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Playstation 3
March 12, 2001 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Playstation 3 chip to be designed by IBM. The three companies (Sony, IBM, and Toshiba) aim to design a "super-computer on a chip" with a wide variety of consumer applications, they said in a joint statement.

"The result will be consumer devices that are more powerful than IBM's Deep Blue super-computer, operate at low power and access the broadband internet at ultra-high speeds," the statement added

Wowzers!
posted by zeoslap (22 comments total)


 
"The new chip will be designed for the broadband era, allowing the games machines and other "intelligent" devices to communicate with each other or connect to the internet."

I find it increasingly interesting how much the console market anticipates the destined "broadband era." For the past 5 years, non-PC Internet devices have had a bad trend of failing. Nintendo of Japan had a satellite device for the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo in the USA). This did fairly well in Japan, but never made it over to America. Sega of America had something called X-Baud, which was a modem that would let you dial in and play games with other players over your phone line. The only time I saw this actually in use was while attending a video game convention...

"This will help Sony reach its goal of equipping Playstation 2 with internet access - once a sufficient number of Japanese homes have access to broadband."

And check that out... Sony has not even seen the Playstation 2 equipped with internet access, yet they anticipate that by the time of Playstation 3, everything will be alright.

For me, I have not yet figured out if console-based systems will ever pick up such innovations. It will probably happen some time in the future when broadband access or its future equivalent becomes wide spread and affordable.
posted by crog at 12:27 PM on March 12, 2001


Ofcourse without the chip, the ibm one, you will not at all be able to 'access the broadband internet at ultra-high speeds'. Which is why you are going to have to trash your PC, wait 7 years and then buy a playstation. And deep blue couldn't even defeat a commie rat at chess, deep blue is weak!
posted by tiaka at 12:28 PM on March 12, 2001


While Sony's shareholders might be happy with the thought of a future Playstation 3, isn't such talk just going to spook people out of paying full price for a PS2? Why invest $300 in a piece of hardware that Sony is already working on obsoleting? Sony's not showing much confidence in their current hardware, from a game consumer point-of-view.

As for gaming over a modem, do you really think Mom and Dad would let Junior tie up the phone line all the time with that? A broadband connection is going to be a lot more useful, but how long until home LANs are standard fare? Besides, part of the fun of online gaming is chatting with your opponents/companions. That's near impossible to do (especially while playing!) without a keyboard or a voice channel (which also requires extra hardware/extra $$).
posted by daveadams at 12:36 PM on March 12, 2001


Sign Saddam Hussein up for 1000.
posted by quirked at 1:25 PM on March 12, 2001


crog, I think an inherent aspect of networked consoles succeeding is to have the network device bundled with the console.

As for whether or not networked console games work, I'll point you to this page of rankings for Phantasy Star Online. It's apparently quite drool-worthy, and just puts the Dreamcast that much higher on my list of "Expensive Toys To Buy When I'm Rediculously Wealthy".

daveadams:
spook people out of paying full price for a PS2

But people already know that a PS3's going to come out in 2 or 3 years or whatever already. I mean, it's part of being a console player. New systems that are going to blow your current system out of the water are rapidly approaching. What do you do? Wait 2 or 3 years and find out, on your way to the store for this swank box, that the next gen will come out in another 2 or 3 years, or buy the current generation now, get 2 or 3 or 5 years of entertainment out of it, and worry about the next gen when the next gen comes out?

Woah, run-on, little sentence. Anyway, I see that comment made on a fairly regular basis, but I don't think it'll significantly change anything. What makes nVidia think people are going to buy the current GeForce at full price when there's a new one less than a year away? They know the people will.

do you really think Mom and Dad would let Junior tie up the phone line all the time with that?

Yes.

Well, if they're anything like my Mom and Dad, who let me tie up the phone line for hours every night BBSing and playing Doom against my geek friends. Or the current Moms and Dads who let their teen tie up the phone line hours nightly for Internet access.


posted by cCranium at 2:05 PM on March 12, 2001


All I know is that the chess game is going to be real hard, with that deep blue behind it.
posted by dancu at 2:05 PM on March 12, 2001


What i'm thinking, is that the IBM chip must be a monster, as the current chip in the Playstation 2 makes it the best console out there.

I didn't think much of the Playstation 2 at first, that is until i had the pleasure to play Dynasty Warriors 2 by KOEI, it's my favourite game at the moment.
posted by Zool at 3:39 PM on March 12, 2001


Is this just more proof that the home PC is dying?
posted by john at 3:43 PM on March 12, 2001


I'm sorry, I couldn't read that article, what with all the vapor.
posted by solistrato at 7:24 PM on March 12, 2001


Who cares about the PS3. I'm still waiting for PS2 to arrive in my local area. Maybe I shouldn't even bother and just wait for the X-Box. Whoever can give me the best version of Madden NFL will get my money.
posted by shackbar at 1:38 AM on March 13, 2001


I hope the home PC does die. Were I not such a geek I'd much rather drop $1000 on a PS2 and a TiVo and an Internet Device Of Some Sort - once there's one that isn't WebTV - then on some magic box that pisses me off and frustrates me.

As far as the stereotypical MeFi reader's concerned (It's still safe to say we're mostly professionals or professionals-to-be in some aspect of computing), we're going to be using workstations for a long time yet.
posted by cCranium at 5:24 AM on March 13, 2001


I hope the home PC does die. Were I not such a geek I'd much rather drop $1000 on a PS2 and a TiVo and an Internet Device Of Some Sort - once there's one that isn't WebTV - then on some magic box that pisses me off and frustrates me.

