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PlayStation 4 Announced: PC-based AMD Hardware Inside

By , Marcus Yam - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 146 comments

Sony takes a page from the PC for its next-gen gaming system.

As expected, Sony used its PlayStation 'See the Future' event to show off the next generation of PlayStation, also known as the PlayStation 4. In a radical departure from the rather "unique" system designs that Sony's employed in the past, PS4 seems to be largely designed around existing PC technology.

Sony says that the PS4 has been in development for five years, which is a bit surprising as the PS4 is based on x86 architecture with 8 cores, an integrated GPU, and 8GB of shared GDDR5 RAM. Sony used the word APU, which gives us pretty good confirmation that it's AMD inside. The graphical portion of the APU is said to deliver almost 2 TFLOPS of performance. The 8GB of unified memory is shared between the CPU and GPU and supplies over 170GB/s of bandwidth.

For storage, Sony is relying on a "large" local HDD, so it seems that capacity is preferred over an SSD's speed. There's also a brand new DualShock 4 controller with a curvier shape, enhanced rumble capabilities, a touchpad, a share button, and a headphone jack.

UPDATE2: AMD has published a blog talking a little bit more about its involvement with the PS4. Details are very light, but we'll let you know when we have more.

UPDATE1: More hardware specs:

Main Processor

Single-chip custom processor

CPU :  x86-64 AMD "Jaguar",  8 cores

GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS,  AMD next-generation Radeon™ based graphics engine



Hard Disk Drive


Optical Drive

(read only)




Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) 、AUX


Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)

IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

AV output


Analog-AV out

Digital Output (optical)

<Wireless Controller for PlayStation®4 (DUALSHOCK®4)>

External Dimensions

Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm (width x height x depth)

(tentative, excludes largest projection)


Approx. 210g (tentative)

Keys / Switches

PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button,

Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right),

Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square),

R1/L1/R2/L2 button, Left stick / L3 button, Right stick / R3 button, Pad Button

Touch Pad

2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type

Motion Sensor

Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)

Other Features

Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker


USB (Micro B), Extension Port, Stereo Headset Jack

Wireless Communication

Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR



Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery


DC3.7V (tentative)


1000mAh (tentative)

<PlayStation®4 Eye>

External Dimension

Approx. 186mm x 27mm x 27mm (width x height x depth)



Approx. 183g (tentative)

Video Pixel

(Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2

Video Frame Rate

1280x800 pixel @ 60fps

640x400 pixel @ 120fps

320x192 pixel @ 240fps

Video Format

RAW, YUV (uncompressed)


Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus

Capture Range





4 Channel Microphone Array

Connection Type

PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)

Cable Length

Approx. 2m (tentative)

Console hardware and controller aside, PS4 is going to be a pretty different experience compared to the PS3. For one, users will be able to broadcast their gaming to their friends who can post comments and offer help on how to get past particularly challenging portions of the game. PS4 will also allow you to play games as you download them and a feature called Remote Play will enable PS4 games on PS Vita (Sony this evening demonstrated Knack on PS4 and streamed to PS Vita). PS1, PS2, and PS3 games will be supported in that they'll be streamed from the cloud.

No pricing yet, and the only word in availability is "Holiday 2013." We don't even know what the console itself looks like, so there's still plenty more to come.

If you want to watch the entire presentation to see all the game demos, click here. Also check out our PS4 games recap.

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Display 146 Comments.
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  • 36 Hide
    TheBigTroll , February 21, 2013 12:23 AM
    for about 2teraflops on the GPU, id say we are getting 7850-7870 performance in terms of speed. pretty good
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , February 21, 2013 12:25 AM
    what about backwards compatibility?
  • 25 Hide
    dudewitbow , February 21, 2013 12:28 AM
    TheBigTrollfor about 2teraflops on the GPU, id say we are getting 7850-7870 performance in terms of speed. pretty good

    I'd be wary of actual performance rated in teraflops. its hard to say what it really is as these are modified/custom gpus, and in this case, IGPU as well. The fact that its 8 cores, and the term APU was used, means that AMD must have created a new type of apu for the PS4, so its up in the airs of what it can really do.
  • 21 Hide
    TheBigTroll , February 21, 2013 12:33 AM
    I am disappointed, the best APU's can only play 720p smoothly. Oh and there is no such thing as an 8core APU. I really hope this playstation only lasts a few years, because I don't want to have another 8ish years where graphics in games don't improve. It's obvious that they don't have a power limit so why didn't they use dedicated graphics? Also who the hell needs a touchscreen controller?

