We almost don't want the real PlayStation 4 images to arrive; this fake mock-up is just so futuristic and bizarre.

Sources continue to leak information about Sony's new console (provided you choose to believe the unofficial sources), and the latest inside source has evidently revealed the (estimated) processing specifications for Sony's new machine.

The PS4, possibly code-named "Orbis," may boast custom chips based on AMD's A8-3850 APU and Radeon HD 7670 GPU, which offers "the combined performance of both integrated and discrete graphics processors." That A8-3850 should feature a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated graphics chip, while the "APU will work in tandem with the system's dedicated GPU, the HD 7670, a DirectX 11-enabled card clocked to 1GHz with up to 1GB of dedicated VRAM." …yeah, lots of numbers there.

Some of you may remember that the HD 7670 is the same card that will supposedly be used in the new Xbox, with the current assumption now being that in terms of power, the two consoles could be very equally matched. The chip will also support HDMI 1.4a output, which would be necessary for the PS4's rumored 4k output. The interesting part about this information is the "secondary GPU provided by the APU:"

"Onboard the A8-3850 is an HD 6550D, which makes the APU capable of running games at baseline specs and lower resolutions without the help of a discrete GPU. When the APU is paired with the HD 7670, however, Sony will be able to utilize an asymmetrical CrossFire configuration to share the load of realtime graphics processing."

This all being said, the sources in question say changes could be made before the machine is on store shelves and in fact, according to the update, the parts "are being custom tooled for the console." In other words, "exact specs may vary." Now, if any of our more technically inclined readers out there want to analyze the details provided, feel free.

Me, I just play games. 🙂

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TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

4k output is much like the dual HDMI output of the 'original' PS3 specs, it's vapor. There won't be displays for it, and nor will there be anytime soon. Not that our eyes could do a particularly good job of seeing all those pixels.

I'm finding these 'specs' even harder to believe the more they come. Could it be that Sony might use some disinformation?

Either way I absolutely *hate* the idea of saddling a game console with a piece of crap X86 processor. Dumbest decision ever if they do it, worse than calling Vita, Vita.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/4/2012 9:25:41 PM

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

If you have the time Highlander, do you know or remember if the specs rumoured for the PS2 or PS3 were at all accurate to the final design?

I know everything about the PS3 was complete hokem, even the announcement model, were all completely different to what is the final release model of the PS3.

I think you may be right that Sony is leaking false specs or designing several fake PS4's to confuse and keep journalists on their toes.

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
9 years ago

I would've rather liked 2 HDMI ports to stick on the PS3 honestly… 1 for video, 1 for discrete 7.1 audio. Hardly useless in my view…

faraga
faraga
9 years ago

Why would you need to have two HDMI cables to separate audio and video? A single HDMI cable would transfer both just fine and most, if not all receivers that have HDMI inputs also have HDMI outputs.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Highlander,
PSXE should hire you for a tech column explaining all the numbers and specs for the rest of us…I mean you basically do that anyways 😛

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Dance Machine

I can't remember whether the PS2's spec matched the rumors at the time, that would take some research. I may try to do that though, it might make an interesting project.

The PS3 was rumored to have all sorts of things inside it. However the key ones I can remember are;

Rumor: 2 HDMI ports –
Reality: 1 HDMI, the HDMI protocols include lossless audio and no second port would be needed in any case.

Rumor: Network router capability
Reality: no router capability as such, 1 ethernet port and wireless. Can act as an Access point for PSP/Vita to get online.

Rumor: clock speeds and capabilities of the CellBE and RSX were subject to many rumors. The main one was that the system was teraFLOP capable – the so-called super computer in the home. cell at 3.4GHz or higher with 8 SPUs, capable of 256 GFLOPS.
Reality: Cell clocked in at 3.2GHz with only 7SPUs. maximum theoretical performance is just shy of 200GLOPS. In reality only 6SPUs are available to games, and even with the best coding in the world it's doubtful that the system achieves much more than 100-120 GFLOPS (which is still a HUGE number BTW). RSX had fewer pipelines than expected and clocked a little lower than expected.

