No need to engage PS4’s GPGPU…yet

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DriveClub

The PlayStation 4, like the Xbox One (and the Wii U, really), will feature more modern GPU’s that are able to be tapped for general purpose computing; calculating physics, AI and the like in parallel with the CPU instead of just being used to push pixels and polygons. It won’t, however, be necessary – at least not for a while.

Driveclub developer Evolution studio’s Technical Director Scott Kirkland doesn’t think there’s much reason to worry about GPU general computing right now – but that it opens up exciting future prospects.

You already have a lot of CPU power at your disposal. I think with many of the first generation PS4 titles, developers probably won’t need to worry about it – they’ll be able to get a lot out of parallelism across the CPU cores – but for teams who are a bit more ambitious, who want to do interesting things, it’s just waiting there. We’re doing some of that in DriveClub and I’m sure other guys will go further – and the platform guys will expose more of that functionality through the lifespan of the machine, unlocking more potential.

I actually thing the general purpose computing stuff is going to be tapped in t sooner rather than later; the 8-core CPU that powers the PS4, while probably quite well suited to a console, isn’t exactly bleeding edge stuff. Still it’s nice to see that the next crop of consoles will have a little more legroom to grow.

DriveClub is exclusive to the Ps4 and will be one of the system’s launch titles. though it’ll be available at retail, it’ll also be given to PS Plus subscribers as a lighter, less fully-featured freebie.

Last Updated: August 8, 2013

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