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.

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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

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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