Rumor: PS3 would have more than one CellBE and no GPU.
Reality: This was the original concept, and two Cells would be formidable. But the cost of the CellBE manufacture and limited yields forced a change. The RSX GPU was added, and provides much of the system chipset functionality besides being the GPU of the system.
There are other things, the amount of RAM was rumored to be all sorts of things, but 512MB total with 256MB System and 256MB Video quickly became the reality. Though the system did hang onto the rumored exotic XDR memory that runs at the same clock as the CPU and is therefore *very* quick.
Rumor: Would play every PlayStation game
Reality: PS1 games are run through emulation. It was impossible to create a PS2 emulator that would run in real time. So, the entire PS2 chipset was grafted onto the first version of the PS3. The second version (launched in Europe) emulated the Emotion Engine in software, but had the PS2 GPU on the motherboard because it could not be emulated. Of course PS2 BC was removed for cost reasons, but we now see a limited Software based PS2 compatibility via PSN.

Like the PS2 I would have to do some more research to give a complete picture, which might be an interesting project.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

May have to disagree with you on the 4k issue Highlander. At E3 this year, multiple companies were showing off 4k displays and claiming they planned to have them on the market by the end of 2013.

Granted that's over a year away and they could even be a little late, but if the ps4 isn't slated to come out until the end of 2013 also it could make sense for them to have the 4k abilities.

Also at the time of release the 4k tv's would be expensive, but at the time of the ps3's release, buying a 1080p tv was ridiculously expensive, so I wouldn't be so quick to count it out.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

That's not the point. 4K displays have existed as prototypes for some time. But what is the driving force to get a 4K TV?

At a typical viewing distance a 1080p screen is essentially retina class, you cannot distinguish individual pixels at the normal viewing distance. It's a fundamental limit of human vision. 4K screens would need to be 80+ inches in size and you'd sit at least 10 feet from them to gain any benefit from the additional resolution, and even then you would be selectively focusing on one portion of the screen.

1080p isn't even the primary standard for broadcast TV yet, it takes decades to transition this kind of thing, and to get the appropriate TVs into homes. 1080p is beginning to work through the mainstream and get to screens outside the living room.

Movie producers were not entirely happy with HD video in the home because it potentially eats at the cinema market. 4K video in homes would be essentially film resolution, and that would seriously threaten movie makers and cinemas.

There are many obstacles to 4K screens, and few of them are technical. The biggest objection in my mind is that really and truly, 4K resolution is a waste of technology and dollars. Research 1080p resolution, viewing distance and the ability of humans to resolve the extra resolution with their eyes. The case for 4K screens is weak at best.

thedaini
thedaini
9 years ago

Highlander, I understand what you're saying about how many pixels the human eye can see, and screen size/viewing distace (part of the reason you don't see 32" TVs that come with 1080p, it's a waste).

But, Sony may be doing a couple things:
1) They recognize that the industry is moving towards 4k TVs and don't want to release a console that consumers may view as "out of date" because it doesn't support the latest technology. (regardless of if the technology is really needed)
2) If the console has enough power to support 4k display, then it should easily be able to handle 3D at 1080p, which the PS3 is limited to 720p. Or, it may be able to produce full screen views for more than two users using 3D display technology (like the Playstation TV they released)

The goal may not be "we need 4k support" but instead enough power to give developers a lot options. Just something to think about.


Last edited by thedaini on 4/5/2012 3:04:55 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I'm pretty sure that the GPU being rumored isn;t really going to be up to the job of rendering and pushing 4K images. I don't believe 4K output, and won't until I see it on the console, in action.

I understand the goal about giving developers power. But if giving developers power that outclasses the PS3 itself, someone is going to have to come up with a great explanation of how the rumored specification does this, because really it doesn't


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/5/2012 3:30:45 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

One last thing to mention, HDTV had been around for several years at least before PS3 arrived. 4K is not yet available. So talking about how PS3 helped drive 1080p into the mainstream is missing the 5 or so years that HDTVs existed in the market before the PS3.

