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Apparently, Sony Didn't Want To Pay For Nvidia Tech In PS4

Sony sided with Nvidia for the PlayStation 3 but for the PS4, the electronics giant opted to go with AMD instead.

Some wish Sony had stuck with Nvidia as AMD's reputation among tech-hounds has wavered over the past few years. But it seems Nvidia wanted too much money to design chips for the PS4, or so senior vice president of content and technology Tony Tamasi said. As he told GameSpot, they wouldn't sign on for the new generation due to the "opportunity cost:"

"I'm sure there was a negotiation that went on, and we came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay. Having been through the original Xbox and PS3, we understand the economics of [console development] and the tradeoffs."

Tamasi went on to say they're "building a whole bunch of stuff" and they had to look at the console business as an opportunity cost. It was a matter of priorities, it seemed. As he further explained:

"In the end, you only have so many engineers and so much capability, and if you're going to go off and do chips for Sony or Microsoft, then that's probably a chip that you're not doing for some other portion of your business. And at least in the case of Sony and Nvidia, in terms of PS4, AMD has the business and Nvidia doesn't. We'll see how that plays out from a business perspective I guess. It's clearly not a technology thing."

So is this a sign of Sony wanting to keep the manufacturing costs down? AMD may have simply been the cheaper option, as Nvidia demanded a higher number. Then again, maybe Sony merely opted to go the AMD route for multiple reasons, and cost was only one factor. What do you think?

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, nvidia, amd, sony

3/14/2013 11:50:17 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (43 posts)

ChaseHammer
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:18:34 PM
Reply

ATI = Good.
AMD = Not good.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 11 down Disagree with this comment

LaasYaNir
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:42:21 PM

AMD is a great card maker. I have no idea why you say they're "not good".

Agree with this comment 16 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Abidan13
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 2:36:03 PM

AMD is perfectly fine. ATI is now part of AMD anyway. I'm for this decision. If developers are using computers with AMD as well, I can only see benefits. Many of the design and modelling software (Autodesk products) are more efficient with AMD architecture due to partnerships between AMD and Autodesk.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Crabba
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 5:48:53 PM

I think what he's trying to say is their GPUs are good, their CPUs are not, and that's certainly been true for several years now...

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LaasYaNir
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 6:35:06 PM

Crabba, if he's trying to say their CPUs aren't any good, then his comment is way out of context for this article. This is clearly an article about the GPU.

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Crabba
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 4:44:32 PM

How is it out of context? It is a pretty clear statement that while the ATI branch of AMD make good GPUs their CPU performance really lacks behind. There's nothing out of context about it.

It's fairly common knowledge that historically ATI is the GPU manufacturer and AMD makes CPUs. AMD per se have never been a GPU manufacturer and ATI have never been a CPU manufacturer so any other interpretation would either be ignorant or completely wrong.

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LaasYaNir
Saturday, March 16, 2013 @ 1:13:19 PM

Crabba...read the first sentence of the article: "Sony sided with Nvidia for the PlayStation 3 but for the PS4, the electronics giant opted to go with AMD instead." Nvidia didn't create the cell processor for the PS3, they created the GPU. It's amazing how far in life a little logic and reading comprehension can get you.

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Crabba
Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 5:11:59 PM

LaasYaNir: If you don't know what you're talking about, stay out of the discussion.

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Temjin001
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:26:02 PM
Reply

Didn't nvidia try to sue MS over their contract with the original Xbox? It doesn't seem Nvidia makes as a very agreeable partner, but then again I'm not sure MS does either.

Anyway, in the past ATi has always been a lot more forward thinking with their architectures than that of nvidia's. I'm not too certain how it is today.

