Since 1994, gamers have looked to Sony Computer Entertainment to provide hard-hitting, exclusive game titles. Surpassing the amazing graphics of the Nintendo 64, PlayStation was a hit-success with a killer lineup of game titles and well-known publishers.
We?ve come a long way since the first Sony console with products such as the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable, which is competing with the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS, but it?s now time to turn up the heat one more time. In the Spring of 2006, Sony will yet again push the limits of gaming with their upcoming PlayStation 3 console!
Backward compatibility is a key feature among the PlayStation line and the PlayStation 3 is no exception. Sony is well-known to console gamers who enjoy over 13,000 game choices with each addition to the PlayStation line. Capable of supporting up to 7 Bluetooth wireless controllers, the PlayStation 3 is ready for the next generation of gaming where connectivity and ease of use will rule.
PlayStation 3 is truly a wonder to see in action. Packed with a 3.2 GHz processor called Cell and a custom nVidia graphics chip, RSX, capable of rendering cinema quality graphics in real time, the PlayStation 3 is hands down the most advanced console coming out next year. To give you an idea as to just how powerful the RSX GPU (graphics processing unit) is, let?s take the latest nVidia graphics card, the Geforce FX 6800 Ultra, and double its performance. The PlayStation 3 is also capable of outputting to a high-definition television at the highest resolution possible, 1080p.
"?PLAYSTATION 3 will be the most important computer entertainment and digital media platform of the decade,? added Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO, NVIDIA. ?The combination of Cell and RSX will enable the creation of next-generation real-time 3D imagery that will take your breath away.?"
At the Sony press conference on May 16th, we were given several demonstrations on both the capabilities of the Cell processor and RSX chip. Games have never looked better! We were treated to a demo for what Final Fantasy VII would look like on the PlayStation 3 and with the shading technology, lighting effects, and sheer power offered by the PlayStation 3, the game was really brought back to life.
??SCEI has continuously brought innovation to the world of computer entertainment, such as real-time 3D computer graphics on PlayStation and the world's first 128 bit processor Emotion Engine (EE) for PlayStation 2. Empowered by the Cell processor with super computer like performance, a new age of PLAYSTATION 3 is about to begin. Together with content creators from all over the world, SCEI will accelerate the arrival of a new era in computer entertainment.? Ken Kutaragi, President and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc..?
Developers are extremely pleased to have a chance to work with the PlayStation 3. The new technology allows them to create realistic human models and render facial expressions and lighting realistically in real time.
??The PLAYSTATION 3 has us really excited! So much so in fact that we are already working our hardest to get Devil May Cry 4 out for this new platform. New hardware always yields more options for developers to create exciting and fresh gameplay experiences. I believe that the PS3 is one piece of hardware that will test the mettle of our development team and help us to create some of the most amazing games, limited only by our imagination.? Keiji Inafune, Managing Executive Officer, Research & Development Division, Capcom Co., Ltd.?
The PlayStation 3 will also utilize a new disc type known as Blu-ray. The discs are capable of holding a whapping 54GB of data and allow games to be displayed using high-definition displays at superb quality.
As we enter the digital age of computing, connectivity is also being emphasized. Out of the box, PlayStation 3 will be Wi-Fi and broadband enabled. This means that not only will you be able to use your current broadband internet connection, but you will also be able to take advantage of your current wireless router to send internet connectivity to the PlayStation 3 for play. The PlayStation Portable, or PSP, is also Wi-Fi enabled and will allow you to connect to the PlayStation 3 using the PSP to not only use as a controller, but also use its LCD screen for full play!
For the technically minded reader, we will go through the complete technology fueling the PlayStation 3. At it?s core, PlayStation 3 takes advantage of the highly advanced Cell processor clocked in at 3.2GHz (?1 VMX vector unit per core 512KB L2 cache 7 x SPE @3.2GHz 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs 7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE * 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance : 218 GFLOPS?). PlayStation 3 is powered by a 550MHz RSX nVidia graphics processor capable of ?1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels [and] Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines. (System Floating Point Performance 2 TFLOPS.)?
The unit will take advantage of 512MB of memory broken down into 256MB clocked at 3.2GHz of XDR RAM for main memory and 256MB clocked at 700MHz GDDR3 for VRAM. ?System Bandwidth Main RAM 25.6GB/s VRAM 22.4GB/s RSX 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read) SB 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read).? For extra storage, the PlayStation 3 has a detachable 2.5? Hard Drive bay.
There are 6 USB 2.0 ports total. 4 in the front on the unit, making it easy to plug in a controller for charging or play and 2 in the rear, for input devices such as a web cam or output devices. The PlayStation 3 will also have slots to read and write to a normal memory stick, SD, or CompactFlash card. The unit is also loaded with 3 Ethernet connections (2 for output, 1 for input) for up to 1000Base-T transfer. And for wireless junkies, the PlayStation 3 is equipped with Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)!
The PlayStation 3 controllers are completely wireless and come with rechargeable batteries. They can be connected using a USB cable to any USB enabled device (such as a computer) for charging or plugged directly into the PlayStation 3 for play and charging. The PSP can also be used wirelessly as an additional controller and viewing display for multiplayer or single player play.
As for sound, the PlayStation 3 can handle 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. The unit also has output for Digital audio, normal AV out, and two HDMI outputs for up to 1080p high-definition resolution.
Completely backward compatible with both the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3 is able to read games from both previous systems, DVD media for movies and other media, and also the new Blu-ray Disc used for some PlayStation 3 (DVDs will also be used) capable of holding up to 54GB of data!
We?ll hold off on our judgments on how the PlayStation 3 holds up against the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Revolution until we have a chance to test all three consoles, but you can be sure PlayStation 3 is ready to handle the next generation of digital gaming.
» By Stephan Mack, Plain Games. Published 5/18/2005.