The PS4 Is a “Supercomputer” According to Japanese Regulations, Xbox One is Just Under the Threshold

The announcement of the new MacPro, capable of providing between 2.2 and 3.5 teraflops  in computational performance is making headlines in Japan because, due to the local regulations, it goes beyond the officially established threshold for a “supercomputer”.

In Japan every computer with a computational performance over 1.5 teraflops is considered a “supercomputer” and goes under special regulations for procurement (purchase, rental and lease) by institutions and similar entities. You can check the full set of regulations here. It’s worth mentioning that the document identifies 300 megaflops as the threshold, but that’s because it was initially drawn in 1990. The limit has been raised several times since, up to 1.5 teraflops in 2005.

Guess what’s another machine that goes well over the 1.5 teraflops threshold? The PS4, with its GPU capable of providing 1.84 teraflops. On the other hand the Xbox One is just under that threshold, reaching 1.33 teraflops under its glossy black hood.

While Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Honcho Phil Harrison thinks that teraflops don’t matter, the Japanese embassy seems to care enough to send an official letter to the US government to communicate the revision of the threshold to 1.5 teraflops.

If the regulations mentioned above were to be applied to the PS4, there could be a measure of hindrances in the purchase of the console by Japanese institutions like research institutes and schools. While this isn’t exactly what I’d consider a big deal, the acquisition and usage of gaming consoles by this kind of institutes is definitely not unprecedented.

That said, the Japanese government can unilaterally revise the threshold “as necessary,” and considering that a simple home console dedicated to games now falls beyond it, it’s most likely that said a revision will come soon.

Looks like Lead Architect Mark Cerny wasn’t joking when he defined the PS4 a “Supercharged PC…”

Join the Discussion

  • Langkasuka

    Hmmm, the PS advertisment “A Day With Playstation” is almost starting to make more sense. All those college students were really working with super computers.

    • Kamille

      they were having fun with a dangerous device.

      • neko working

        what’s definition of dangerous ?

  • NonEldritchAbomination

    So according to this most western gaming rigs would probably be considered AIs in Japan.

    • Unemployment Master

      Not only “western”.
      You think Japan does not have PCs easily surpassing 1.5tf?

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      pretty much, yes. If I’m not mistaken most gaming rigs do not fall under the regulation because they’re not considered a single product, but a sum of off-the-shelf parts.

  • Eagles83

    Looks like Japan has low qualifications for what it considers to be a supercomputer. 🙂

    • Solid Snake

      Raw hardware power is nothing without good software gotta have proper balance.


      • Eagles83

        I didn’t say anything negative about Sony software. That is why I have preordered a PS4. It’s just my PC is at least 3 to 4 times more powerful which is why it made me laugh that a PS4 is considered a supercomputer.

        • Solid Snake

          Look i’m only interested in playing games on which platforms interest me & thats it!

          Cheers & Happy Gaming!

          • Eagles83

            You are more than welcome to do so. I wasn’t making a comment about power making one system better than another or anything like that. Obviously none of the consoles can come close to PC but I was just saying that I wouldn’t even consider my PC to be a supercomputer much less either the PS4 or Xbox One.

        • Solid Snake

          Also for console a little over a teraflop is efficient enough to get the job done because consoles don’t have to worry about a resource demanding os weighing it down.


  • RealityCheck2013

    & the Xbox ONE Is a “SuperTURD” According to ME LoL:D

    • theodor70941

      Don’t you mean Xbone!?!

  • LiquidSword

    Then why the hell is the Xbone $100 more expensive than the super computer PS4?

    • RandomUser2yr29387

      Greedy American Company.

  • TristanPR77

    For Microsoft specs are not important, teraflops are not importan aand resolution is also not important. Then Microsoft, we can assume gaming is also not important to you. Very ugly how they pretend people to pay $500 for an inferior console.

    • RandomUser2yr29387

      Of course MS cares about specs. That’s why they’ve been defending their weak console these past few months.