I do absolutely think the deal on PS4 came down to the cost-performance ratio AMD was offering. Having two expensive chips fused onto one will reduce manufacturing costs in both production and heating expenses for Sony. I think it's a wise choice, even if Nvidia is making some awesome strides with their programmable CUDA cores in modern Geforce cards.
Also, Nvidia and Autodesk are in bed together so for the 3D modeling and animation side of things it's usually smarter to go Nvidia, especially with the newer PhysX stuff and iRay rendering.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 1:08:36 PM

Nvidia cards vs AMD cards can cost twice as much within the same tier of of comparable performance, so I agree with you assessment.

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Shams
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 1:15:26 PM

Moreover, the only complaint I've heard about AMD is that they are slow to update drivers for the pc graphics cards, which is nonissue for consoles. They lack PhysX support, which NVidia will be supporting in the PS4 anyways, and although they lack cuda core tech (which would only concern someone who would be using their console for Autocad), they tend to run faster than their NVidia counterparts. Oh, yes, and they're a lot cheaper, too.

Last edited by Shams on 3/14/2013 1:16:03 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 1:32:49 PM

yah, I'm happy with the AMD choice too. I have fond memories of my Radeon 9800pro back in the day. It was a beast back then.

btw, master shams, the helicopter part on NGS+ is murder. I nearly quit out of frustration. It wouldn't be so bad if you could evade out of first person mode, as you can on console, but on Vita you have to tap that silly x button at the bottom right. It was a horrible interface modification that nearly broke the game for me.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

DrRockso87
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:26:36 PM
Reply

Good job, Sony! Honestly, yes, the Nvidia is better than AMD but so what? I'm sure the cell processor was powerful but didn't do much for Sony when most third-party developers didn't use it (which is probably why Sony ditched the costly mistake).

Just keep it simple, Sony. Look at Nintendo with the Wii. Low price = sold millions. $600 PS3 = sold poorly (at first). You can have all of this amazing tech in your system but when the price is too high, people won't be interested. Besides, the PS4's specs look great already. No need to overdo it.

I'm glad they're keeping their console cheap if this is the case. Shows they're learning.

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PHOENIXZERO
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 1:15:52 PM

Why are you bringing up Cell? NVidia had nothing to do with that architectural nightmare. NVidia supplied the PS3's GPU.

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Mounce
Sunday, March 17, 2013 @ 12:54:06 PM

Have you seen though? Nvidia's been trash-talking Sony and PS4 ever since of this decision. Especially the article of them saying it's, quote on quote: "PS4 isn't worth the cost" and how Nvidia recently compared PS4 to a *Low-End* CPU/PC.

They're being butthurt that PS4 and potentially Xbox 720 isn't signing on for Nvidia and both are going AMD.

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SaiyanSempai
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:33:47 PM
Reply

AMD is definitely the way to go. when it comes to cost per performance, AMD is it. you end up paying exponentially for the little performance gain Nvidia brings. Not worth it in my opinion, especially when consumers are waiting to bite your head off on the price.

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CrusaderForever
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:34:16 PM
Reply

Nvidia = EA = Microsoft = Activision they are so money hungry, more than other reputable companies. ATI offered very nice price/performance ratio with their GDDR5 video cards back in the 4000 Radeon days. I was very pleased with their 4870. However, not so sure about AMD Radeons though. I am sure Sony knows more than I do and have done their research. Keeping costs down and offering great performance sounds like a smart move. Nvidia needs to change their business practice if they are to remain relevant in the coming years.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

shadowscorpio
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 9:14:53 PM

Agreed . When it comes down to it by natural selection in the business world, the consumer(whether its an individual or another business) determines the worth and/or value of something. That goes for the product as well as labor when it comes to monetary value .

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ryu
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:46:13 PM
Reply

it would be funny if microsoft scoop up a deal with nvidia after sony told them off

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gumbi
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 12:51:03 PM
Reply

Like others have said, when it comes to Cost/Performance analysis, you just can't beat AMD. Smart choice by Sony. This way they can still deliver a powerful machine without breaking the bank. That's a win/win in my books.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

city96
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 1:04:01 PM
Reply

Nvidia are the better card makers. AMD can match their top mid range like the GTX680. AMD has more cost/performance value which is more attractive nowadays.