I totally agree. I want the PS3 to include Tivo functionality. We all know that workstations suck. It's just a matter of time before someone redesigns from the ground up, creates a super console, and microsoft makes "office" available for it in order to avoid the appearance of a monopoly.

However, if that were the case then the Mac would probably be a lot more popular.




posted by mecran01 at 6:37 AM on March 13, 2001


See, I don't think there's going to be one super-box that sits on your stereo rack. I think there's going to be a lot of small, under $500 devices that you can mix and match to achieve different functionality.

Also, anything that can be encoded onto a DVD should be able to be decoded by one device. My DVD player, for example, plays DVDs, audio CDs, MP3, and all sorts of other crazy formats I'm unlikely to ever use, and that just makes sense to me.

In terms of consoles, there's an Open Source console system coming out (too lazy to find links and info, sorry :-) that would be super-cool to move completely to a single chip and have all kinds of devices interpret, for instance. A bit of a pipe dream, but I imagine we'll be seeing more devices as flexible as PS2 in the not-so-distant future.
posted by cCranium at 10:35 AM on March 13, 2001


[cCranium] there's an Open Source console system coming out (too lazy to find links and info, sorry :-)

You're probably thinking of Indrema, which is being developed on open-source principles. The box looks cool, but I don't know much else about it. Looks like PS2+TiVo+WebTV+MP3 player+everything the geeks wish the big companies would include in their hardware. Sounds good, but Wired News just today published an article questioning whether Indrema would ever deliver.

[mecran01] We all know that workstations suck.

I didn't know that.
posted by daveadams at 12:18 PM on March 13, 2001


Imagine, all that CPU power -- wasted on entertainment. At least you can do something useful with a general-purpose computer.
posted by kindall at 3:12 PM on March 13, 2001


"We all know that workstations suck."

Really? Find me an "Internet Appliance" I can sit down and write silly little programs on. Or one that I can choose which email program I want. One that I can replace the operating system on. Find me one of these little devices that'll let me do HTML editing, FTP uploads, SSH connections, Usenet browsing, MUCK and IRC chatting. One that'll let me sync my Visor, including Pocket Quicken.

Put simply, find me one of these technologies that offers the same amount of flexibility. You can't, because their entire purpose is to remove that flexibility and focus on just one thing. I don't want that, and neither do many thousands of other people. Add businesses to that as well, both on the desktop and for their servers, and PCs as we know them aren't going anywhere soon. Even if they do, there will always be a market for servers, and people will be able to buy them instead of more conventional desktops. They won't be happy about it, but they'll do it.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:58 PM on March 13, 2001


daveadams, yeah, it's Indrema, thank you. I don't figure the box will be commercially successful actually, but it's an interesting attempt.

kindall, entertainment's a big industry, and it's something that people are generally, uh, entertained by. :-)

CrayDrygu, no one's suggesting that you or I or most MeFi members are going to abandon their desktops any time soon, but for Generic Family who are looking for a box with which to play DVDs, video games, shoot off the occasional chain letter and let little Jimmy and Sally chat with their friends over IM, tiny appliances will be a huge boon.

Workstations are certainly not dead yet, but in ten years if I'm sitting at a desk staring at a monitor to code, I'm going to be mildly disappointed.

(My personal dream development environment is a lazy boy recliner, a twiddler, a wacom tablet and a projection unit pointed at a big wall. Mmmm)
posted by cCranium at 5:18 AM on March 14, 2001


How much do you want to bet it will be based on the same PowerPC RISC-based architecture found in every Power Mac?
(Co-developed by Apple, IBM and Motorola.)
posted by abosio at 6:52 AM on March 14, 2001


"CrayDrygu, no one's suggesting that you or I or most MeFi members are going to abandon their desktops any time soon"

Nobody here maybe, but there's cries all over of "Imminent death of the PC predicted! Film at 11!" Just your average media overreaction, I suppose.
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2001


kindall, entertainment's a big industry,

Yeah. All that effort and resources, wasted. I mean, most of it's not even aspiring to art.

Steve Jobs, by the way, is not only bucking the "PCs are going away" crowd but is betting Apple on the idea that your desktop machine will be a "hub" for a bunch of other special-purpose digital devices. In the short term (next decade or so) he may well have something...
posted by kindall at 1:24 PM on March 14, 2001


All that effort and resources, wasted. I mean, most of it's not even aspiring to art.

If that's your attitude, then most consumer products and the effort that goes into creating them are wasted. Snack food, soft drinks, most automobiles, most houses. Most products and services go beyond necessity without any promise of usefulness, long-term gain, or artistic value. Or maybe it's all just entertainment.

I like to be entertained. I'm willing to pay for it. Why shouldn't someone expend effort producing entertainment for me? Are my wants and needs worthless unless they produce some greater good?
posted by daveadams at 3:06 PM on March 14, 2001


Well, yeah. The vast majority of things are inherently meaningless and basically worthless in the long run. That's not to say there's anything morally wrong (or right) about that. I think it's a sad waste of brain capacity to spend overmuch time honing reflexes and solving puzzles that have no analog in the real world and I wish even a tenth of the time people spent amusing themselves was spent more constructively. But hey, free will and it's your brain cells and your money and you can waste either however you want.

Still, something rubs me the wrong way about putting more computing power on a single chip than existed in the entire world at the time of the Apollo missions and then using it for little more than a child's plaything. I want there to be something more than juvenile mental masturbation in The Bright and Glorious Future, and far more frequently than I'd like, there just isn't. This isn't quite what I thought I was signing up for when I joined the Technological Revolution. Heavy sigh.
posted by kindall at 10:54 PM on March 15, 2001


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