so much facepalm. These guys seem to be showing their ignorance. They know games, but not underlying hardware.
AMD may well indeed supply the GPU, but they don't make the right kind of processors to supply the CPU. Plain and simple. Sony learned the hardway about making significant architectural changes and what impact that has on developer enthusiasm, costs, etc. x86 architecture chips (the kind of CPU's Intel and AMD make) are very different animals than PowerPC architecture (The kind that Cell, Xenon - the xbox 360 processor, and the processors you'd find in most consoles in the past decade have been based on, save the PS2, which was a sony-toshiba venture) chips. That argument that "but since PC's run on x86 and many games come out on PC and console they wouldn't have to change much" line is crap. It'd be a totally new paradigm, again, because consoles don't come loaded with windows/linux and all of the pipelines, drivers, api's etc etc they bring with them. Those would be hand crafted, again. so you couldn't just copy paste the PC version over to the PS4 or vice versa. It wouldn't work. It'd be developer hell all over again
And another thing, all this talk about "CELL is hard to develop for" is about half a decade out of date. First of all, Cell was launched back when multi-threaded processing was a relatively new thing. Sure, x86 and PPC both had multi-core architectures before, but they were built and used with the understanding that single threaded performance was the primary focus, and that the bulk of the software running on it would be explicitly single threaded, with the OS splitting the load across the cores. This meant you could design a piece of software for a single core, and it'd run just fine on a multi-core chip, albiet running on only one of it's cores. The OS/chip would coordinate one which single-threaded process would be assigned to which core, but that's basically (oversimplified, and not explicitly true, but generally speaking) how it worked. That's not how CELL works. It was explicitly Multi-core only. You couldn't just have 8 seperate things divided any which way across the cores. It wasn't built liek that, not all cores were created equal. You HAD to design it for multi-threading, and THAT was a fairly new concept to game developers. The fact that it was also a different architecture than the previous playstation, didn't help. however, after a developer had made a game or 2 for the PS3/ a few years in, it was no harder to develop for than an Xbox or PC. The games were all the same building, the PS3 just had a unique foundation.
Cell helped usher in the age and mindset of true multithreaded programming. as opposed to the previous status quo of several single threaded apps being juggled about multiple cores.
Sony and Toshiba will most likely develop Emotion Engine 2, or continue their co-op development with IBM and use a PowerPC derivative of some sort. PowerPC has long been a staple in the console gaming market, and was the foundation of CELL itself, and the newest PowerPC implements a lot of what IBM learned from the cell project into it, but has a much wider user/developer/information base than Cell did, so it's a logical progression. but it will NOT be an AMD x86 processor.
Edited by TheSprunk - 3/2/12 at 2:13am