the cell fab for quite a lot of money. That doesn't seem like a move they would make if they were planning on ditching the architecture.

one2thr2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

EXACTEMUNDO!! KNEON WELL SAID, FOR A MINUTE THERE I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY PERSON THAT KNEW THAT... AND KEEPING THE CELL WILL ALSO WARD OFF ANY POSSIBLE PIRACY PROBLEMS.... For example: There isnt a house hold or even a custom built pc capable of emulating a PS3 game, hell my pc can run BF3 on ultra and yet it can't run a PS2 emulated game at stable frame rate... Sad but true

Iceman X2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

If titles like Uncharted 1-3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 2&3, Infamous 1-2, Motorstorm 1-3, God of War 3 and so many more can do it. Then keep it, to hell with the lazy developers. All quality games came from 1st party devs that know what THEY'RE doing with the cell and how to make good qaulity games, if others devs can't learn then too bad. I mainly only buy PS3 only games anyway. Besides the Cell is STILL the faster CPU on the planet.

DarkBlood2423d ago

you do realize they have no other choice right? thier sony "owned" first party studios for a reason

Shaman2423d ago

If they put as much money from Cell to GPU design they would get all those games and they would look even better. Most important thing, ports and 3rd party games would be piece of cake to do on that console, and they would be better too.

rob60212423d ago

I have a hard time taking you as impartial in a GPU vs CPU topic with an avatar like that.

ShaunCameron2423d ago

That's because those developers are Sony-owned except the studio who made MGS4. The very same developers who also admitted that the PS3 is a MF'er to make games for due to the Cell resulting in games taking much longer than necessary to make, higher development costs and delayed release dates.

Leonex2423d ago

I completely agree with Iceman X..It's these lazy developers..And the Cell is still a beast...

tmoss7262422d ago

What lazy developers? So basically every non first party dev?

Titanz2423d ago (Edited 2423d ago )

Sales is what keeps businesses in... business. It's great to shoot for, "quality" but if your product isn't selling as well as the company has hoped it would, then it's time to change strategies.

Nintendo learnt that having the best tech in console hardware, doesn't always guarantee you to be in top spot. Sony dominate two generations because of it (PS1,PS2).

"Sony platform only" fans, need to stop being selfish, and Support Sony's corporate decisions to improve the company's volatility.

On the backwards compatibility issue,

Sony believes it allows their other platforms to continue sell. While true, it also can cause a negative effect that consumers won't tolerate.

ChickeyCantor2422d ago

"All quality games came from 1st party devs that know what THEY'RE doing with the cell"

I would like to have that money tree you are growing.
Benefits from being a "first" party is that you get financial support.

Developers are not lazy, they simply don't get the time. They have a strict development plan.

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MizTv2423d ago

hey im very happy with my ps3 and ill get a ps4 just because of all the games sony puts out.

Abdou232423d ago

2 things SONY did right this generation: Free Online & Exclusives. I'm a big Playstation fan by the way and i automatically buy any Playstation console just because i know for sure that i can't go wrong with it.

tigertron2422d ago

Don't forget a 3D Blu-ray player. ;)

Statix2422d ago (Edited 2422d ago )

If this rumor is true, then no backwards compatibility. Which sucks.

However, I trust Sony's judgment and ability to deliver a great console to gamers with the PS4, nonetheless.