PS3 and Xbox 360, by AnandTech
[Update 01jul05: EuroGamer has a commentary about this article and also found a source for the original, if you still want to read it.]
[Update 30jun05: it looks like AnandTech has pulled the article, sorry. But Slashdot has a big discussion on the issue. So does Beyond3D, basically pointing out its lack of fidelity.]
AnandTech has quite a nice article comparing the Ps3 and 360. It goes into quite a bit of detail, and I encourage you all to take a look. One point in particular that I liked was their discussion of the Cell processor, which has gotten a lot of bad press from the 360 camp:
In fact, if properly structured and coded for SPE acceleration, physics code could very well run faster on the PlayStation 3 than on the Xbox 360 thanks to the more specialized nature of the SPE hardware. Not to mention that physics acceleration is particularly parallelizable, making it a perfect match for an array of 7 SPEs.
Microsoft has referred to the Cell’s array of SPEs as a bunch of DSPs useless to game developers. The fact that the next installment of the Unreal engine will be using the Cell’s SPEs for physics, animation updates, particle systems as well as audio processing means that Microsoft’s definition is a bit off. While not all developers will follow in Epic’s footsteps, those that wish to remain competitive and get good performance out of the PS3 will have to.
The bottom line is that Sony would not foolishly spend over 75% of their CPU die budget on SPEs to use them for nothing more than fancy DSPs. Architecting a game engine around Cell and optimizing for SPE acceleration will take more effort than developing for the Xbox 360 or PC, but it can be done. The question then becomes, will developers do it?