Following in the footsteps of video game rival Microsoft, Sony may have boosted the PlayStation 4 hardware as it has reportedly unlocked the 7th core for game developers. This allows game developers to create faster games with smoother graphics.
Microsoft did this in January and allowed access to the 7th core on the Xbox One.
The PS4 is loaded with an octa-core CPU. Previously, game developers could only take advantage of the six cores while the remaining two were used to run the operating system.
Sony has yet to officially confirm this but game audio tools and middleware company Firelight Technologies has released a new sound engine that takes advantage of the extra power of the PS4. The information was discovered by Eurogamer on Friday night on the Beyond3D forum where changelog notes for a new sound engine was found. The change log reads: “PS4 – Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core.”
In addition to the PS4, Firelight Technologies also runs its sound engine on the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Android, OS X, Windows, Linux, PlayStation 2, 3, Portable and Vita.
Existing games can leverage the power of the extra core only if game developers release a patch to add support for it. Without the patch, existing games will continue to use the six cores.
For the PS4 and Xbox One, GPU (graphics processing unit) power is more important than CPU. Without the 7th core, game developers have been using more power from the GPU. But with the unlocking of the extra core, game developers will be able to unload some of the processing work from the GPU to the CPU. This will allow users to experience smoother and faster graphics.