PS4 x86 architecture: Mark Cerny reveals the reasons behind it
- Posted September 17th, 2013 at 02:38 EDT by Richard Archer
In an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, Sony's Mark Cerny has revealed why the company decided to use the x86 processor for the PS4.
Firstly, Cerny commented on why the x86 seemed a daunting choice.
"Because of its very long history, the x86 is rather complex. You can run code today that was written for the original chip in 1978... If you read an x86 manual, it takes pages to explain all the different ways that you can move data from one register to another, based on all the additions to the architecture over the years. It's a bit overwhelming from that perspective."
Cerny then says how he came to make the x86 his preferred choice over other processing chips.
"Actual work on PS4 didn't start until 2008. I wasn't deciding whether the x86 would be the chip. I was trying to work out whether it would be an option. If your only option is the Power PC, it's very restrictive in terms of hardware vendors. If you can also use the x86, you can talk to anyone out there who makes technology."
With the choice made, Cerny and his team put in a lot of work to sell the x86 chip, as he reveals here.
"We made 15 separate presentations.We went from morning to mid-afternoon going through how we felt the time had come....The presentation we did was so long that one of the teams was stranded on the tarmac for five hours, and they still arrived before we finished going through all the materials we prepared."
The PS4 is out in America on November 15, 2013, and the UK on November 29, 2013.