Nvidia not worried by loss of PS4 hardware development to AMD

Nvidia putting a brave face on being kicked out of Sony's PlayStation console line in favour of long-term rival AMD in the upcoming PS4

15 Mar 2013
PS4 controller

Nvidia has claimed it passed up the chance to power Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 console, having decided the cost of doing so would leave it with little profit at the end.

The PlayStation 4, the second next-generation console to be unveiled after Nintendo's Wii U, is built around a customised AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) which combines an eight-core general purpose processor with a powerful embedded graphics processor. With 8GB of fast GDDR5 memory - the type normally reserved for high-end graphics cards - on board as well, the AMD hardware is the secret behind the impressive visuals promised by Sony at the console's announcement.

It's also a big win for AMD: the company, which produces processors and graphics chips for laptops, desktops, servers, tablets and embedded devices, has long been losing ground to rival Intel and the deal with Sony - expected to be followed by confirmation that AMD hardware also powers Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 720 - could help get the company back on track.

Many also saw the deal as a blow to Nvidia, AMD's biggest rival in the graphics processor market, but the company claims it didn't want to win Sony's business. "I'm sure there was a negotation that went on," claimed Nvidia's senior vice president of content and technology at Nvidia in an interview with Gamespot. "We came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do business at the price those guys [Sony] were willing to pay. Having been through the original Xbox and PS3, we understand the economics and the tradeoffs."

Claiming that Nvidia would have had to put other projects on hold to develop a graphics processor for the PlayStation 4, Tamasi is spinning the loss of the Sony account as a win - despite the company having previously trumpeted its inclusion in the last-generation PlayStation 3 console as a major boon for the company.

With AMD expected to power all three next-generation consoles - providing the graphics processor for the Wii U, the central and graphics processors for the PlayStation 4 and, rumours suggest, the same for the Xbox 720 - it remains to be seen if Nvidia's dismissal of the console market will come back to haunt it in years to come.

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