Would an x86 PlayStation 4 Mark a Significant Shift for the Console Industry?

  • Unconfirmed rumors suggest the next generation PlayStation will run an AMD x86 with an AMD “Southern Islands” GPU. Similarly, the next Xbox 360 may also run an AMD GPU.
  • While these chips are top performers, they do not represent a new state-of-the-art system as their predecessors did when they debuted six years ago.
  • This may disappoint gamers but game consoles are increasingly being used for viewing of streaming media, which does not require the highest performance. Xbox Live Gold subscribers, for example, actually spend more time viewing streaming video than playing games.
  • This approach also allows Sony and Microsoft to build less costly media consoles appealing to a larger market rather than expensive game units that sell below cost.
  • Further, developers will be more familiar with these PC architectures, encouraging faster game development.

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