Sony PlayStation 3 Hardware May Not Be Finalized – Sources.
Developers Use Personal Computers to Show PS3 Advantages
by Anton Shilov
[ 06/06/2006 | 09:49 AM ]
A source within the industry said that the PlayStation 3 hardware might not be finalized as of early May, as at least some game developers who showcased their Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) titles during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) exhibition used typical personal computers (PCs) to do it.
According to the information provided by sources familiar with the matter, game developers used high-performance PCs to showcase what the PlayStation 3 game consoles will be able to deliver to gamers. At least some of the game developers masked personal computers inside the showcase stands and put a PS3 case so that attendees would believe that they see the real working game consoles and the real games. However, no attendees could actually touch the consoles, or to play the PlayStation 3 games during the exhibition.
The game developers who did not run their demos on the pre-release Sony PlayStation 3 hardware, used high-performance personal computers, such as those featuring high-speed Nvidia GeForce 7900 graphics cards in SLI mode or even ATI’s Radeon X1900 in CrossFire mode. While neither ATI, nor Nvidia would confirm such information, the sources claimed that at least some game developers used PC hardware to demonstrate the PS3 demos.
Given that nowadays game developers usually create games for multiple platforms, including PCs and game consoles from Microsoft and Sony, technically software makers may demonstrate their products using different hardware. Programmers – including John Carmack of id Software – said in the past that creating games for the PS3 would not be a trivial task. Knowing that and keeping in mind that game console builders finalize specifications of their machines till the last minute before release, demonstrations of certain technically advanced demos using PC hardware may seem logical.
Back in May 2005 Microsoft used similar trick with the Xbox 360 which was set to be launched in November, 2005. During the E3 show the software giant used Apple PowerMac G5 systems featuring IBM PowerPC processors to run the games for the Xbox 360.
Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp. and will be equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive. According to Merrill Lynch research company, the most expensive component of the PlayStation 3 will be its Blu-ray disk drive, which will initially cost $350. The second most expensive part of the gaming machine will be the Cell processor which will cost Sony “at least” $230 per unit to make. Nvidia’s RSX graphics processor will cost $70, while for 256MB of XDR memory as well as 256MB of GDDR3 memory Sony will have to pay $50, believes Merrily Lynch. In total, the price may reach $900 just to manufacture one PlayStation 3 console. The PS3 game consoles will cost $499 or $599 depending on the system configuration.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. did not comment on the news-story.