AMD also have some deep rooted gaming prowess. Look at DiRT series running on PC. The difference between a Nvidia and AMD card diminishes.

Sony wanted to keep costs low. Not for their own profits, well, yes ultimately, more to allow consumers to be interested.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 1:48:53 PM
Reply

So from what Im hearing Nvidia might be in for a big headache here soon. With the issues the Nvidia GPU's are having with Tomb Raider and the console seemingly choosing AMD over Nvidia, maybe Nvidia might have to rethink its business model.

From what I read Nvidia's new cards are "underclocked", apparently only using half of what they can because AMD's newer cards were so much weaker. But the you read about the TressFX issue that Nvidia is having, not to mention that Squenix went with AMD to design the TressFX in the frist place, and now maybe Nvidia is gonna rethink things.

I have no problem with Nvidia, that would be like hating Mercedes because I drive a Toyota, but it would be nice to see them unleash the beast so to speak and force AMD to respond. But maybe all this IS AMD's response.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 2:23:07 PM
Reply

Knowing nothing of current graphics processing capabilities I can only say this: If PS4 dominates this generation as it should, Nvidia will be a sad panda.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 5:43:41 PM

Even if the PS4 goes on to match what the PS3 has done, Nvidia will be looking at the business end of 100 million missed opportunities shotgun.

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 2:41:02 PM
Reply

With AMD inside the Xbox too AMD will now totally own the console part of the gaming market, even more so than Nvidia dominates PC gaming.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this might have also on other fields now that most every engine will be written for their chipsets for the console market.

I really dig this. Nvidia need competion.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/14/2013 2:46:57 PM

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:17:34 PM

Can we expect any technical problems to present themselves when sequences written for NVidia first on PC are transferred over for consoles?

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:56:22 PM

The short, simple and stunningly gorgeous answer is "NO", for many reasons. Interestingly enough it would actually be harder the other way around.

To draw a simplified picture of the two we can call Nvidia technology brute force while AMD use ingenuity. So it is easier for developers to write stuff for Nvidia cards due to the simplistic setup, which more or less puts AMD's ingenuity to waste unless a developer decides to write the application to take full advantage of the AMD layout (hmmm... Any bells ringing now, folks? ;)).

Most developers has up until now not bothered with taking advantage of the extra power AMD (potentially) has, which gives Nvidia cards a leg up on optimization of their cards.
But as far as I am able to see this whole picture is now turned *entirely* upside down with both major console platforms going for AMD. That is what makes this so insanely cool.

Also, this is low level stuff - most game developers will build their code on a layer above this stuff here, who is of most interest to those who write the drivers and low level libraries for the engines. So again, the answer to your question is a sounding "no"! No problems in the horizon.
Sweet, right? :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/14/2013 4:40:18 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 6:45:05 PM

yup, screen tearing is bad.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 1:52:06 AM

Ah well screen tearing and such artifacts can still happen, of course. But that it more due to the programmers, not the hardware or differences therein. :)

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Karosso
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 2:44:34 PM
Reply

It is the same with AMD CPUs(cheaper) vs Intel CPUs, you pay twice as much for that 10% performance gain you use once in a blue moon.
AMD cards and nVidia are similar, plus the nVidia cards tend to run really hot and are usually very power hungry, although they seen to have addressed that a little with the Kepler chips...
Sony made the smart choice, and nVidia will be left out of this console generation, unless MS surprises everyone and goes with nVidia. But so far rumors have it they will use AMD as well.

Last edited by Karosso on 3/14/2013 2:45:37 PM

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Crabba
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 5:57:18 PM

It's definitely not the same with CPUs, Intel has been dominating AMD in CPU performance in the past few years.

