Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed


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Monday, 25 February 2013, 11:32

Playstation 4

Ok so I guess I do have a passing interest in the Playstation 4 hardware after all. Although I have only read a couple of articles about it and can't be bothered watching the press conference.

The unified GDDR5 memory sounds really awesome - I think it would make a great workstation. Memory bandwidth is a big bottleneck on any current PC, particularly with the separated memory spaces and the PCI barrier. Pity it's going to be a locked down proprietary system though, so unless it can run GNU/Linux completely then it really just isn't going to interest me this time. I really wonder if the time of the proprietary console hasn't passed ... it's hard justifying the expensive games and expensive blu-rays if most people are happy with flash games and youtube. For entertainment i'm more inclined to read a book, write software, or make something with my hands than play a game - i've got a few unopened PS3 games as it is (and no it isn't ironic that my latest foray into software is a game ...).

On the other hand, the hardware itself isn't particularly proprietary this time - maybe there are some customisations but it is basically just off-the-shelf AMD hardware. The unified memory is one thing mentioned with AMD's HSA plans, and is critical to their performance road-map, so with any luck we'll see comparable APU motherboards available for other OEMS. In the SteamBox perhaps? AMD are hinting at some 'good news for gamers' coming up at any rate. It's about time PC architecture got a bit of a rev-up, Intel has held it back for too long with their over-engineered-junk-as-a-competitive-strategy approach. Well fingers crossed anyway, although this is just a bit of hopeful optimism at this point.

And as an aside it's sad to see CELL BE go. Or it would be if you could ever have gotten a PC with one in it, and they kept up the development to keep it competitive. I learnt a lot about hetereogenous processing, SIMD, and parallel processing from my short stint with it.

On the software side - what's this obsession with "social" junk? Gah. No thanks. Wasted enough of my life on that shit in the past, and when I do want to interact with people I want to be with them. And when I don't i'd rather be properly alone. I can understand the Google's and other people-spying companies of this world wanting everyone to perform all interactions on line (whilst some rentier takes a cut of the cost!), but physically meeting friends is much more satisfying, private and totally free in all meanings of the word.

Tagged games, rants.
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