PS3 is not a game machine
When the PlayStation 2 was released in 2000, it broke the gaming console mold by including support for playing DVDs. Now, Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, is portraying the PlayStation 3 as an all-around entertainment and media machine that will not only play games, but will also store and play back video. In a series of two interviews with Impress PC Watch, Kutaragi revealed that the PlayStation 3 will become an "entertainment supercomputer" for the home.
"The PlayStation  is not a game machine. We've never once called it a game machine," stated Kutaragi at the beginning of his latest interview.
"The PS3 is the product we have been aiming for since the establishment of SCEI," said Kutaragi. "We haven't been creating our [past] PlayStations for the sake of games. Our belief, and the motivation behind running our company, has been to [explore ways of] applying the power of computers to entertainment and enjoyment. We equipped the original PlayStation with a 3D graphics chip, and we equipped the PS2 with the Emotion engine.
When asked about the difference in concept between Microsoft's Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, Kutaragi commented, "I can understand the [Xbox 360's] approach of adopting multiple, all-purpose processors. However, that will just raise integer calculation capabilities, and it will only benefit general applications. It will increase the machine's capabilities as an all-purpose computer, but it won't change the types of entertainment. On the other hand, the Cell (which is said to specialize in floating point calculations in comparison to normal CPUs) was created to 'generate,' or, in other words, to produce virtual objects and phenomenons inside the computer."
"Users will be able to store their content in an online storage server called the 'Cell Storage.' And the Cell processor, when it's not being used, can refine the content's quality. We call it the 'aging' process.
Our new GPU has been cocreated with Nvidia. I drew a road map for the future together with [Nvidia president] Jen-Hsun, and the starting point of that road map is the RSX. Many people seem to think that the PS3's GPU is an upgraded model of GPUs for the PC, but it actually has a completely different architecture."
"In terms of codecs, the Cell has the power to easily transcode high-quality [pictures and audio] in real-time. So [file] formats won't really be too important," added Kutaragi.