The next generation console wars are beginning to heat up. With Microsoft already having selected AMD to supply the graphics processor for their next generation console, now it is Sony’s turn to lock in a graphics processor supplier.
Forbes has reported that a number of ex AMD employees have let the cat out of the bag, revealing that Sony is considering switching to AMD for the next generation consoles graphics processor, currently the PlayStation 3 uses NVIDIA for its graphics power. If AMD is successful this will give them the royal flush in the console world, with Microsoft and Nintendo already using AMD graphics.
While both Sony and Microsoft are still in the initial stages of developing their next generation consoles, Microsoft made the decision to use AMD before Christmas, putting Sony at least a few months behind.
The decision to switch graphics processors for a console is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are both technical and logistic issues that can cause complications. Game developer tools will have to be re-written and AMD must be able to guarantee they can supply enough chips. They certainly have their work cut out for them. Sony will also be attempting to keep the cost of the PS4 down, they cannot afford to subsidize the PS4, sell it at a loss, as they did with the PS3. Making cot the essential factor.
There is also the possibility that this may be a negotiating tactic by Sony, an attempt to drive the cost price down, but it does mean that AMD has a foot in the door. Like hostage negotiations, as long as the two parties are talking there is a chance of a successful outcome for AMD.
After a tough year AMD needs as many wins as possible, console gaming is going to be one of the biggest growth area’s over the next 12 to 24 months, making it essential that AMD does well in this market.
AMD certainly seems to be taking the negotiations serious with AMD’s CEO Rory Read heading up the discussions. One of the biggest hurdles for AMD will be convincing Sony that using a similar GPU to Microsoft is a good idea.
While the next generation consoles are still over 12 months from release the battle for gamers attention is already well underway. AMD is desperate to make 2012 a far more successful year compared to 2011, are they desperate enough to secure this win? Only time will tell.