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Nintendo tops both handheld and home gaming market with DS, Wii

The Wii is officially more than just a gaming sensation. Nintendo’s latest console has captured the hearts, minds and dollars of not only gaming fans, but also the elderly, vacationers, the health-conscious and other casual markets.

Despite being released a year later than Microsoft’s current generation console offering, the Nintendo Wii has surpassed the Xbox 360 in total worldwide hardware sales, according to the latest data from VGchartz.com.

By the week ending August 23, VGchartz gathered that Nintendo had sold 10.57 million Wii consoles over lifetime, while Microsoft sold 10.51 million Xbox 360 consoles. In order to eclipse the Xbox 360 in less than a year since release, the Wii had outsold Microsoft’s game system by a margin of 2.3-to-1 worldwide.

A key factor in Wii’s quick pace in catching the Xbox 360 the acceptance of Nintendo’s console in Japan. The Wii sold 3.46 million units in Japan, while the Xbox 360 sold only 0.43 million in the same region.

While typical sales numbers from the game companies relate to shipments to retailers rather than sold-to-consumers, VGchartz claims that it tracks its data based on actual consumer sell-through figures.

The popularity of the Wii, along with the DS handheld, have helped Nintendo rocket past its competitors. The Wii was outselling the PS3 by a margin of 6-to-1 in June, helping Nintendo overtake Sony in market value. In fact, Nintendo’s recent success has put it ahead of both NTT and Honda, making it the fifth largest company in Japan.



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RE: Games?
By InsaneScientist on 8/24/2007 3:11:21 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think the reason for that was that the 360 architecture was easier to program for because Microsoft got out their SDK sooner to developers than the PS3 did. At least that's what I got out of the article.


Not really.

The Cell processor is an absolute nightmare to write code for (in very large part because the 7 SPEs do not have the full capabilities that the mother core does, so you can't simply let tasks fall to whatever core they get assigned to, you have to manually program that).
The cell processor was specifically designed for the maximum possible computational efficiency, sacrificing the ability to use simple program code (by design!).

This is not to say that their decision was wrong. On the contrary, there are certain sectors where you need the maximum amount of computing power that technology is capable of delivering and it does not matter how long the programming takes, because any time lost on programming will be made up for by the additional speed that the architechure allows for or by the money, space, energy, and/or management time saved by using a fewer number of more powerful systems.
Obviously this primarily applies to massive computational workloads. (i.e. Scientific calculations and modeling, MMORPG servers, etc...)

It remains to be seen (mainly by the PS3's sucess or lack thereof) whether one of those fields is gaming.

I personally don't think it will be, but I could be wrong (and don't really care if I am).

Don't get me wrong... the Cell is an amazing processor, but the benefits of it's power must outweigh the pain of coding for the thing for the PS3 to succeed.


RE: Games?
By randomname on 8/24/2007 6:09:54 AM , Rating: 3
"The cell processor was specifically designed for the maximum possible computational efficiency, sacrificing the ability to use simple program code (by design!)."

I would say that the Cell was designed for maximal (parallel) floating point power, which is very good for scientific computation, or streaming media. However, for game code (excluding graphics and physics) which requires more integer power and serial processing performance, it is probably more of a miss. The reasons for this are mostly related to the original vision for the Cell. Originally it was supposed to handle the graphics on the PS3, after which Sony/Toshiba tried to develop their own GPU, and finally Sony brought in NVidia. (Of course, you will not get such an official account of the history of Cell/PS3 from Sony/Toshiba/IBM.)

From Dean Takahashi's ebook 'The Xbox 360 Uncloaked':
"But no one knew that inside Sony, something was going terribly wrong. Sony had created a new game system, dubbed GS Cube, with 16 Emotion Engine chips. It proved to be a technological dead end. In parallel, IBM fellow Jim Kahle had proposed Cell, a radically different computing architecture. Instead of a microprocessor and a graphics chip, the system for the PlayStation 3 was originally supposed to have two Cell microprocessors. One would handle the system while the second one would handle graphics. The game developers couldn’t make heads or tails of this non-traditional architecture. Sony scrapped that plan. Then it commissioned both Sony’s and Toshiba’s chip designers to create their own graphics chip. The graphics chip was going to be a screaming monster that relied totally on one kind of processing, dubbed fill rate, to handle the graphics. That was what Sony and Toshiba’s engineers knew how to create, based on their work on the PlayStation 2. But in the meantime, both ATI and Nvidia had pioneered the use of shaders, which were subprograms that added the nuance and texture to the surface of an object. This technique simplified the process of creating art for games. To create a new effect, the developer had to simply create a new shader. The Sony and Toshiba team were far behind on shader technology. Game developers once again objected to the solution that they were proposing. Sony had to cancel the graphics chip altogether. The console just wasn’t going to launch in 2005."


RE: Games?
By encryptkeeper on 8/24/2007 1:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
In parallel, IBM fellow Jim Kahle had proposed Cell, a radically different computing architecture. Instead of a microprocessor and a graphics chip, the system for the PlayStation 3 was originally supposed to have two Cell microprocessors. One would handle the system while the second one would handle graphics.

I can definitely see the idea behind this from a business standpoint. Creating twice as many Cell procs would cost probably the same in materials, but you would save money in the long run because you wouldn't have one facility that was creating Cell processors and one that was making graphics chips. That's why Intel fabs are so efficient, all the cores are the same except the quads. Some pass high stress tests and become core 2 duos, and some pass only low tests and become Celerons.


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