The Sony PS4: Less Dazzle, More Social

The big makers of game consoles will renew their rivalry, and Sony has a chip on its shoulder

4 min read
Sony PS4
Photo: Sony

It’s showtime in the video-game industry again. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are getting ready to unveil their next-generation consoles, the machines that will be at the heart of their strategies for years to come. Nintendo made the first play, with the release this past November of the Wii U, its first system to support high-definition graphics as well as a touch-pad controller. Microsoft has yet to announce the successor to its popular Xbox 360, though a new console—rumored to be called the Xbox 720—is expected this year.

But forget that for now and consider Sony, which has the most at stake here and has watched its once leading PlayStation franchise lose ground in recent years. Sony used to dazzle with its technological daring, but it has been more than six years since it introduced the PlayStation 3, and the company now finds itself in a fundamentally altered gaming universe, in which technological dazzle isn’t nearly as important as it used to be. So there’s more than the usual curiosity about Sony’s long-awaited next flagship console, the PlayStation 4, which many insiders and analysts expect will be introduced later this year.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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New AI Speeds Computer Graphics by Up to 5x

Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.


On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

This impressive feat is currently limited to a few dozen 3D games, but it’s a hint at the gains neural rendering will soon deliver. The technique will unlock new potential in everyday consumer electronics.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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