Sony Unveils the GScube

Sony reveals a powerful development tool for the creation of broadband e-cinema, and other multimedia content.

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Sony Computer Entertainment announced the GScube development system, designed to create e-cinema and real-time digital content in the broadband era. The company plans to escalate the evolution of digital cinema and high-definition content development through this development tool. The system will provide the world's leading content creators in film, TV broadcast, and interactive entertainment with access to advanced digital creation and distribution.

Sony hopes to provide high-resolution CG technology for the evolution of e-cinema, demonstrating how powerful new technologies will enhance creativity in the production of digital content. The GScube, based on an enhanced version of the PlayStation 2, will serve that purpose, according to Sony. The GScube prototype includes 16 sets of graphics units, which are a combination of the Emotion Engine CPU, developed jointly by Sony and Toshiba, and an enhanced architecture of the company's graphics-rendering processor, Graphics Synthesizer. This includes a 32MB embedded frame buffer memory, eight times the capacity of the 4MB embedded graphics memory of the PlayStation 2.

"As Sony fused the technology of computers and the world of entertainment to create and evolve a new market called 'computer entertainment,' we are now pioneering the creation of real-time digital entertainment through an extension of the technology of the PlayStation 2," said Ken Kutaragi, president and chief executive officer of SCEI.

Sony believes that the GScube architecture will initially provide ten times the performance of the PlayStation 2. The combination of the GScube and high-end broadband servers, such as the soon-to-be-announced next-generation SGI Origin series server, serves as an optimal environment for the creation, manufacturing, and distribution of computer entertainment content. Sony plans to initiate the rollout of the GScube development system this winter.

Demonstrations featuring the GScube development system will be conducted during the SIGGRAPH 2000 Expedition held July 25-27 in New Orleans. Sony's demonstration environment at SIGGRAPH is divided into quadrants, each demonstrating specific applications utilizing the GScube development system. These areas include the main theater, an advanced theater experience using a Digital Projection Inc. Lightning 15sx projector, a "backstage" technology area comprising broadband network content production, distribution, and an in-home experience through a living-room-of-the-future display

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