Sony Stock & PSXN

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 08:15:56 -0800

It's probably a good point to buy a couple of shares of Sony stock. Too
bad you can't get Sony Entertainment and Sony Playstation stock explicitly
without the Sony Music and other sectors. Sony is deep in the middle
of manufacturing Sony PlayStation 2 and already they've released
specs on PSX3 and beyond. PSX creator Ken Kutaragi plans on commercializing
PlayStation2 Tool Development station. It's a standalone graphics workstation
that uses the same Emotion engine and graphics synthesizer chips found in
PSX2, runs Linux, and is fast as all shit. The non-PlayStation Tool will
be named the Creative WorkStation and will be marketed to high end graphics
professionals and movie makers as an alternate to current workstations (look
out Sun/SGI when you see the next generation add ons). Sony is willing to
go to the mat with workstation vendors and are willing to lose huge sums
of money on the product to build marketshare. At PSX2's $300 projected price
point, the 'Tool' can't be much higher.

Here's a summary of their timeline below:

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

March, PSX2 released
Rollout of Tool in 2k or 2k2 & offers 10X the performance of PlayStation
with faster clock, chips, etc.
100 times Tool performance using Emotion Engine & Graphics Synthesizers
3rd Generation Tool, 1000x performance
PlayStation 3 released

This, of course, begs the question, what can a thousand-times Playstation2 deliver?
o 66 Trillion calculations per second
o On a 6400x4800 high def screen, that's more than enough to update pixel-sized
triangles 120 times per second

That's both better than movie resolution and a refresh rate faster than any human eye
can detect which can be done by a mere 3.6 Trillion polys per second and
'reality' is supposedly only 800,000,000 polys per second. Somewhere in the
next 2 years, reality is going to be renderable on a computer in real-time, if only
the display technology keeps up.

The article ends on this: "Don't expect the traditional PC and workstation market (and
the companies that supply the OSs for them like Microsoft and Sun) to roll over
and hand the keys to the future to Sony, but lcearly, Kutaragi is very, very confident
in the abilities of the chip his team has designed to lay down such a gauntlet."

Jack Lyon of C!Net says: "This could be a wake-up call to the rest of the industry, the way
Sputnik was to the aerospace industry in the 1950's."

Buy graphics stock is all I can say.


(The particular article isn't online, but a related article yields
some insight into their strategy).

Will we see PlayStation2 hardware anywhere else?

According to the morning edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, SCE proposes to adapt
its existing technology to break into the alternative business computer market. The
developments that the company has made in creating its next-generation console are to
be directly ported into new machines aimed at the imaging business sector.

PlayStation2 uses microprocessors developed by Sony in conjunction with Toshiba. The
microprocessors are widely believed to be among the highest performers in the world,
particularly in imaging. Sony now plans to utilize these components in high-specification
workstations. The workstations will be of particular interest to broadcasting companies,
film producers, and software developers, due to the image-processing features they will

SCE has further plans to develop even higher specification microprocessors in 2002 and
2005. The company will also explore the digital-broadcasting equipment business. The
Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that SCE sees these fields as being potential major
concerns behind its game system operation, and a possible source of significant income.

Competitors in this field include companies like IBM and Silicon Graphics, the latter
company having had the field almost entirely to itself in the last few years. A powerful,
low-cost competitor would be very unwelcome news.