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ATI talks Rev graphics chip

It's not based on PC technology.

As those who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Revolution may know, technology giant ATI is currently hard at work developing the graphics chip that will power the new machine - and now they've gone on record to tell us a little bit more about it.

In a recent interview with RevolutionReport.com, ATI's John Swiminer confirmed that the Revolution chip, currently titled Hollywood, will not be based on current or forthcoming PC architecture - but he didn't say whether it is instead based on Flipper, the chip used in the GameCube.

"Hollywood is a specific design and is in no way reflective of PC technology. Even when the Flipper chips came out, people were asking that question: "Is this a spin-off of something done on the PC?", and the answer is no," Swiminer stated.

"It is designed the same as the Flipper was - from the ground up for a specific console. [It's a] totally different sort of architecture from what you might find on the PC. Certainly, there are some underlying values - you know, how you get graphics on the screen - that's there. It's not, for example, like we took a PC design and said 'oh, you know what? If we tweak this and test this, it will work in a console'."

The question still remains as to just how powerful the Revolution will be - and Swiminer didn't shed any more light on the issue, reiterating only that the focus of the design and the manufacturing of the Revolution is centred around gameplay and innovation rather than technical prowess and flash graphical functionality.

"ATI is focused, as is Nintendo, in making Revolution a great, gaming entertainment platform. I know that a lot of journalists are very focused on specs. The key thing to keep in mind is that Nintendo, with ATI's help, is trying to create a game console where you don't have to look at specs," Swiminer said.

"From a broader perspective, we share in Nintendo's position that this console will be devoted to the general gamer. When you have a game developer developing for this, the goal is to ensure that they don't have to worry about the complexity that is required to develop the games by making them 'jump through hoops.'"

"That was one of the benefits of working on the GameCube; developers were saying that it is quite easy to develop for and there are not a lot of complexities so they could produce titles easily," Swiminer continued.

"That being said, we want consumers to look at the game, play the game and be involved in it. We are doing our very best to make this Nintendo gaming experience the very best it can be."

When questioned on the completion and availability of Revolution's Hollywood graphics chip, Swiminer simply stated: "I know that Nintendo has committed to 2006 availability. Certainly, game developers need some time to start developing games for it. I can't say anything more than that."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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