The console wars have started

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Earlier this week, Microsoft debuted its long-awaited Xbox One console. Although little was said about the processors in the new Xbox One, veteran industry analyst Jon Peddie says he believes the silicon is a custom version of AMD’s newest APU with 8 Jaguar core CPUs and a big multi-core GPU.

"The GPU is not likely to be a Radeon 7000 or 8000 core, but more similar to the UMA design AMD supplied for the Xbox 360—with just a heck of lot more GPU cores," Peddie explained.

"In addition, AMD's APU encode and decode engines are likely in the chip since Microsoft is making such a big deal about movies and live TV. Moreover, AMD has a sweet suite of apps for the new APUs, not the least of which is face recognition, which Microsoft demonstrated at the beginning of its presentation."

According to Peddie, by moving to a conventional X86 architecture, Microsoft and Sony will reduce the tool costs for developers, make cross-platform game development faster and easier, and allow the game developers to get to market much faster.

"[True], the new architecture will not be backward-compatible, and who cares? If you want to play old games, play them on your old machine," said Peddie.

"Consoles can’t keep up with the PC in terms of performance, and most other things. So Microsoft and Sony are positioning the consoles to not have to compete and making them into entertainment centers, something the PC can’t do. (Yeah, yeah, I know, and pigs can fly)."

As Peddie notes, the console wars have clearly started.

"Nintendo is MIA licking its wounds, but they will appear, probably at E3, and probably AMD powered, too, but with a smaller processor. This has been Nintendo’s style even though they were once the performance leader (N64).

"We’re really looking forward to the One and the PS4, and have great expectations and probably hopes that are too high. You, of course, will be the first ones to know whether our faith and enthusiasm have been misplaced. And now, on to E3," he added.