timmagicker
timmagicker
9 years ago

I find it extremely hard to believe, considering that they're trying to crossfire two GPUs on different infrastructures. The chances that the GPU on the CPU, if they could even crossfire it properly, being able to keep up to the faster 7XXX Discrete GPU, are slim to none unless it's the lowest of the low end Discrete GPUs, or the highest of the high-end APUs (CPU with a built-in GPU)

somethingrandom
somethingrandom
9 years ago

It's not a matter of "if" they're able to crossfire them as this has already been done with AMD APU's for the better part of a year. Regardless, this is a very piss poor hardware configuration that can't even stack up against my friend's new midrange laptop. That's not even considering being competitive with high end gaming PC's. If this is true then the Ps4 is obsolete before it's been announced. I do not share the same attitude as the Highlander however when it comes to x86 CPU's as long as they have the right graphics to back 'em up.

richfiles
richfiles
9 years ago

Dual HDMI would be nice, because some of us don't want to repurchase our grand of audio equipment, just because it refuses to pass 3D through to the TV. I also happen to have a larger LCD and a smaller Playstation 3D monitor. It'd be cool to hook both up and be able to take advantage of the big screen when I want, but use the small screen when 3D content is available.


Last edited by richfiles on 4/9/2012 3:16:48 PM

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Heck, This is all Greek to me.

And this non-techie needs the powers of Highlander to chime in on the powers of these specs(if true).

EDIT: Never mind Highlander, I see you already beat me to the article, LOL


Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/4/2012 9:30:12 PM

Metal Head
Metal Head
9 years ago

Highlander is the expert on this subject. I guess we can kiss backwards compatible goodbye.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

If, the rumors are true, then yeah, no way it will feature BC with PS3 – in the box. The only chance would be some kind of add-on that included a single chip CellBE/RSX and memory that could connect directly to the PS4 and use things like the HDD, BluRay, networking and of course the video output. But I don't see why they'd do that if they can get the PS3 itself down to $199. All it means is yet more clutter near my TV.

telly
telly
9 years ago

And providing a reasonable BC solution for fans means we would all be less inclined to buy remastered PS3 versions of games as PS4 downloads in five years :-/

Crabba
Crabba
9 years ago

telly with these specs, there won't be much room if any for remastered PS3 games, especially exclusives…

PSTan
PSTan
9 years ago

That mock-up's been around for a few years now. I really dig the design.

StevieRV
StevieRV
9 years ago

nobosy in their right minds are building gaming pcs with AMD CPUs at this point, intel clearly have better architecture this generation, I dont understand why Sony are choosing AMD over intel, or even their Cell

i know they need to make it cheap, but also that graphics card cant compete with some others on the market already for pc, and i think if they want it to last for 10 years, they need it to at least be cutting edge in current pc terms, which off those specs, it isnt

having said that, i will still be buying it, console gaming over pc gaming any day

firesoul453
firesoul453
9 years ago

It sound genus to me! I don't know why someone woulden't

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

I built my current gaming PC with AMD processors and cards. Runs everything on the market right now with no issues. No need to pay the extra $200+ just to have Intel written on the parts.

faraga
faraga
9 years ago

Tests have proven that the Intel processors range have superior performance to the AMD processors in the same price range. That said, the best processor on the consumer market right now is the fastest Intel i7 chip.

I would also be disappointed if they would use this hardware. By the looks of it, it looks like the average high end gaming PC of today, although better PC's are already for sale/build. Why Sony would build a console with hardware that's already obsolete as soon as it enters the market is a mystery to me. Nintendo would be a brand to do that, not Sony.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

AMDs are fine, but Intel's chip is clearly top of the line in terms of processing power. I'm not saying which is better, but there is a bit of justification to be paying more for Intel. I will say though that AMD's APU have much better gpus integrated to their processors, which reduces the need for any high end external graphics card. In a way, it should suit most people's needs. Intel is almost like the "Apple" to PCs. It's a premium, that most people don't really need, but really nice to have.

Kthara
Kthara
9 years ago

The funny thing about the Intel fanbase, is that the majority either don't realize or just fail to ever mention, that the only time you really ever see the higher Intel vs AMD performance is in benchmark testing anyway. Anyone who can sit there with a straight face and claim they can notice a difference in gameplay with an extra 5fps in real world computer gaming is absolutely full of it unless they're talking about the complete bottom end. Yea, between 1 and 10-15 fps, you're probably gonna notice that extra 5fps, but face it, above 20-30fps, you don't notice anything at all. Dollar for dollar, AMD makes Intel look foolish. Yes, in benchmarks, Intel wins. Yea, we all get that. Now show me a REAL WORLD situation (ie gaming) where Intel's performance actually makes a difference class for class, and then show me that it doesn't cost at least 40% more than the AMD variant. I've been building systems based on cost, customer demand, and overall performance since 2001. I've yet to see an Intel system that could beat an AMD system real world and still be "cost effective". There's nothing wrong with AMD's performance, and any alleged shortcomings are usually quite easily overcome by building the system intelligently. Spec out parts that are going to work the best together. Spend a little extra time in tweaking instead of buying what sounds good based on advertised performance and pricetags that sound good. No matter how "good" ya think your parts sound, there's always more performance to be found through proper setup.

