Originally Posted by bd2003
You're not wrong about any of that, but just because something is difficult, doesn't mean its impossible. That the cell is too powerful to emulate is simply being taken on faith by everybody. Consoles were never meant to run crysis either. Give talented programmers some credit - most PC emulators are written by people in their spare time, without the same kind of access and resources that a Sony insider would have. I've yet to see a console that hasn't been emulated properly in one way or another, whether by a subsequent console or the PC.
I think they're purely focusing on the cloud because there's a monetization aspect there get to be unveiled - dont tell me the PS4 can't emulate the PS2 or PS1. And I'll never believe they have racks of disembodied PS1/2s to run those games in the cloud - they'll be emulated server side, probably on x86 chips - but that emulation won't be shared with you to run your own discs, huh?
They're already backtracking a bit and being cagey - commenting about how they might have some emulation, but its so, so hard with some games. I bet PS3 emulation will all of a sudden become possible, if xbox 360 emulation proves not too difficult.
Well if you are correct, I will gladly slice up a piece of humble pie and eat it.
With regards to the emulation of older consoles on things such as PC, more often than not they are indeed emulating properly, but there are just as many cases where it appears as if the emulation is 100% correct when in reality it is actually still not perfect. More often than not, a casual gamer wouldn't notice it but a hardcore "expert" on a game would. Things such as timings being off just a bit resulting in a tactic that works on the real machine not working in the emulation, or causing AI to behave slightly differently since information it requires to act properly isn't provided to it properly.
The PS1 had a CPU running at around 34 MHz with the MIPS I architecture. I believe that that architecture is incredibly simple with fewer instructions in use than the x86 one, so the emulation of it was pretty simple. So this one should be able to be run natively on the PS4. It's a simple chip design with fewer instructions in it than what the PS4 CPU will have.
The PS2 used a CPU running at around 299 MHz, I believe. It used the more advanced MIPS III and IV architectures which put in a few more instructions as well. The thing with the PS2 CPU, however, is that unlike the PS1 it had a bunch of other functions built right into the main "Emotion Engine" die with some of those items in there still remaining confidential. The much higher processing speed (around 9.5 times as fast), in addition to other functionality built in, made emulation of the PS2 much more power intensive. Hence why it wasn't fully emulated as quickly as the PS1 was.
The PS3 went and used a new style CPU we now know as "The Cell". This runs at 3.2 GHz with a whole bevy of special instructions and functionality built into the custom chip. For the PS4 to emulate this chip, it would have to be insanely powerful and run extremely fast, and that's if it was able to run the same instruction sets that the Cell used. Throw in the fact that other aspects of the PS3 system itself would need to be emulated at the same time, and the fact that games on the PS3 are quite complex whereby small imperfections in the emulation would have huge impacts, and I just can't see it happening.
For the Gaikai streaming, they will undoubtedly have servers built with the Cell CPU that run the game natively (e.g. no emulation) but have other functions handled on the PS4 side.
I never really looked into what would be required for full emulation of the PS3 until just now, but wow. I see that with the technology we have out there today it can't be done. Never realized just how powerful a beast the PS3 is.
I hope I'm not coming across as a "Nuh-uh. They can't do it" type of ninny.
I really, really, really would love it if it was possible for it to be done via emulation so that my bandwidth on my internet account isn't eaten up if I decide to stream a game through Gaikai. The PS1 games most definitely should still be playable on the PS4 due to the amazingly simple design of that system. The PS2 I can see being a bit difficult due to the custom Emotion Engine in there, but if anybody could do that Sony could. (Though I do like the HD remakes done for many games on the PS3). The PS3, however, I just can't fathom how that could be done with any degree of accuracy or reliability in the emulation. Or at a framerate that would make it actually playable.