WSJ: PlayStation 4 will have AMD silicon, cloud gaming

We've heard it before, and now, the Wall Street Journal has echoed the rumor: Sony's PlayStation 4 will have AMD inside. "Based on prototypes shown to employees and partners," says the Journal, "Sony's new PlayStation is expected to run on chips made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc." The word "chips" implies that the system could feature multiple slices of AMD silicon—perhaps both a CPU and a discrete GPU. It's hard to say for sure based on just one sentence, though.

More interestingly, the Journal also reports that the PlayStation 4 will have cloud gaming capabilities built in. That is, in addition to being able to run games on the integrated hardware, the system will stream titles rendered by remote server farms in real time.

This last tidbit should come as no surprise to anyone who's kept up with Sony's acquisitions. In July of last year, Sony snatched up Gaikai, a cloud gaming service, for $380 million. Sony was quite overt about its aspirations even then. The press release stated, "With this acquisition, SCE will establish a cloud service and expand its network business by taking full advantage of Gaikai's revolutionary technology and infrastructure including data centers servicing dozens of countries and key partners around the world."

The Journal says Sony has been "investing heavily" to make sure Gaikai technology is up to snuff for the PlayStation 4's big debut. It adds that Gaikai streaming tech will let users run PlayStation 3 games on the system—something that may otherwise be difficult to achieve, if the PS4 has an x86 (or even ARM-based) AMD processor instead of a Cell chip like the PS3. Of course, remote streaming introduces some extra input latency, which might make some fast-paced games a little trickier to play.

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