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daus26
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 7:05:12 PM

I think Karosso is just talking about cost vs. performance here, not which one of them is dominating. In that case, he would be right. Intel chips are better and faster, but their price over AMD doesn't really justify it, giving AMD the advantage in that regard. Intel is like a well known brand. Their cost is a premium and it doesn't reflect on just the performance of their products.

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Karosso
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 9:45:01 AM

@ Crabba
Intel "Six" Cores CPU= $550 dollars.
AMD "Eight" Cores CPU= $199 dollars.
Is it three times faster than AMD's? NO.Does it cost three times more? Yes.
Is it even twice as fast? No. Maybe 50% faster? No.
That's all I meant, performance vs cost, you need to be really into bragging rights to wast your money on Intel's CPUs for those extra 7 frames per second...

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PHOENIXZERO
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 1:50:03 PM

Except Intel has more or less been the champion these last several years when it comes to price vs performance, at least when it comes to gaming. You sure as hell don't need that $550 CPU to get $200 Intel CPU that outperforms AMD's $200 CPUs. The only place AMD dominates (despite having MOAR COARZ!) is at the $100 area when it comes to gaming. Perhaps that will change with this coming generation as developers will be working on consoles with 8 core CPUs but even if it does it doesn't mean AMD is going to suddenly be on top again.

AMD is willing to make these deals at low prices because the company is in rough shape and they need whatever revenue they can get. It's a great for them however to be used in all three consoles this time around.

Last edited by PHOENIXZERO on 3/15/2013 1:59:21 PM

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Crabba
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 5:00:40 PM

I'm sorry Karosso & daus26 but you are wrong. Like PHOENIXZERO says the only price segment where AMD has the better price/performance is the budget segment of $100 or less. More "cores" does not equal better performance.

But you don't have to trust me, just check Toms Hardware's "Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: February 2013" article.

Best Gaming CPU for $130: Intel Core i3-3220
Best Gaming CPU for $180: Intel Core i5-3350P
Best Gaming CPU for $230: Intel Core i5-3570K

From their Bottom line: The Core i5-3350P is a clear performance-per-dollar winner, demonstrating no weaknesses in any of the games we're running.

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xnonsuchx
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:28:29 PM
Reply

Sony had already decided on a Radeon-based GPU in 2008. The decision for a combined CPU-GPU probably just solidified that decision...because who's going to use Intel GPU tech???

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Karosso
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:49:35 PM

Maybe Nintendo? LOL

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daus26
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 7:07:35 PM

Lol yeah, intel integrated gpus on any of their cpus are not so awesome.

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 7:42:05 PM

Seems kind of unfair to bring Intel into this since they only manufacture CPUs. I'm sure if intel made GPUs they wouldn't be too far behind on that technology...

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xnonsuchx
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 8:25:48 PM

Cesar_ser_4: Never heard of "Intel HD Graphics???" That's GPU...and they sell their Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs w/ the GPU integrated. They just don't sell their GPU for discrete graphics cards (because nobody would buy them anyway).

Last edited by xnonsuchx on 3/14/2013 8:28:20 PM

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 10:52:26 PM

Oh sorry nonsuch didn't think I had to be more clearer. They (Intel) does not manufacture STANDALONE GPUs. Better?.

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xnonsuchx
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 11:37:55 PM

Cesar_ser_4: It matters since my point was ABOUT integrated CPU-GPU and joking that nobody considers Intel HD Graphics to be more than mediocre, so not "unfair." "GPU" is just the chip regardless of whether it's put on a motherboard, put on a graphics card, or integrated w/ a CPU, so saying Intel "only manufactures CPUs" and "if Intel made GPUs" makes it sound like they don't do ANYTHING graphics-wise.

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 11:53:04 PM

Yes but you're talking about an APU which in itself is CPU+GPU of which the GPU comes from the venture between AMD & ATI. The GPU inside the AMD processor comes from the architecture of discreet graphics card. Whereas Intel's HD graphics only comes from Intel's own. Does it suck for gaming? yes it does. But putting it head to head with the GPU of an APU is straight up beating a dead horse.

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