The Ultimate War Game

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The Pentagon has just launched a supercomputer assembled from 1,760 Sony PlayStation 3 processors. But military scientists who brought the computer online yesterday probably won’t be playing PS3 games like Call of Duty: Black Ops, God of War, or Killzone 3. The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate at Rome, N.Y., bolted the PS3 processors to other computer gear to create the $2 million Condor Cluster for artificial-intelligence research, synthetic-aperture-radar enhancement, image enhancement and pattern-recognition research. The gaming industry’s push toward more powerful computing consoles has made its gear attractive to military researchers, at 5 to 10 percent the cost of a military-developed system.