somethingrandom
somethingrandom
9 years ago

While the above poster has some idea what he's talking about in that you won't get better gaming with Intel processors for the money. However, PC's are NOT only used for gaming. In tasks like video encoding and Photoshop and related things that many people do for a living the Intel parts blow AMD out of the water. Not just benchmarks. I suppose I should mention something about multitasking several high demand programs as well.

firesoul453
firesoul453
9 years ago

my friends laptop has an A8, its not a powerhouse (the one in the laptop) but its efficient and the APU is pretty nice for not being a dedicated graphics card.

If they use a much more powerful A8 and if they can use the APU while using the dedicated card then this machine will be low cost (not $700) system and be pretty powerful and decently power efficient (which will also probably make it run cooler).

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

All I know that it should be more developer friendly so I don't wanna hear any devs complaining how difficult it is to develop for.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

If it can pull a 360 (or in this case, a 180) and swing multiplats playing better and smoother on PS4 than NeXbox, PS4 will have a much better chance.

Considering how much of a fail the original Xbox was (except for Halo and Xbox Live), I really do respect MS for how well they designed the 360 to be excellent in the most basic functions and requirements for gameplay and online services. Multiplats ran smoother (for the first few years) and online streaming and gameplay was just overall smoother on their machine.

Shame about the red ring problem and lack of blu-ray or HD discs. Here's hoping Sony can adopt the strengths of the 360 this gen and come back on top next gen. Oh, how I miss the ol' PS2 days.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

cLoudou,
I think then we'd still get a few lazy developers that would start whining that it's just wayyyyyy to hard to develop for a Etch-A-Sketch.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/5/2012 1:58:18 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Programming the Cell is no more difficult than programming any High performance computing device. If you look closely at how things are going even in the world of PCs, the CPUs have many cores, the GPUs have very many cores. All of the headaches that Sony and their devs went through are there for all to experience now. It's no longer possible to get performance gains simply by threading. Developers have to consider parallel processing of certain kinds of data and task and how they handle that.

So all the work that Devs have done changing their mind set and looking for opportunities to do things in parallel or to take advantage of the vast power of the SPUs in the CellBE is going to need to be done by others in te PC realm. This is a very deep topic, but the reality is that the CellBE architecture and PS3 really do show the way forward, but the 360 and PC industry of 5-6 years ago was not there yet. They are getting there now.

Future PCs will use CPUs, GPUs, GPGPUs and other fusions of CPU and GPU technology. AMDs APU concept is essentially to take a simple GPU and put it on the same chip as the CPU. Conceptually that's not very different to the CellBE with it's PPC core and 8 high speed SPUs. x86 CPUs contain many cores with many execution units. The internals of these new CPUs look more like collections of multiple processors working in parallel than they do a classic multi-core CPU. GPUs are headed that way too with arrays of very simple execution units that can be used in parallel or series to accomplish various tasks.

Parallel processing is going mainstream, and developers that said the CellBE and PS3 was too hard will have similar problems in this new parallel processing world.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

So long as Sony keep the blu-ray disc drive, I'll be a happy camper. 🙂

I kinda hope the rumours about the next Xbox having no optical drive are true, because that would mean many more people with slow or no internet connections for their consoles would flock to the PS4.

playaplus
playaplus
9 years ago

starting to get the feeling that its a step backwards for sony smh. the less difficult to develop for the better i guess…but I want elite devs..not crap devs

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
9 years ago

The main difference isn't between elite or crappy devs.

It just means all developers can concentrate on making a great game rather than wasting time simply getting the game to work at all.