      • Carlo

        They make it seem like they don’t but we all know the damage control squad they have that makes it seem otherwise

      • Pixelsword

        Here’s an interesting point…

        If Kinect weren’t bundled, the XB1 would be approx the same retail price as the PS4. Now why in the hell do you think that Sony is able to sell such a superior machine for such a comparatively inferior price? Especially since Sony is still deep in the RED concerning PS3 sales…

        • RandomUser2yr29387

          Well Sony is losing money on each PS4 sold.
          They are going after marketshare instead of profits.

          Microsoft on the other hand is going after profits over marketshare.

    • Evilc

      I agree. Especially coming from a company that said you don’t need more space more then a floppy drive. Now we’re pushing 49gig installs. I stopped believing Microsoft a long ass time ago. Mark Cerny for president 🙂

    • Maurice Wilburn

      Around 20 exclusives for next year alone, and over a billion dollars in investment says otherwise. If you really think gaming is about power pure and simple then buy a PC, oh wait it’s not about power it’s about being an immature fanboy.

      • Maurice Is A Fanboy

        At least everyone now knows why you got into it. We’ll keep the better console; you can keep being an immature fanboy.

        • Maurice Wilburn

          An account name dedicated to me? I guess that makes me popular 😉

    • maxinthefax

      yeh i feel sorry that microsoft has taken the apple path meaning that people buy for the branding and overlook technicalities and that’s why i hate apple and apple product owners alike! i say fu** them all in the a**

  • Spiderfly

    why get an expensive console when you can get a better PC with lower price, it has modularity, steam, resolution, no paywall, upgradeability and many more…

    • Guest

      Please wise wizard of PC hardware, give us a list of PC parts to purchase that will result in a computer more powerful than a PS4 for less than $399.

    • Solid Snake

      Because it’s about what interests them not what you & or others think they should own & or play games on.

      P.S. Also a personal computer is not classified as a console.


    • jonam

      I take it in a sarcastic note because my response would have been very harsh otherwise.

    • Ritsujun

      Not hard enough, insect.

  • Icreammonkey

    @f338f5eff25d7b8b175d817639264498:disqus lol what pc provides the immersiveness, connectivity, and the experience u get from ps4 coupled with a vita ?

    • Solid Snake

      So did apple who capitalized & standardized the seamless multimedia device integration concept that others in the past came up short on delivering that experience & now others are quickly trying to put a foothold on the multi device end user demographic apple firmly established.

      P.S. I give companies their dues where they are earned!


  • Jack Slater

    If Sony can provide some apps where all the calculations would be sent to the ps4, a small lab, with 20’000$, could buy 50 ps4, and have 50*1.8= 90 Tflops of power.

    For example, a small studio, who works on animated pixar-like movies, they could render frames in real time, instead of waiting one hour for rendering a single 4K frame.

    And what about a mini supercomputer? At only 250W for 1.8Tflops,
    1000 ps4 would require 250’000 watts, would only cost 400’000$, for 1.8 Petaflops.

    With all that power, would Forza finally have day-night races, and weather effects?

    • Solid Snake

      All i gotta say is the the same huge leap in computer graphics we made from 2D pixels to 3D polygons is happening again except this company is making that leap this time check out this marvel of a graphics rendering technology solution by clicking the link & going to site below…

      Cheers & Happy Gaming!

    • Slay








  • Solid Snake

    Well if people are going debate at least research what super computing is & where it’s at now so here’s a couple of links to get you started on your way below…


  • Slay

    A supercomputer that only plays indies… I only need a iphone for that.

    • Bankai

      Yeah, and some of the best 3rd and first party titles in the industry.

      • Slay

        That’s a stretch.

  • Maurice Wilburn

    What is the point of this article exactly?

  • vincent81

    This is outrageous! You obviously CANNOT use japanese war criminal flag! There’s no need to use this japanese Hakenkreuz for nothing.

    • JakonaRoll

      i was thinking the same thing when i saw it

  • Jessenia Lopez

    R.I.P Xbox One and PC

    • treydawg


  • maxinthefax

    i can imagine how Microsoft Xbone developers are superbutt hurt now *snicker*

    • Maurice Wilburn

      I can imagine them now “Oh crap the PS4 has .51 more teraflops….well time to get back to making games.”

