THE BUZZ: The tide of rumors lately have shifted from the next Xbox to the next PlayStation—this time, with the rumor that Sony’s next PlayStation console will be “essentially a PC”.
EGM’s TAKE: Coming from gamesindustry.biz, in talking about the invasion of the living room by gaming PCs, Digital Foundry Director Richard Leadbetter says the following:
“I recently heard from a reputable source that the forthcoming Sony console is ‘essentially a PC’ in terms of its technological make-up and in this sense, an AMD collaboration on the CPU holds many attractions – for the first time since the launch of the original Xbox, we could well be seeing an x86 processor in a console. It may be hard to imagine that the company that brought us the Cell would be embracing PC tech so wholeheartedly, but a look at the make-up of Vita suggests a fundamental shift in the way Sony builds its consoles in the wake of Ken Kutaragi’s departure.”
Earlier this week, we talked about another rumor that said that Sony would be ditching the Cell architecture for a more conventional design.
Game design and development is only getting more complex and costly, and the era where developers could afford to re-learn game creation for every new type of hardware design released may be coming to an end. Creating new consoles used to be about making systems that could push fancier graphics—now, it’s more about exclusive games, unique services, and other means of attracting consumers.
Moving to a more PC-style model for home consoles wouldn’t mean having to upgrade graphics cards or deal with drivers, of course—it would mean systems where developers have an easier time not only getting their games onto the hardware, but making them run well.
Maybe it is indeed time to stop simply asking for new systems that can make games look prettier, and instead ask for ones that can make games better.