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PS4 tech specs: 'supercharged PC architecture,' x86 CPU, 8 GB memory (update)

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sony revealed the first hardware specifications of its PlayStation 4 today, promising "supercharged PC architecture," an x86 AMD processor and 8 GB of GDDR5 unified system memory.

"We wanted to hear from developers," said Mark Cerny, lead system architect, at Sony's PS4 unveiling. "We spoke to dozens of the best teams in the world. We wanted to know what was important to them. We wanted to make them happy. Our goal was to create an architecture that would facilitate the expression of their ideas."

Cerny called PS4 "a platform by game creators, for game creators."

Cerny later added that the PS4 will feature a secondary custom chip that manages uploads and downloads of shared content and that "digital titles are available to play even as they download." The PlayStation 4's graphics chip will also be able to help with processing that had previously been limited to the GPU. He showcased the potential with a demo involving Havok, a physics simulation engine, that dropped 1 million objects onto the environment. The simulation was powered by the GPU.

Update: Sony Computer Entertainment released a full spec sheet for the PlayStation 4, confirming specific details and the existence of a Blu-ray drive in the console.

The PS4's GPU contains "a unified array of 18 compute units" capable of generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power, Sony says, which can "freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two." The system's 8 GB of memory offers 176 GB per second of bandwidth to developers, Sony claims.

Here's a rundown of tech specs from Sony.

Main Processor
Single-chip custom processor
CPU: x86-64 AMD "Jaguar," 8 cores
GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon based graphics engine


Hard Disk Drive

Optical Drive (read-only)

Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) AUX
Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)

AV output
Analog AV-out
Digital Output (optical)