According to Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter via Gameranx.com, the next generation of Playstation console is “essentially a PC” in terms of its technological make-up. He writes that Sony and AMD are collaborating on the console’s CPU, moving away from the PS3’s Cell architecture to an x86 processor for the new console. This is good news for PC gamers because it could possibly mean more cross platform games, better PC “ports”, and probably faster console price reductions (considering how quickly the prices in the PC industry drop).
If they’re going to be partnering with AMD we’re likely to find something along the lines of the AMD A4 or AMD A6 inside the machines. These are APUs rather than traditional CPUs. An APU integrates a CPU and a GPU on the same die thus improving data transfer rates between these components while reducing power consumption. They’re not as good as some of the high-end CPUs paired with high-end GPUs, but they get the job done and on a closed-system they can be fully taken advantage of without having to worry about things on a normal everyday PC taking up their fair share of the processing power.
Toss in 2gb or 4gb of RAM, a 320gb HDD (possibly a smaller solid state?), and a blue-ray drive and you could be looking at a $300-$400 system. Personally I’ll be happy if this is the case simply because the games will be written for x86 architecture meaning we’ll see a lot more games end up on the PC that we didn’t get before (ahem, Red Dead Redemption…)