Sony has developed brand new PS3 hardware to power its PlayStation Now streaming service, revealed earlier this month at CES in Las Vegas. Sources who have been briefed on the project suggest that the new PlayStation 3 consists of eight custom console units built into a single rack server. It’s the new PlayStation hardware that everyone will have access to, but few will actually see.
Initially, Digital Foundry has learned that Sony experimented by placing standard retail units into datacentres, but plans to use this for the actual PlayStation Now service were shelved for a number of reasons. For starters there’s the sheer space requirement, along with power efficiency issues, as even the most recent PS3 hardware can still draw up to 80W from the mains. Sony’s engineers were able to mitigate both issues by shrinking the equivalent of eight PS3s onto a single motherboard, housed in a slimline server cabinet.