PS4 Architecture Revealed By Mark Cerny

Mark Cerny, lead system architect of Sony, in an in-depth and detailed interview with Gamasutra, explained the logic and thinking behind the design of the PlayStation 4, which was unveiled couple of months ago as the successor of their PS3.

Cerny told the reporter that the history of inception of the concept behind PS4 can be traced back to as long as Thanksgiving of the year 2007. The veteran had just finished a book on the history of x86 system architecture, and he decided about the powerful successor of the PlayStation 3. As he marked, in PS3 the developers had to face difficulties with the unique cell processor of the unit. The console was hugely powerful but to exploit the potential fully, the developers had to study and learn unique techniques about using the hardware, which was not a very smooth process indeed.

With PS4 the basic motto was to develop a console that will have simple hardware and the programmers will need not to solve any hardware puzzle to make quality programs. To answer the question, if Sony is considering about the developers who will craft games for the multiple platforms such as the next Xbox, which is expected to have a similar x86 processor like the PS4, Cerny said that they are really considering to stop making hardware puzzles for the developers, and made it a point to mention that his comment covers the multi- platform world too.

The design of the PS4 was described as a “supercharged PC architecture” by this veteran and he also added that the PS4 architecture will have 8GB GDDR5 memory that can be used by both the GPU and CPU. According to his believe, the new approach towards the design will make it a future proof console, and he expect that developers will work on harnessing the power of GPU beyond rendering graphics through technologies such as physics modelling. His words also made it clear that the PS4 development tools will have simple control to adjust the computation on GPU.

In his interview he claimed that the PlayStation will have a stronger launch lineup than its predecessor as developing for the console is really easy, and the games will take not more than weeks to port to the PS4 from the PCs.

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