[wellylug] YDL and PS3

Jethro Carr jethro.carr at jethrocarr.com
Fri Jan 4 11:13:47 NZDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-01-04 at 10:56 +1300, David Antliff wrote:
> On 04/01/2008, Jethro Carr <jethro.carr at jethrocarr.com> wrote:
> > Basicly: The cell processor is really, really powerful IF the
> > application is written to use the SPEs. It also requires that the
> > program uses the SPEs in the write way, the SPEs are best designed to do
> > vectorised floating point math, so programs that require this sort of
> > math (such as 3D games and physics engines) will gain a huge performance
> > boost.
> Which is why, up until this point, the PS3 has essentially failed as a
> games platform. Why invest massive cost attempting to utilise the SPEs
> when you can simply develop for the adequate Xbox 360 with the
> possibility of a relatively easier PC port down the track? The PS3
> software development path is a dead end right from the start.

yeah, and you can clearly see this with the complete lack of PS3 games
available on the market. Why, clearly all the developers are shunning
this complicated market failure. ;-)

Sure it probably is a bit more complicated, but as the game companies
update their gaming engines for the SPE architecture, they will gain a
number of benefits.

* Get amazing performance out of the PS3

* Their game will be multi-threaded so will get better performance out
of multi-core PCs.

* The game engine will be easy to port to other SPE-like architectures
such the Nvidia shader architecture you mentioned.

> It remains to be seen how well the SPEs are utilised in future
> applications and games.
> It would be interesting to consider an SPE peripheral card (say, PCI
> express) mass-produced and marketed for the PC-gaming crowd, that uses
> the same API as the PS3 SPE set. It would make the PS3 a more
> attractive development platform, but I have my doubts anyone would buy
> them without current titles. It's the same chicken-egg problem that
> Sony has yet to solve with the PS3 alone.

> I think the unified shader architecture on the Nvidia 8xxx series has
> a lot more going for it. Each of those shaders (of which there are 128
> on the 8800 GTX) can be programmed to do far more than just graphics
> ops. They are a bit like SPEs, only there's 128 of them on a single
> video card...

unlikely a SPE gaming card would be made... like you say yourself, the
new video cards have chipsets a bit like SPEs, so developers will write
for those rather than anything else.

Jethro Carr


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