This year we've seen the PS3's Cell processor pitch in and help break the petaflop barrier, exploit a major security hole in SSL encryption and enable adolescent hijinks on PlayStation Home. Obviously, this is one serious piece of kit. According to The Race For A New Game Machine, written by two of the folks responsible for designing the thing, the Cell (a partnership between Toshiba, Sony and IBM) was the product of a deal that opened the door to IBM selling key parts of the chip to Microsoft before they had even finished building it -- even though this was clearly not part of the plan. Essentially, Sony's R&D money was spent creating a component for their rival, helping the Xbox 360 make its launch date of November 2005, while the PlayStation 3 was pushed back a full year. It seems somewhat fitting that the troubled game system should have such dysfunctional origins, no?