PlayStation 3 was originally scheduled to ship in 2005 alongside the Xbox 360, but plans were scuppered once Sony’s development team were convinced to include a GPU in the console.
The seven-year-old system initially planned to eschew a dedicated graphics processor, with Ken Kutaragi’s infamous Cell processor intended to do all the leg work. However, PS3 was delayed by a year after it was decided implementing a GPU was for the best.
“For a while, [PS3 had] no GPU,” said an anonymous source to IGN. “It was going to run everything SPUs.
“We had started this ICE [Initiative For A Common Engine] team with the intent of developing some core technology that could be shared amongst all the first parties. The ICE team proved to Japan that it was just impossible. It would be ridiculous. Performance-wise, it would be a disaster. That’s why they finally added the GPU, closer to the end.”
PS3 would ultimately launch in November 2006 in the U.S. and Japan and arrived in PAL regions in March the following year. Despite Xbox 360 getting a year head start on its leading rival, Sony has managed to close the gap considerably between the two machines in the past two years or so.
Cell, of course, proved itself an intricate and complicated piece of tech to get to grips with, as developers soon found out. For many years, PS3 ports of multiplatform titles were inferior to their Xbox 360 counterpart, and it has only been in the latter stages of PS3’s life that studios have managed to get comfortable with the hardware.
PS4 looks set to change everything however, and developers have praised its user-friendly innards and Sony’s attempts to listen to feedback from the development community when crafting its next-generation system.
The console launches in the U.K. and Europe on November 29 and in North America on November 15.