Archive for October, 2005
One of the big things about the PS3 (and Xbox 360 for that matter) is that it has a multicore processor. One main PowerPC core, and 7 Synergistic Processor Elements (or SPEs). An SPE is basically just another core that’s geared more towards a certain kind of computation. So the Cell chip has 8 cores.
And, well, you know, this means the end of all time as we know it.
You’ve read the doomsayers as well as I have. Game programmers won’t be able to take advantage of all those cores. Those extra cores should be tossed in the trash just like apple cores. The first generation of next generation games will all just use the main core and ignore the others. Programming has gotten much too complicated. Blah blah blah. If you’ve been reading this website and others, you’ve seen it.
And while we read all this and think about how terrible this next-gen mess has turned out to be, Apple introduces a computer with to processors each of which has two cores. That’s four cores total. Of course, for an application to really scream in this scenario it has to be multithreaded up the apple core. But do you see huge protests? Big hot shots in the Apple development community complaining about how terrible this is and that the sky is falling? Any of that? No. It’s just the next step. A little more work. Great benefits, if you choose to do the work. Not if not.
So PS3 (and Xbox 360) game developers will have to learn how to write multithreaded applications. Deadlocks, mutexes, condition variables, semaphores. You know the drill. Programmers have been doing this for literally decades. It’s tricky, granted. But I think those game developers are smart folks. They’ll do it, and we’ll reap the rewards.
The other day I talked about rumours. How rumours can invade your mind and make you do crazy things. Crazy things! Like make your bed one morning.
One of the rumours I mentioned was that the PS3 would sacrifice PS2 compatibility to make launch. I said that it was hogwash, basically. Well, SCEI’s Reiko Sakamoto said that they’re trying to make the PS3 as compatible as possible, and that the goal has not moved.
If you remember correctly, the PS2 was not 100% compatible with the PSOne. But it was darn good. If the PS3 achieves the same level of success, I’ll be a happy boy.
What do y’all think? Does the PS3 have to be 100% compatible? Or just mostly 100% compatible ?
Well, for those of us looking for PS3 news at the PlayStation Festival, it’s been a disappointing couple of days.
The only PS3 stuff at the show is a theater showing PS3 trailers from TGS. Well, except for one little tidbit (and no, this is not a “one more thing” moment like Mr. Jobs likes to pull).
The only truly noteworthy thing to take from this event is that Sony showed the Final Fantasy 7 demo–one would think that they would not bring a mere tech demo this late in the game if an actual release wasn’t intended. Nor would they put it in one of the marquee spots at the end of the trailer reel along with their killer app-MGS4. But this is all idle speculation on the part of this reporter.
When’s the next event at which we could learn some significant PS3 info? Well, there’s always CES in January. Sony might also decide to release some new info to battle the Xbox 360 release, but that’s just conjecture.
We wait, and wait, and wait…
Ever play that game where you whisper a phrase into someone’s ear, then they repeat it to someone else, etc? Then at the end, it gets all mangled? Like “John’s blue underwear got pink in the wash” turns into “John ate a pizza with a cockroach on it”.
Well, some statements start out with the cockroach already in it, and it’s a wonder why anybody even bothers to repeat it to anyone else. There are certainly some rumours that should be dismissed out of hand and forgotten. But no, they get repeated all over the place, growing like a snowball. Like the one about Sony dropping router functionality from the PS3, even though it was never an announced feature. All of a sudden Sony was cutting features to make the deadline. Yeah, well, that one was put to bed eventually. Now there’s one about Sony cutting backwards compatibility to meet launch date. Yup, that one’s a hoax too.
How about I whisper something else in your ear – I just want to see how it’ll come back: “Sony sells sea-shells by the sea-shore.”
Sonic the Hedgehog, the wonder of artificially coloured cutesy animals, is making its way to the next-gen of consoles. After seeing some sample videos showing what gameplay could end up being like, it looks like this furry little rodent might actually be fun to direct with a joystick again. I originally bought my Sega Genesis for this guy, and now he’s burrowing his way to my next system.
There’s even some new screenshots for you to check out, so head on over to Gaming Horizon for eight images of non-gameplay disappointment.