Programming the PlayStation 3 easy?

by Jack Richins

Sony claims PlayStation 3 will be easy for developers, which seems like a comment directed at Microsoft’s Xenon and XNA development platform. But then they seem to contradict themselves and describe how difficult it’ll be to split tasks up on the Cell processors. We discussed the Cell in my Parallel computations class on Monday and it seems IBM/Sony have made a lot of limitations about how the "synergistic processing elements" can and can’t be used. There is a lot of potential power in the Cell, but actually using it effectively looks like a major hassle. So when I saw this headline, I thought "Wow, they must have some kind of compiler or library to deal with the complexity". But then you read the article and they explicitly say that work will be up to the developers. Hmmm – guess we’ll have to wait and see.