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PlayStation 3 manufacturing costs to go down, way down

Well, we know the 65nm Cell processor is going to decrease the PlayStation 3's manufacturing costs. Apparently, Sony has more than that up its sleeve for the upcoming year. It also makes the units currently in circulation completely obsolete. Well, not completely, but it's hard to keep yourself from pouting.

Sony CFO Takao Yuhara indicated a number of changes and advances to come. In addition to the 65nm Cell, other improvements mentioned include:

  • A component update to "reduce the parts" in the PS3 (removal of EE+GS chip for backwards compatibility?). Other potential areas for chip consolidation are: "the unification of separate smaller ICs - such as bluetooth and WiFi - into single chip solutions and a change to a more specialized southbridge."
  • Beyond3D reports: "Going forward, as primary silicon gets shrunk, and tertiary silicon is removed from the system, PS3 should enjoy a cascading cost-reduction effect. Not only will the cost of the chips themselves go down, but the associated motherboard, cooling solution, and power supply will be able to be 'lightened' as well, as power and thermal pressures subside." We quote because we don't want to say something we're not entirely sure about.

Looking good. While we probably won't see a price cut on our end before Sony stops taking a hit per console sold, we know that after this year, it's entirely feasible. What do you guys think? Would you embrace the removal of the Emotion Engine and, essentially, the PS2 from the PS3 (keeping backwards compatibility intact)?

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. The sooner the better, assuming they don't sacrifice any backwards compatibility by removing the PS2 parts from the PS3. A price drop is expected AND much appreciated. Bring it faster!

Posted at 12:37PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Dolla Dolla

2. Oh, come on. Obviously Sony is not going to do anything to jeapordize backwards compatibility. This seems like a ridiculous assumption. No console maker is going to make changes to their console that would render it unable to do what previous forms did.

Posted at 12:39PM on Feb 8th 2007 by John

3. Nick, a very cursory reading of the original article shows that the possible removal of these chips would only be done in the presence of software emulation that works flawlessly. In order for that to happen, Sony just has to write code that, like the MAME emulators, emulates the machine down to the transistor level, so that all timing is accurate down to microseconds. Considering the lesson Sony learned with the initial ps2 visuals (which have since been corrected) it is not likely they are going to do this until they have this emulation software down perfectly. The problem would be with the ps2, as it's architecture is so different from a typical PC-- not just the VF0 and VF1 chips, but that 128-bit-wide data path that basically future-proofed a 300 Mhz machine. I for one would love to see the software emulation as it would allow the possibility of upscaling, though Sony may choose not to do this as current ps3's do not upscale ps2 or ps1 content; however, it is possible that firmware upgrades could remedy this, so that everyone comes out winners.

Posted at 12:45PM on Feb 8th 2007 by John

4. Truthfully, as long as everything works fine I couldn't care less what is inside the system or which version I have. There could be a 360 inside the shell for all i care :)

Posted at 12:46PM on Feb 8th 2007 by TheSh0wstopper

5. @ John -- thanks for the insight! When it comes to software, I'm your man... but as soon as things go hardware on me, it's pretty tough for me to follow. But yeah, if they get the emulation down, removing the old emotion engine or whatever would be a good idea, in my opinion.

Posted at 12:51PM on Feb 8th 2007 by ndoerr

6. I read that as less heat = smaller heatsink required and less overall weight. Nice assumption BTW

Posted at 1:28PM on Feb 8th 2007 by ck

7. Has everyone forgotten that the PS3 will eventually emulate PS2/PS1 completely through software? Removing the need for the EE/GS chips altogether?

Obviously the software emulation will be ready when they remove the chips from the hardware.

Posted at 1:53PM on Feb 8th 2007 by OrganicShadow

8. I hope they will recover from the strike they got from selling PS3 at no-profit. We don't want Sony to become same as Sega, right? [Hears Wii60 fanboys coming]

Posted at 3:40PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Tomppa

9. removal of EE+GS chip for backwards compatibility

already been done4 the uk launch, the usa and jap models have chassis A and the uk is getting chassis B. but what does that mean, Not all ps2 and ps1 one games are compatible, there is going to be a list of games that are like the Xbox360 if you think this is bullshit PHONE SONY AND ASK THEM. nice one sony there be a list off pissed off people,

Posted at 4:32PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Knoxin

10. These are the changes that everyone knows were coming. The initial PS3's were always going to be the most expensive to manufacture, just like the PS2, and lose Sony money. Most likely the first 10 million systems will be built this way and then the newer version will be made. If Sony expects to sell 100 million PS3's then losing money on the first 10 million isn't bad.

Sony would have removed the PS2 chips from the first PS3's if they could bu tthey needed to get the console out. I would have liked for my PS3 to havea 65nm cell and the other changes but I can always sell my PS3 in a year and pick up a new one if the new model is significantly better. The only advantages may be less noise, heat, and perhaps upscaling of PS2 games. Overall it isn't really a significant reason to upgrade over a launch system. A hardware scaler would be a nice inclusion but it would have to be a digital scaler unlike the 360's analog only. That is probably why there isn't one in the PS3.

I am a little upset about the 1080i problem since I have a 30" CRT that can't do 720p but it wasn't a dealbreaker because I always planned to upgrade my HD set when the prices came down on good LCD panels. The XMB menu displays in 1080i and so does the GT:HD demo but Resistance drops to 480p.

