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A View from Brad King

Sony Unveils Details for Cell Chip

Just one day after Microsoft outlined its basic pricing scheme for the new Xbox 360, Sony and its development partners released more technical information about the Cell chip, the processor that is to sit at the heart of the Playstation…

  • August 25, 2005

Just one day after Microsoft outlined its basic pricing scheme for the new Xbox 360, Sony and its development partners released more technical information about the Cell chip, the processor that is to sit at the heart of the Playstation 3 – and eventually facilitate communications between a variety of consumer electronics devices.

The unveiling of the Cell specifications is to get manufacturers on board with the chip, an important piece of Sony’s strategy if the PS3 is going to compete with the 360 for control over the consumer’s living room. (After all, in the world of digital convergence, what good is a device that merely plays games?)

From the article:

The Cell is widely seen as one of the most powerful processors yet developed. It has been tuned for multimedia applications that require fast processing and involve large amounts of data.

This is an interesting gamble by Sony – although likely its best option since it doesn’t have the XP Media Center OS – because it depends upon a wide variety of parties to make this strategy work. And, likely more frightening for Sony, is that none of those businesses have a bottom line tied to Sony, which makes it just as easy for them to turn down the Cell chip as it does for them to take it.

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