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NVIDIA: Era of fully-custom console hardware is over

Posted on Friday, January 18 2013 @ 14:13:59 CET by

NVIDIA Ceo Jen-Hsun Huang told the press that fully-custom hardware for video game consoles is no longer feasible. Huang explains that with the power delivered by today's CPUs and GPUs, it no longer makes sense to spend lots of money into the development of custom processors with odd architectures, such as the Cell chip developed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM. He adds that it's much easier to use off-the-sheld hardware, and proclaims the age of exclusive game console hardware is over as everything will be based on common architectures.
“You cannot make a game console such as the PlayStation 2 anymore. When it emerged, PS2 had a 100 times higher performance than the most powerful PC. I wonder whether it is possible to make something 100 times powerful than GeForce GTX 680? If possible, Nvidia will make it,” said Jen-Hsun Huang in an interview with PC Watch web-site.

Mr. Huang is in many ways correct. The forthcoming Microsoft Xbox Next and Sony PlayStation 4 are based on custom chips heavily rely on PC architecture and technologies developed by Advanced Micro Devices. Even PlayStation Vita features system-on-chip with ARM Cortex-A9 general-purpose cores and PowerVR SGX 5XT series graphics. Not surprisingly that Nvidia designed its own game console around Tegra 4 application processor, which will power numerous tablets and smartphones this year.



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