CPU, Gaming

A Must Read: How Microsoft screwed Sony

Most of my readers probably aren’t into books. We spend most of our time living in fifth and sixth gear, and most of the time, the only free time that we have is between midnight and 1-2-3AM – thus we steal the night to have some life for ourselves. However, if you are into this industry, there are several titles that are a must read, and that club just got a new “a must” title.

The Race for a New Game Machine is a fantastic title, an absolute must read. The book was penned by David Shippy and Mickie Phipps, disclosing bombastic details about the development of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It effectively shows that IBM betrayed Sony and Toshiba and took Sony’s and Tosh’s money to develop the CPU for Microsoft Xbox 360 console. Yes, you’ve read that right. The topic of this book could have ended in court if Sony and Toshiba managed to find any loopholes in their contracts with IBM – sadly for them, IBM was all too wise to sign a contract that would not give them enough free space to play with.

Long story short, IBM’s Cell PowerPC core ended up tripled and landed itself inside Microsoft Xbox 360, without Toshiba and Sony learning the truth until the bicker end. This is an excerpt from this bombastic title:

IBM provided the bulk of the manpower, with the design team headquartered at its Austin, Texas, offices. Sony and Toshiba sent teams of engineers to Austin to live and work with their partners in an effort to have the Cell ready for the Playstation 3’s target launch, Christmas 2005. But a funny thing happened along the way: A new “partner” entered the picture. In late 2002, Microsoft approached IBM about making the chip for Microsoft’s rival game console, the (as yet unnamed) Xbox 360. In 2003, IBM’s Adam Bennett showed Microsoft specs for the still-in-development Cell core. Microsoft was interested and contracted with IBM for their own chip, to be built around the core that IBM was still building with Sony.

All three of the original partners had agreed that IBM would eventually sell the Cell to other clients. But it does not seem to have occurred to Sony that IBM would sell key parts of the Cell before it was complete and to Sony’s primary videogame-console competitor. The result was that Sony’s R&D money was spent creating a component for Microsoft to use against it.

IBM employees were hiding their work from Sony and Toshiba engineers in the cubicles next to them; the Xbox chip being tested a few floors above the Cell design teams. Mr. Shippy says that he felt “contaminated” as he sat down with the Microsoft engineers, helping them to sketch out their architectural requirements with lessons learned from his earlier work on Playstation.

We'll just take things in red, and leave Sony and Tosh to cope with the rest.

MSFT: We'll just take things in red, and leave Sony and Tosh to cope with the rest.

You can buy the book for mere 15 bucks on Amazon.com and trust me, it will give you more hours of fun that most of games that came out in 2008.