AMD almost came to an end in 2014: How the PlayStation 4 saved the manufacturer

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Without the Sony console, there would probably be no more AMD

The PS4 was launched just over a decade ago. The console was not only a milestone for Sony – AMD also benefited greatly from its success.

This is why it matters:The Playstation 4 is one of the world’s best-selling games of all time: As of April 2024, more than 117 million units (viaStatista) have been sold.

This success was probably also desperately needed for chip manufacturer AMD to save the company from bankruptcy.

In detail:A screenshot of the LinkedIn profile of Renato Fragale, who was employed as “Sr. Manager Product Development Engineering” at AMD between 2012 and 2014, has surfaced on X/Twitter.

  • One point in particular stands out here: According to the report, Fragale led the product development team behind the Playstation 4, which is considered one of the most successful launches in AMD history.
  • In the same breath, Fragale explains that this success meant that AMD was able to “avoid insolvency”.

The company’s annual earnings announcements speak a similar language in this context.

Classification: Life-saving measure until the big bang

The Playstation 4 was still not the savior that Fragale made it out to be

As you can read in the 2014 financial report linked above, despite the increase in sales, there was a significantly higher net loss of 403 million US dollars.

  • In the years that followed, AMD was also in the red up to and including 2016.
  • The success of the Playstation 4 (and also the Xbox One, which also relied on an AMD APU) is likely to have played its part in keeping the company afloat.

Not only that: AMD was able to put the many units sold and the associated money to good use for a project currently under development. The company had been working on the Zen processors since 2012.

The new CPUs finally saw the light of day for the first time in March 2017 and the Ryzen 7 1800X was born. The rest is history: with a terrific price-performance ratio, the Zen architecture shot itself into the hearts of PC gamers.

Today, successors such as the Ryzen 7 7800X3D are regularly among the top recommendations for new purchases.

So in a way, consoles of all things are responsible for giving PC gamers a fantastic choice of CPUs today.

At least we’re sure that without the success of the Playstation 4, there would have been no AMD – and certainly no Ryzen CPUs.