  • Joe Crowman

    why does everyone think that either of the PS4 or Xbox one are amazing or going to change everything, 1.8 teraflops is less than what my PC capable of, after some calculations to see what this is all about I found that my video card a radeon HD 7970 GHz edition is capable of 4.3 teraflops on stock clocks. This is already close to being maxed out by Battlefield 4. the new consoles are already outdated

  • That is impressive

  • ChrisW

    SIGH… The smallest “Super Computer” is called the Cray CX1 and cost approx $25,000 back when it debuted.

  • Socerny

    What’s funny Giuseppe is that you’ve charged that individuals who have questioned Sony’s lack of showing an actual retail PS4 as “conspiracy theorists” and that it is “industry practice” to hide actual working demos in order to protect them. Yet the internet is ablaze today with info about the shady practices of Sony.

    AnnoyedGamer and Adam Sessler majorly concerned about these practices and how Sony is only shipping PS4 Devkits to a limited number of sites AND these sites are ONLY permitted to review games in staged environments. Again, if Sony isn’t trying to hide something then why all the fuss!

  • ASTK

    Does the person who wrote this seriously think that the picture’s background is appropriate?

    How bout Asians pick a NAZI flag for a background picture every time Germany get’s a new technological product? how would the Europians feel?

    that flag is offensive to all of East Asia, and it should be the same to the US.
    Don;t you at least feel sorry for the people who died in your country- who died because of(killed by) the war criminals??

    • Seth H.

      Because the PS4 is made by a Japanese company and the Rising Sun is the flag of their country? So, tell me, did you lose many friends in that war? You do know that war has been over for nearly 70 yrs, right? You must be quite the old feller to be still carrying that grudge. Or are you just a racist? I don’t usually downvote, but you’re special

      • Derf

        Then, hang Nazi flag in front of your house. It will be great.

        • Seth H.

          You’re the one who seems to have Nazi tendencies. I have respect for all races, including the Japanese. Can’t say the same for you.

          • ASTK

            we do have the respect for the japanese.
            but with confidence I can tell you that we do not have the respect to the people who supports war criminals

          • Seth H.

            but this whole thing is really off topic. can we move the discussion back to something relevant? Or do you intend to undermine the whole article because you don’t like the background graphic they chose?

      • ASTK

        I did not lose friends.
        However many of my people have lost their fathers, mothers, friends and most of all their dignity as a human being.

        if you call me racist cuz I said someting about that war criminal flag.
        then is it racist not to approve the public display the Hakenkroitz ?

        FYI the flag up there is NOT the flag of the present country of Japan.
        I do not know which country you live and how you think
        but if you think that flag up there is okay and the hakenkroitz is not?
        that means YOU are the one who’s racist, full of prejudice, not being able to think in other people’s shoes.

        • Seth H.

          You are right, I am a racist. I’m prejudiced against stupid people.

          But you are right about another thing though. I forgot about the changes in the Japanese flag. Not like I see is every day. But there is a difference between the nazi flag and the pre war Nipponese flag. The Japanese were not nazis, they probably wouldn’t have known a Jew if one was standing in front of them. They we in it due to a treaty between Japan and Germany that was in place before that war even started.

          Most people don’t know this but the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because America kept baiting them. America was feeling a little left out of that war. Think about it for second, America was completely un-involved in WW2 till the attack on Pearl Harbor so why was it attacked? Did the Axis think that they didn’t have enough enemies and decided to challenge themselves by adding another front to the war? Does that make sense? No, they attacked because they thought that we were about to attack them.

          Anyway, all of this is academic. But why is it that every country that we ever have been at war with are evil and underserving of the respect you would show a worthy adversary , but when we attack other countries, we are just making the world a safer place, we’re the good guys. Sure, tell that to Iraq, Syria, Lybia

          • Seth H.


  • Phil Starch

    Does anybody even know what a super computer is???

  • yardie

    super computer cant even run witcher on low 30fps lol