The Cell and other factors are the only reason Xbox got a decent foot hold this generation, this time Sony is bringing their A game.
Sadly nintendo will be the one letting everyone run the market.
As long as the games that come out are good then I don't care. haha With Nintendo, I'm getting a WiiU, I think it looks like a lot of fun but I will wait for more games before buying it.
They did it with the PS4 but simply made the wrong decision with the PS3. The delayed launch and ridiculously high launch price really hurt them.
All the CELL bashers should realise that the new hardware in the PS4 has more in common with the PS3 than you'd think. Just in a roundabout way. The devs who had big success on the PS3 should make a seamless transition
I think what really escapes people is that physics and particle effects were accelerated by the CPU until those tasks were offloaded to the GPU. Cell was revolutionary for its time but it WAS designed in an ivory tower irrespective of what the trend was moving to.
Today, we are running loads that went to Cell in graphics cards with compute units. PS3 zigged while the rest of the world zagged. It doesn't make it a bad processor or a bad architecture at all. It was, however, a radical departure from what developers were doing in the realm of game development.
The first stage of the workload is very parallel so the GPU is well-suited to the task. In the first few stages, the GPU performs well, but as the stages advance (and there are more and more dead ends), the performance of the GPU falls until it is eventually much slower than the CPU at the task. It was at this point that Phil Rogers talked up the company’s heterogeneous architecture and the benefits of a “unified, shared, coherent memory.” By allowing the individual parts to play to their strengths, the company estimates 2.5 times the performance and up to a 40% reduction in power usage versus running the algorithm on either the CPU or GPU only. AMD achieved the (best) numbers by using the GPU for the first three stages and the CPU for the remaining stages (where it was more efficient). It was further made possible because they did not have to worry about copying the data to/from the CPU and GPU for processing which would have slowed down performance too much for HSA to be beneficial.
Sony used a familiar MIPS architecture CPU (a chip line used in Silicon Graphics workstations of the time) in their PS1. It was pretty easy to program. Then they made the hard to program Emotion Engine CPU in the PS2. Devs hated it, but had no choice to program for it if they wanted to pay their bills....especially with it's huge installed base it couldn't be ignored.
So you'd think after all the complaints about the difficulty in programming the Emotion Engine CPU that Sony would make things easier for their next console.....NOPE. They made it even more difficult with Cell. From a programming difficulty perspective... it's the Emotion Engine on steroids.
With PS4, they went back to their PS1 roots......a console with an easy to program architecture that many people already know how to program. Some companies, like people.... take just a bit longer to figure things out then most of us. I guess the makes Sony a "special" company......as in special ed. One with a severe learning disability that takes them longer to learn then most. Better late then never! LOL!:rolleyes:
It was a bold vision for how they though computers would run but ultimately never came true. While many are hating on Cell I'm not so down on it, it was a performance monster when handled right and it did it all with some astounding efficiency.
I'm actually quite depressed that the cell died.
To be frankly honest, it was the way to go to truly do some monster work. We are creating things that are incredibly easy to work with, but that basically means that everything we create has to use power towards making things easy for us.
For games purposes, ok... not important, and in fact, may be considered counter intuitive since you want to make "simple" things like games...
But for the purposes of pushing the boundary of programming, thought, computer development, etc... that is really the way to go.
Now, the comments above that the Cell was taking on GPU characteristics are interesting, and I can see / slightly agree with that, but how is that any different than the current APU in the PS4 now? Sony originally intended the Cell to be BOTH CPU & GPU! HOLY COW!!! they finally did it with the PS4... didn't quite make it with the ps3.
But, with the ps4, how much of the CPU die is spent on doing things to make it "easier" for the programmer.
Now, before anyone here starts yelling about this last sentence, I myself am a programmer, and I've seen what is happening to the programming world in the last 20 or so years... (yes.. i'm old! sigh)...
Yes, we are doing more and incredible things, but we aren't doing near as much as we could be doing considering the power thats in these chips...
Just my two cents.
I would rather put the money / effort / time into creating more intelligent and trained humans, than "dumbing" down the computers to make it easier for lesser trained humans to use them...
To be frankly honest, the Cell was really just a NEW way of thinking and doing things... and new ways of thinking are ALWAYS hard... ALWAYS! But when they are good, they often offer incredible pay outs...
I won't go on.. i'm not trying to be offensive, and I'm not attempting to defend Sony's choice of the Cell, but I am defending the Cell itself... it was an amazing chip, which could do amazing things for those who were willing to put the effort into it.
Anyway, my 2 cents,
I totally agree. While I am all for simpler programming from a functionality point of view it does lose a little of that thrill in terms of pushing programming forward. Cell if it was iterated on could of been something very amazing for the whole world of computer programming but sadly it has not come to fruition.
Easy to code chips are better for the masses but it does drive down potential speed increases. Maybe Something along the lines of Cell will appear in future but for today this is not to be.