Earlier this year Sony held it’s PlayStation meeting in Japan. The second one of it’s kind with the first one taking place almost seven years prior. At the meeting the company unveiled their plans for both mobile (PlayStation Suite) and handheld (Next Generation Portable) markets. The NGP not only wowed onlookers with it’s gorgeous OLED display, but when the thing’s specs were announced, that’s where jaws really began to drop.
At the meeting Sony announced that the NGP would be powered by an ARM Cortex A9 (4 core) processor. At the time of this writing there’s are a small bunch of chip makers headed down the path to quad-core processors, companies like Samsung, Texas Instruments, and NVidia. Before you say, “what about Sony, can’t they make their own–” no they can’t, they’re not in the business of producing silicon and even the Cell processor that powers the PS3 was created in conjunction with Toshiba and IBM (who happens to produce the chip).
With the PS3 Sony solidified a relationship with NVidia, as they provided the graphics RSX graphics chip for the console, and it seems that the relationship is set to continue. Out of all of the chip makers mentioned above, NVida’s roadmap is the only one showing availability of 4 core units in the 2011 calendar year with it’s Tegra 3 “KAL-EL” chip (probably the most kick ass name for a processor ever), you know, the same year the NGP is planned to make a splash at retail. From what we know from our own insiders at NVidia is that the chip maker will also be involved in Sony’s next generation console as well so for them to get the contract with the portable, would make perfect sense.
Nothing has been formally announced by either Sony or NVidia on the subject, and while this is somewhat of a guess, I think it’s an educated one considering the timing, the relationship, and how it all lines up. We’ll definitely know more in less than two weeks time where we’ll be reporting straight from Sony’s five hour E3 conference.