The 360 does not upscale 720p to 1080i. 1080i games are actually outputted at 540p then scaled by your TV to 1080i. It is better than 480p but not by much. For the 360 to output full 1080 resolution it must render at 1080p internally and then send a 1080i signal while throwing out half of the frame information. There are no current 360 games that do this.

At least a revised PS3 won't leave 10 million early adopters with a crippled system by comparison to the rumored 360 revision. HDMI, large format HD, perhaps HD-DVD drive. This new 360 is either going to increase in price or lose Microsoft a significant ammount of money per unit. It will most likely have to be sold at $499. If so by that time Sony will be able to reduce the price of the 60GB PS3 to $499 due to the reviisons to the hardware and still maybe make money. If MS does add a HDMI port they will also have to add a different scaling chip because the current 360 chip will not be able to scale over a digital connection. A digital scaling chip will add a lot to the cost of the mainboard.

Posted at 5:19PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Iridium

11. How do you know the PS3 costs are going to go "way down"? The xbox 360's estimated cost-decrease for going to 65nm for it's primary silicon (GPU/CPU) was $50 total. Expect the PS3 savings to be comperable, if not slightly higher.

A lot of the other costs they're talking about, including chip consolidation, won't be huge wins but are certainly worth taking when you consider a 5 USD savings per console for the lifetime of the console may be as much as 250 million USD.

These measures may decrease the cost of the PS3 $100, or perhaps just over that figure. That'd be great if Sony was going to pass that $100 in savings on to the consumer so they could sell some of these units.

Posted at 5:22PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Jesse

12. The removal of EE+GS would probably be 50 bucks, the resizing og the Cell to 65nm would be another 50 bucks. The Blu-ray diodes are also going to be replaced with cheaper and better ones (new materials) that would probably be another 50 bucks. Cooling materials, blue tooth, Wi Fi, less components, cheaper mother board, Smaller RSX chip, and cheaper power supply would be another 50 bucks I guess? That would reduce the cost of the PS3 in 250 bucks or so, if not more. We could perhaps see a 100 buck price drop on that.

Going forward, we would probably see an even smaller RSX, smaller cell (45nm), cheaper and smaller HDDs, smaller motherboard, even cheaper blu-ray diodes, and so on. All this would make a redesign possible, making the PS3 smaller, slicker and of course, that would reduce some of the costs in logistics due to the fact that you can now ship more PS3s per container. Another 250 bucks less. But unfortunately for Sony, the cost to make one is still around 300 bucks, which is 4 years after it came out! I guess the PS3 does need 10 years to actually reach the 79 bucks that PSOne ended costing; but judging by Nintendo's approach of "Less technology, more games", then that wouldn't be that bad. Then again I am probably exaggerating with the cost reductions. Or am I? Or did I go too low? Any experts in electronical engineering out there to correct me, please?

Posted at 5:54PM on Feb 8th 2007 by bootsielon

13. Nice to see Sony working hard on reducing the PS3's production costs. As for price cuts, it isn't likely they'll be able to sell the console at a profit this year but they could still have a price cut before the holidays or in response to a 360 price cut.

Posted at 5:55PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Someone

14. Hey guys. PS3 goes down in cost to produce.

So does the Wii and 360.

So...really sony shot themselves in the foot. You can't expect to take a 250 lose (or whatever it is) per console. If economics show something it's that you don't create something that will lose you that much money. Even if they can cut costs for it. They have to make up for all the money they lost and 250 dollar lose on every console is a large amount. They'll have to get the cost down to 500 dollars or less to gain full recovery from it. If the ps3 can do that, so can the 360 and the wii.

Ps. a company is out to make money, not to give customers a deal of paying 600 dollars for a 800 or so dollar machine. It's just not business freindly.

I do see Sony getting out of it. But in less then a half a year after they launched it. Doubtful. Give it a year and a half or 2 and it will start getting where they'll give a price cut.

Posted at 8:57PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Killer

15. They definitely need to drop the price ASAP. Unless into Blu-ray movies, the PS3 offers very little right now compared to the other two consoles. The popular exclusives are mostly a ways off as well, so they need to anything to make the console more appealing to lesser-pocketed consumers.

I'm going to guess that the price will drop around the time Final Fantasy comes out. That will move some systems, and even more if the price is more affordable.

Posted at 10:00PM on Feb 8th 2007 by SuicideNinja

16. WAIT! did i read this right? they are considering removing the Emotion Engine? Didn't sony bost this thing like crazy the last 2 years saying it beings more realism and better graphics to the games? And now they are removing it? It must not have been any good after all the hype about it. Or is it just for the backwards ability part but the PS3 Emotion Engine part will stay in? confusing.

Posted at 10:04PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Se7enwolf

17. @"Rob Holiday", The ps3 DOES have a hardware scaler.

Posted at 10:07PM on Feb 8th 2007 by matjet

18. Well.. anything to get the price drop...

Posted at 10:33PM on Feb 8th 2007 by Thomas

19. Yeah, because a site dedicated to the 360 is going to report truthful information about the competitor...

Posted at 8:31AM on Feb 9th 2007 by Andir2.0

20. @ Andir2.0

What are you talking about?

Posted at 5:16PM on Feb 9th 2007 by SKI

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