    the odds are that its a custom APU, it will be much more powerful than your apus found in the fm2 socket
  • 21 Hide
    samal90 , February 21, 2013 12:36 AM
    AMD is probably developing a special APU just for the PS4. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a kaveri APU in there. It would actually be nice. Since we still don't have an 8 core apu in the mainstream market, i'd say that APU will be reserved for the PS4 only with special optimizations. I wonder if it will still have a dedicated GPU for virtual crossfire with the APU GPU. that would give great performance.
  • 9 Hide
    Netherscourge , February 21, 2013 12:38 AM
    Not big on the HDD thing, but the rest looks good.

    It actually sounds more like a gaming PC than the Xbox 360 does now, which is ironic.
  • 20 Hide
    TheBigTroll , February 21, 2013 12:41 AM
    well you cant expect a SSD that quickly. they still arent cheap enough to employ.
  • 10 Hide
    blazorthon , February 21, 2013 12:42 AM
    NetherscourgeNot big on the HDD thing, but the rest looks good.It actually sounds more like a gaming PC than the Xbox 360 does now, which is ironic.

    The original Xbox was based on PC hardware too IIRC.
  • -8 Hide
    Jerky_san , February 21, 2013 12:42 AM
    I wish sony would make a PCI-E card that has an SSD on it. You plug this card in and they say YOU MUST HAVE X specs but with it it turns your computer into a ps4.. You restart your computer and boot into ps4 mode.. or you have vmware(or some other vm tech). You pay 150 for the card and 30 per game.. You don't have disks you just have images provided by sony's in system store.
  • 26 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , February 21, 2013 12:45 AM
    Hurray for AMD! (Why did its stock fall to $0.14? It should be the other way as it gives AMD a huge pie of the counsel market and games will be optimized specifically with AMD APU architecture.)
  • 26 Hide
    shadowfamicom , February 21, 2013 12:48 AM
    Before all the people get into the comments section, and go "I am gonna stick with my 680gtx and i7!!" or the general anti-console talk... Look people I have a gaming PC too... and PC games are great. But how am I going to get the new Okami, Catherine, Monster Hunter, Rez, Siren, Virtua Fighter, Lumines, Tekken, Silent Hill, Katamari, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Guardian and the like on PC? The fact is a lot of my favorite genres happen to be developed mostly in Japan. These games do not generally come out for PC. So yes, it IS stupid to buy the new FPS on a console for $10 more and with crappy controls and no real modding scene to speak of... and when I am buying an FPS it is on PC. But a large amount of games I enjoy are console only. So anyone saying... "CONSOLE is BaLLs, PC IS THE OWNZ!!!1111", consider that not everyone is always after the next FPS, RTS, Simulator or MMO.
  • 30 Hide
    nieur , February 21, 2013 12:51 AM
    as it is based on x86 it will be easier for developers to port games from PS4 to PC or Vice versa
  • 8 Hide
    shadowfamicom , February 21, 2013 12:51 AM
    Also wanted to note that I realize the amount of genres you regularly see on the PC have been expanding since steam. Was surprised to see SFIV on PC. Still a lot of work to be done until the need for me to have a console to play these games is no more. But who knows, maybe the x86 in the PS4 and likely in the new MS console offering may see an even bigger improvement.
  • 22 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , February 21, 2013 12:53 AM
    As a PC guy, I'm very exciting that the next consoles will use x86 processors. Shame on you, Nintendo.
  • 3 Hide
    downhill911 , February 21, 2013 12:53 AM
    I am actually seeing some nice looking graphics, even in this only 720p video.
  • 15 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , February 21, 2013 12:58 AM
    it was in development for 5 years, and they though screw this idea! its much easier and cheaper to build a PC! thats not a bad thing though, about time they stopped wasting their money on product specific custom hardware when there is perfectly good solutions already available.
  • 4 Hide
    bak0n , February 21, 2013 1:02 AM
    TheBigTrollthe odds are that its a custom APU, it will be much more powerful than your apus found in the fm2 socket

    Beyond that they typically program to a solid 30 fps. Not aiming for 60 or above. They won't be turning on AA AF to the max either on the PS or XBOX.
  • 20 Hide
    abbadon_34 , February 21, 2013 1:03 AM
    "PS1, PS2, and PS3 games will be supported in that they'll be streamed from the cloud."

    So in other words, NO. And begs the question, is "alway connected" required?
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