Another week, another PS3 rumor fire quickly decimating rational thought on the internet. We should start billing Sony for putting these things out. This time, British computing tabloid, The Inquirer, is running a piece titled, "PS3 hardware slow and broken." It's full of the usual Inquirer stuff: bad spelling, horrible grammar, and (most importantly) specious arguments. So, before we even get to what they're claiming, understand that their story could be considered entertainment, much the way the Enquirer is. Here goes:
An Inquirer writer had the good fortune to sit next to Anonymous Guy on a recent flight to Japan who dished about the PS3's new Cell and RSX chips. "Oh my God, did you hear? Cell is like, totally broken and junk. It's MBs are all, like, messed up where the GBs should be ... and stuff." Alright, that's not a direct quote, but a decent approximation. It isn't worth going through and breaking down the arguments since a little common sense would go much further.
Alright, internet, I know we're all still upset about "The Price." I know sometimes Sony says funny stuff that we all laugh at. (Too cheap? You kill me Kutaragi!) There are some kinds of rumors we're willing to believe. Yields are low? Alright, that happens. One of the largest and most well respected chip developers in the world, whose new, custom-built, ground breaking chip architecture has a huge design flaw that we extrapolated from a slide and a single-serving airplane buddy? See, it just doesn't seem as plausible.
In regards to a system as unique -- and uniquely complex -- as the PS3, this level of "journalism" seems woefully inadequate to tackle what may or may not be actual design problems with the processor. Places to look, if you're so inclined: Sony's Cell page. Too biased? How about one of Ars Technica's famously exhaustive looks at the thing ... in two parts. The Ars guys are part processor, it appears, and they didn't manage to identify some singular shortcoming that will doom the PlayStation 3 as an also-ran.
So go ahead. Read it, enjoy it, but please don't take it as Truth. The console wars are already ugly enough without the rumors.
Clearing up some PS3 confusion
Rumor: no pre-owned games for PS3?
[Thanks, I guess, to everyone that sent this in]
(Update: The misunderstanding evident in the linked story relates to the distinction between local video memory and local system memory. The slow read speed under discussion is indicative of the feature's lack of utility. This is even reflected on the slide's statement: "No, this isn't a typo ..." A contact at Sony confirmed this telling me, "Again I cannot imagine a situation where you have any SPU reading from the RSX local memory." Nothing to see here, folks.)