IBM Engineers Step-in to Help PS3 Game Developers

IBM, one of the creators of the Cell architecture, has sent its engineers to a game developer's workshop at High Moon Studios in Carlsbad, California where they are giving tips on how to better harness the PS3 processor to Vivendi Games studios' Radical Entertainment and Swordfish. As part of the workshop, programming teams will use software development kits from IBM's Global Engineering Solutions labs to create the best Cell-based game development algorithm. High Moon chief technical officer Clinton Keith noted: "We've been talking to Sony for almost two years now, but they didn't create the Cell. They created the architecture for the PS3 and they've created a lot of the developer libraries. We've had access to those [Sony] engineers... but they're not the hardware engineers. We want to hit [the Cell] on all fronts. We're talking to the guys [IBM] who designed this chip and have been working on it for five years now."

It's no secret that the multi-core Cell processor makes the PlayStation 3 a very powerful machine, but its complex architecture also makes it difficult for developers to program their games. John Carmack, lead programmer of the Quake and DOOM 3D engines, has expressed his thoughts, saying, "I think the decision to use an asymmetric CPU by Sony was a wrong one. There are aspects that could make it a winning decision, but they're not helpful to the developers ... It's not like the PlayStation 3 is a piece of junk or anything. I was not a fan of the PlayStation 2 and the way its architecture was set up. With the PlayStation 3, it's not even that it's ugly--they just took a design decision that wasn't the best from a development standpoint."

News source: DailyTech

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12 Comments

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I always understood that the Cell is only good at Floating Point integers and would only be good in a game like Metal Gear Solid where most of the game is CG cutscenes.

Not even so. Like the article I linked to at #2 stated, there is no way to "Fully" exploit the cell now, because it carries the mistake that sony made in that they were planning on using the cell to render graphics as well, which it has no place doing since a standard graphics chip can process it much faster.

The only part that IBM plays with the 360 and PS3 is that they design the processors. If the console breaks down, its not IBM's fault or problem to deal with.

Plus, the only cases that I've heard of 360s breaking down is online, ive never met a person whos actually had one broken down.

Sumeet said,
The only part that IBM plays with the 360 and PS3 is that they design the processors. If the console breaks down, its not IBM's fault or problem to deal with.

Plus, the only cases that I've heard of 360s breaking down is online, ive never met a person whos actually had one broken down.

The triple core cpu is design as much as the cell is by IBM. If programmers where having trouble with it IBM would step in too but because it's basically structured like a PC they don't need to unlike the CBE

Sumeet said,
The only part that IBM plays with the 360 and PS3 is that they design the processors. If the console breaks down, its not IBM's fault or problem to deal with.

Plus, the only cases that I've heard of 360s breaking down is online, ive never met a person whos actually had one broken down.

Well the crashes are something the could have helped with. And I do know one person that got a 360 with a dodgey DVD drive, it was fixed promptly (no thanks to EB Games)

Haha, this is too funny. Sony has to have IBM engineers come down and explain how the architecture works, just so developers can actually use it. Wow, good job on deciding to use an over-complicated architecture Sony.

thats sony for you, they did the same thing with PS2 and they are just in the past couple years figureing it out completely