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PS4's x86 architecture is more complex but provides more options, says Cerny

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PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny spent the summer of 2007 working on a "post-mortem" for the PlayStation 3 when he began researching the x86 chip and how it could power a gaming console, Cerny told Official PlayStation Magazine UK.

"I was trying to work out whether [the x86 chip] would be an option," Cerny said. "If your only option is the Power PC, it's very restrictive in terms of hardware vendors. If you can also use the x86, you can talk to anyone out there who makes technology."

Cerny added that there was a "first-party voice" against using the x86 in the next PlayStation due to its complexity and doubts that it could be used for games. Some of the first conversations Cerny and the PS4 team had with game developers was regarding the chip; they explained to their first-party developers why it would work on a console.

"We made 15 separate presentations," Cerny said. "We went from morning to mid-afternoon going through how we felt the time had come. We knew we needed to show that our dedication and our concern was just as high as the game teams'. The presentation we did was so long that one of the teams was stranded on the tarmac for five hours, and they still arrived before we finished going through all the materials we prepared."

In response to a question about the PS4's small number of ports and minimalistic structure, Cerny replied that Sony's next-generation console is the way they feel it should be.

"It has what we think it needs," he said.