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AMD in "hush-hush effort" to put graphics chip in PS4

Yet-to-be-announced collaboration "under way".

The PlayStation 4 will be powered by a new AMD chip, according to a report.

In a profile piece on AMD's new CEO Rory Read, Forbes claimed work on the unannounced collaboration between the two companies is under way.

"It's Read's job to make sure AMD doesn't screw up its slate of new products," Forbes said, "which includes a hush-hush-effort to put its graphics chips in Sony's still-unannounced new game console - and shake off the once scrappy company's years-long funk."

Forbes notes that AMD already provides the graphics technology inside the Xbox 360 (with the Xenos, a custom GPU). Graphics rival Nvidia, though, powers the PS3 (with the RSX 'Reality Synthesizer'). This deal will "potentially unseat" Nvidia, Forbes said.

Both AMD and Sony refused to comment on the report, which was based on information provided to Forbes by "former AMD employees".

Sony has repeatedly insisted the PS3 is "just getting into its stride" some five years into its life cycle.

But that hasn't stopped the emergence of PS4-related reports ahead of a possible unveiling at E3 in June.

Late last year Edge claimed a first-party Sony studio had ceased PS3 development and moved onto PS4 development. The unnamed developer is also apparently involved in building the graphics technology for Sony's next system. It then said Guerrilla Games was making a new Killzone game - for PlayStation 4?

And what of Uncharted developer Naughty Dog? Its new game The Last of Us is a PS3 release, but will Uncharted 4 launch on PS4?

This year new Sony boss Kaz Hirai went on the record to say the Japanese company would not announce a new home console at E3 - comments backed up by Sony Computer Entertainment America chief Jack Tretton, who said last week he would be "very distracted" by a PS4 announcement this year.

Eurogamer asked Sony Computer Entertainment UK & Ireland MD Fergal Gara about the PS4 at Tuesday's midnight launch of PS Vita.

Will the PS4 be announced at E3?

His response: "No idea. I think Kaz has said you won't be seeing it. PS3 is alive and well and PS3 gets its best accessory this year: the PS Vita. So long live PS3."

While Sony continues to push the PS3, it is well aware of the need to avoid being beaten to market yet again by its rivals.

Having given Microsoft a year's head start in the current generation, PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan told Eurogamer it would be "undesirable" for PS4 to repeat that for the next-generation.

Ryan, who stepped up to the SCEE top job in the summer, said: "I think we would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition [with the next PlayStation]."

With Wii U out this year and Microsoft expected to reveal the next Xbox at E3 amid suggestions that a number of studios are already making games for a 2013 launch, Sony's next move is set to come under even more scrutiny.

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