I'm all for making it user and developer-friendly, means the gamers win with better and more highly polished games.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Hmmm, pretty disappointed at the GPU there… Weak sauce. Oh well.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Sony is clearly under a new direction. This system falls way short of a PS2 to PS3 leap in capabilities. It makes me wonder what else is going on with it's design to justify a whole new console. Will it have a motion controller, or something?

gumbi
gumbi
9 years ago

I really don't understand how after investing so much into the cell architecture of PS3, Sony could just walk away from it like this. Developers are already familiar with it, and are churning out increasingly more impressive work.

Keep the cell architecture Sony, and just ramp it up. A little faster, more cores, and more memory. Developers already know what to do with it, and they're learning how to squeeze more and more out of it. All you need to do is give them more to squeeze.

Not to mention the fact that this would make backwards compatibility almost a non-issue.

For now, I'm chalking all these bogus specs up to rumour and speculation.

unapersson
unapersson
9 years ago

I agree, I'm going to be disappointed if they just ship a PC in a box. The advantage of consoles is they've always offered something different, and I've always been convinced the hardware has been an important part of that as it encourages different types of games. Just compare the standard PC style games that come out on the 360 with the more varied titles you get on the PS3. It's the thing that sold me on the PS1 originally when I was used to the PC and retro home computers.

That said I assume the mention of DirectX is just about the cards capabilities, they'd be daft to release a Windows based console and have to pay money to Microsoft for every machine they released. It might as well be called Xbox Alt in that case.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Agreed. Cell is designed to run in multi-cell configurations. 4 CellBEs on one die, add a modern GPU and bingo, you have a Multi-teraFLOP beast of a console.

Being Cell based it wouldn't be a complete leap into the dark, and would allow Devs to build on their knowledge gained on the PS3.

karneli lll
karneli lll
9 years ago

Sounds like Sony is trying to discourage MS, or make MS develop an expensive console

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I think there's something wrong with me these days…I almost don't care at all about the power of the PS4. So long as it can produce games I want to play, I'm fine.

…guess I'm getting boring in my old age.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
9 years ago

I feel exactly the same way. Whenever I hear Higlander or Temjin rail against the specs, I'm halfway interested and amused. But for theist part, the numbers mean nothing to me and I find myself thinking, "as long as the exclusives are better than XBox and the multiplays are about even, im fine with whatever they do."

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Not boring. Getting wiser. 😉

A game consoles main purpose is to play games. As such the quality of a console is in direct relation to its ability to run the games. The better they run, the better the console is. In essence it's that simple, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/5/2012 4:45:33 AM

telly
telly
9 years ago

Yes to all of you. I really feel like the next generation could have less emphasis on charting new ground in terms of graphics but "filling in the blanks" on the graphic capabilties we have now. What I mean by that is I think we'll see improved frame rates, more details in facial animations, fewer missing/weird animations for characters, and so on. Detail and resolution will surely go up too, but in trying to read the tea leaves it sounds like Sony (and Microsoft) are trying to make development much easier, which I think is going to lead to smoother edges in games, so to speak.

But don't hold me to that two years from now 😉

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

No I think you're on to something there Telly. We don't really need much more from the graphics chips than the ability to render full HD at a good frame rate.

But we *do* need more power "behind the scenes", sort to speak. That's the area where there is most room for improvement (all imo of course), cause that's what the future games will require, the games that want to do more than just push the "there and then", but offer more persistence to the world.

And the more the developers can focus on *that* instead of having to tweak and struggle to get their game to work on different architectures, the better it is for us. That is my firm belief.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/5/2012 5:14:14 PM

somethingrandom
somethingrandom
9 years ago

Lol all of you sound like you're buying a Wii U.

tlpn99
tlpn99
9 years ago

As long as they do cross game chat. Always knew backwards compatibility would possibly not happen id need more space for the ps4 then still gonna wait a year you know its gonna be rushed and errors will happen i waited on both ps3 and 360 and they still failed with ylod and rrod

mehrab2603
mehrab2603
9 years ago

Looks outdated even by today's standards.

PHOENIXZERO
PHOENIXZERO
9 years ago

It's outdated by two or three year old standards.

It really is a crappy video card and would still be crappy without all the PC overhead. I really hope the CPU and GPU info isn't true just as I also hope the next XBox also isn't using that GPU.

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