"When I look at the strategies that are being put forward by Microsoft on the system´s side or on the Xbox side or Sony or Nintendo. They are not making my life easier. Like the PlayStation3 makes my life as a software developer much harder. All of a sudden I´m supposed to figure out how to have this asymmetrical, multi-threaded game, right? And I have never written a single line of multi-threaded code ever. It´s not like I was lying awake, saying: ´I need to rearchitect every line of code I´ve ever written in order to get it to work.´Please appreciate that this is a word for word transcript of a long interview session. I have not changed anything, so this is not written language.
"One of my junior programmers who is writing game code rather than system code could slow things down in a real world case by a factor of eighty. Because they are doing something out in the AI or in the game dll, which used to be totally safe, and now all of a sudden the whole system slows down and then one of the really experienced programmers will have to go in and say: ´Oh, you can´t tell but you ran out of registry space and this other thing happened and no, there´s no debugger that shows that to you.
"Writing for SPEs and writing in a PlayStation3 environment ... it´s like ... There are incredibly few programmers who can safely write code in that environment. You make tiny little changes to code running on one of the SPEs and the entire thing will grind to a halt. And you have no visibility in to why that is happening. It´s just sort fo magically running really, really slow. (...)
"This was not a problem that we were lying awake late at night, saying ´Oh, we would really like to take this on right now.´ We were worried about little things like billing and forums and Wikis and things like that.
"I totally see why Sony wants people to write code that runs on seven SPEs and a central processing unit, because that code is never going to run well anywhere else. They are saying: ´Make your code not run on anything other than one of ours. We´re betting that we will have market share that´s so high that anybody will have to write code for our platform and other people will just starve the air from the other platforms by absorbing everybody´s R&D budget and making their code less portable."
I find it amazing, though, how frankly Newell accuses Sony of making their system unnecessarily complicated. He just doesn´t seem very enthusiastic about bringing anything to PS3. And although he includes Nintendo in his criticism, he should be most sympathetic about the Revolution. After all, it´s the only console that most likely won´t have a multi-core processor.
For those of us who are technologically challenged, here´s a little explanation by a guy called Deth:
SPE stands for Synergistic Processing Elements which are used in servers to cope with multiple tasks. The 360 and PS3 have different ways of running. The PS3 has one core running at 3.2ghz, the SPE’S replicate this speed. That means 8 SPE’s each running at 3.2ghz. It says at the top it has 7 SPE’S but one is defected which means that it will only be used if the machine is working overtime.The ps3 is 2 times the power of the 360 due to this. Also in terms of memory they both have 512mb RAM in total. But what you don’t know is that the XDR ram runs 4.5 times faster than that of the GDD3 RAM which the xbox 360 is using. The ps3 can also produce better video output resolutions at 1080p. Xbox is not Wi-Fi ready but PS3 is. Also the discs sony are using have a lot more space as you all should of noticed this allows for expanse and realtime worlds to be stored onto one disc. The PS3 also has much more USB’S. Do not get me wrong i do not hate the 360 its just not as powerful as the PS3. But what gamers need to keep in mind is that its the games that matter and you should never system power over that. And which one do i think will be more expensive? Its quite obviously the PS3 due to the components that are used.I cannot verify this information. But it was mainly meant as an explanation of what an SPE is.
Sources: Electronic Gaming Monthly, PS3 Focus forums