AMD has scored a big design win with the PlayStation 4. When the console comes out later this year, it will pack an AMD-designed APU with eight x86 processor cores and Radeon-derived graphics. That will be a stark departure from the Cell-and-GeForce combo of the PlayStation 3.
So, why didn't Nvidia get the win this time?
GameSpot broached the subject with Tony Tamasi, Nvidia's Senior VP of Content and Technology, who provided an interesting answer. By the sound of it, Nvidia may have turned down Sony and not the other way around.
"We came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay," Tamasi told GameSpot. "We had to look at console business as an opportunity cost," he added. "If we . . . did a console, what other piece of our business would we put on hold to chase after that?"
In the end, Nvidia apparently chose to prioritize its internal projects over a venture with Sony. Tamasi concludes, "We'll see how that plays out from a business perspective . . . It's clearly not a technology thing."
Perhaps he's right, but there may be more of a technology gap than he lets on. AMD was able to give Sony some relatively powerful x86 CPU cores and a state-of-the-art GPU on a single chip, using proven technology. Nvidia, on the other hand, lacks an x86 license and still hasn't announced products based on Project Denver, its upcoming, ARMv8-powered 64-bit processor. Perhaps the firm could have cobbled together a chip with Tegra 4 processor cores and Kepler GPU logic, but the AMD solution does seem more befitting of a next-gen console, at least to my eyes.