Archive for September, 2005

More than Two Displays on PS3?

Mike just keeps the questions coming (great stuff!):

It has been suggested by Sony that one of the advantages of being able to use 2 televisions with the PS3 is that, when playing a game that allows for 2 people like, deathmatch, each player could have their own screen. With that said, do you think since the PS3 allows for 7 players that, more than 2 screen might be able to be linked together for 2+ player deathmatch, etc. And what connects on the PS3 allow for a dual television setup?

The PS3 has two HDMI outputs and a multi-out output. Sony has said that the two HDMI outputs could be used to drive two displays. They have given no indication at all of supporting any more than two screens. Even if the hardware was physically capable of this (given that there’s also the multi-out that you could use) it’s doubtfull that the RSX would support more than two framebuffers. Even when the PS3 was doing all the heavy lifting in the London demo, it had to write the final results to the framebuffer. And if the graphics card doesn’t support more than two, plus the associated video-out circuitry, then you won’t get more than two screens.

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Nintendo Revolution Specs Revealed?

RevolutionSomeone (codenamed ‘Han Solo’, so you know it’s gotta be good, right?) claims to have the inside scoop on the Revolution’s specs. Here they are:

  • CPU: 1 IBM Custom PowerPC 2.5 GHz
  • GPU: ATI Custom based RN520 core, running at 600MHz, HD support still undecided, though this GPU is physically capable of it
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • PPU chip (Physical Processing Chip) with 32MB of RAM
  • Sound chip with DD5.1 and DTS7.1 support

Supposedly the CPU will lag a little behind the PS3’s Cell and the GPU will be ahead. Of course, a large part of this is pure speculation.

The thing that caught my eye was the PPU. Is this anything like the AGEIA stuff whose library Sony has licensed?

This is really quite interesting. Everyone always assumed that since Nintendo was being so quiet about its system and not talking up the specs, that it would be behind the other two consoles. If these specs are close to accurate, then the Revolution won’t be giving up anything to its two competitors.

ArsTechnica – Nintendo Revolution specs revealed?

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Reader Question: Cell Does Graphics?

Mike has another question:

In regards to the “Multiple PS3’s Working Together” question; how is it that the cell processor can produce graphics, especially graphics that reach the level of the e3 05′ London demo? I thought that the cell processor only made large mathmatical calculations and nothing more. If the cell processor can act as a gpu in certain ways and work together with the nVidia gpu, then ps3 game graphics really will br amazing.

What is a GPU except a special-purpose processor? A GPU is basically a CPU but will special circuitry for doing 3D graphical things faster than a normal CPU would. A general-purpose CPU like the Cell is perfectly capable of rendering awesome 3D imagery. The faster it is, the better the imagery. And the Cell is fast. Also, it has 7 SPE’s. 3D images are easy to partition into pieces, which is great for a multi-core processor like the Cell.

Witness RenderMan and MentalRay. These two renderers (while not realtime) produce the best looking CG imagery in the industry today, and run on normal PC’s using the main CPU. Gelato by NVIDIA is similar, except it accelerates the rendering using NVIDIA hardware. So Gelato uses both the main CPU and the GPU. Many games use mostly the GPU, just feeding it data (though the CPU still needs to do some of the setup work). So if you want to create a 3D image, you can do it with a CPU alone, CPU and GPU together, or mostly the GPU. Photorealistic imagery is too compute-intensive to not use the CPU, and even then takes many minutes to render a frame.

However, if you’re willing to sacrifice Finding Nemo-type graphics to get realtime interactivity, you have options. You can use the CPU to render a scene, (mostly) the GPU to render a scene, or a combination thereof. It’s really up to the game developer what they want to do. It just so happens that the Cell is so powerful, it does a great job all by itself, even without that special 3D circuitry.

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Sony Reorg wrt Gaming : As You Were

If you haven’t been living exclusively in the basement playing video games, you’ll know that Sony last week announced 10,000 layoffs and a bit of a corporate restructuring. How does this affect us PlayStation people? Not much, really.

Sony will continue to work towards making the PSP a huge success. Sony will continue to do all it can to bring the PS3 to market in a spectacular fashion. (Words mine.)

“Creating a seamless link between the device and the service is crucial,” said Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner Inc. “That’s what Apple has done, and that’s what Sony wants to do with the PSP. Consumers are nothing if not foragers of digital content. With the PSP, you can connect to the Internet, browse and download content other than games.”

“Given the fact that PS3 means much more than just video gaming, it’s going to be important to all their media studios,” said P.J. McNealy, an analyst at American Technology Research. “This comes at a time when all internal content — whether or not it’s music, movies or games — will be important to the PS3.”

IGN – PSP, PS3 Priority in Sony Reorganization

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