During the Game Developers Conference in California, Sony Computer Entertainment's chief technical officer is reported to have said that the PlayStation 3 may make use of distributed computing to give the machine 1000 times the power of PS2.

In several reports, including on CNET Tech News, it is reported that Shin'ichi Okamoto said "We can't wait 20 years" to get a processor which is fast enough for what game developers want in the next console, and that the PS3 would look at using distributed computing, spreading the processing across a network of computers (PlayStation 3 consoles) to provide the combined processing power.

It's not too sure how this would work with a games console, as distributed computing that has been used so far has involved giving each user a small chunk of data to process and working on it feeding back the results. Examples of this have been the Search for Extra Terrestrial Life at home (SETI@home) and similar research by Entropia.

A games console would presumably have to work somewhat differently from this, and if so would be limited by the connection between machines, which makes us feel that PS3 will require a broadband connection for it to be used - making it something which a large proportion of UK gamers would not be able to take advantage of yet.

However, it does seem that the discussion at the GDC was a lot of crystal ball gazing, and maybe similar to the "by 2000 everyone will be walking around in space suits" sort of predictions, as thoughts of biotechnology in the PS6 or 7 were talked about, which although might be possible, seems a bit far off.

If Sony do find a way to use distributed computing in the PS3, then it really will be a case of "do not under estimate the power of playstation" - we'll keep you up to date with any further announcements about Sony's plan for the follow up to their PlayStation 2 as and when we hear any. In the meantime, we're off to buy a space suit and hover car.