While the technology under the hood of Sony's next portable system is impressive, the idea that the device will be as powerful as a PS3 is just plain silly, according to David Coombes, a platform research manager at Sony. Coombes explained at a GDC session that building a PlayStation portable with the same processing power as its home console brother is just not feasible.
"Some people in the press have said wow, this thing... could be as powerful as PS3. Well, it's not going to run at 2GHz because the battery would last five minutes," said Coombes. "And it would probably set fire to your pants."
The NGP will feature a quad-core processor which, if taken to its limits, could indeed run at double the portable standard (theoretically). But as Coombes pointed out, battery life and heat production prevent such overclocking. The PS3's CPU, for comparison, is a 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine.
It should be noted however, that while the NGP may technically not be as powerful as a PS3, it appears to be possible to create games for it which, in practice, contain visuals that rival those of PS3 games, and the fancy screen, dual analog sticks, touch input, and other advancements make it quite a tech-heavy device. Nevertheless, don't expect to build a supercomputer out of them.
Thanks for keeping it real, Coombes.
Mar 3, 2011