Sony who announced a $3 Billion plus loss last week is pinning their future, on a brand new processor which some are speculating will lead to a new Playstation 4.
What we have been told is that Sony is working on a very fast processor which is being developed with IBM, who was the original architect with Sony and Toshiba of the Cell processor, which has been used by both Sony and Microsoft to power their gaming processors for nearly 10 years.
IBM sources claim that the new multi core PowerPC processor, which Big Blue, has spent several years developing is now part of a joint development project with the Japanese Company.
Sony recently moved to buy back the Toshiba Cell factory in Nagasaki for $600 million with some tipping that this will be used to manufacture the processor for both Sony Toshiba and IBM devices.
The new 32nm Cell processor is tipped to be capable of up to 16 SPEs which is twice as fast as the current Cell processor according to IBM leaks.
Japanese sources claim that Sony is gearing up to manufacture the Cell processor in bulk with some analysts tipping that the new processor will also appear in Sony notebooks and built into new Sony Bravia TV’s.
Intel sources have said that they are also working on a new processor that will be ideal for future gaming consoles as well as for use in devices that are both gaming console and media hubs.
At a recent Sony conference call in Japan the head of the Companies Networked Products & Services division – which develops for the PlayStation brand and Sony PCs hinted that it was working on the PlayStation 4 but would not give any details.
“For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life,” said Sony’s Masaru Kato who hinted that development work for the PS4 was currently underway”.
He added “It is no longer thinkable to have a huge initial financial investment like that of the PS3.”
“But this is a platform business, so for the future platform – when we’ll be introducing what product, I cannot discuss – but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.”
At the recent CES show a senior Sony executive told me that the Company had speculated as to whether they needed a new Playstation console. “What we need is a fast processor that delivers content including gaming and 3D movies to a display screen. That processor could be built into a TV a media hub for connection to non-Sony display screen with content delivered over an IP network”.
“We will always need a means by which people can access content other than via an IP network, because in many Countries there is no fast broadband infrastructure. This is where Blu ray will have a life after markets like Europe and the US has moved onto fibre networks”.
As to when the new processor will appear Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Ray Maguire told Tech Radar recently. “The online side is very interesting and is a big part of our business going forward. But in terms of what sort of technology we’ll be using, it’s far too early to say yet because we’re only half way through the lifecycle of PS3 – there are many years to come on that machine.”