Most of the information about the Play Station 3 release is extremely limited, which is why most of the data out there are simply rumored or even wrong.
At a press conference held in Los Angeles, California, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. revealed the outline of its PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, incorporating the world’s most advanced Cell processor with super-computer like power.
With the delivery of Cell based development tools that has already begun, development of game titles as well as tools and middleware are in progress.
Through collaboration with world’s leading tools and middleware companies, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. will offer full support to new content creation by providing developers with extensive tools and libraries that will bring out the power of the Cell processor and enable efficient software development.
At the end of a promotional video played during the PlayStation 3 launch event, the words “Spring 2006” were displayed on the screen – thus implying the console will be released sometime during this period. When exactly, and to which countries, is currently unknown.
The rumors, however, point to a worldwide launch in March 2006.
Typically the last two generations of the PlayStation have been priced at around $300 at launch. Both have continuously decreased in price year on year into their life, its quite likely PS3 will do the same.
Sony Computer Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi has confirmed that the PlayStation 3 will feature backwards compatibility with the PS2 and PSone, ensuring continued support for older software formats in the new hardware.
Later it was confirmed again at the Sony’s E3 conference that the PS3 will be fully backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games. There hasn’t been any confirmation though if the PS3 will make PS2 games look better when playing like the PS2 did with PS1 games.
AFX News Ltd. reported that several analysts expect the US launch of the PlayStation 3 to be pushed back to the second half of 2006.
Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest Securities said 'the most likely scenario' is that PS3 will be released in Japan this summer with about 1 million units and in the US in November with 1 million units, followed by a European launch in March 2007.
Sony also confirmed the PlayStation 3 will use Blu-ray discs as its media format. The discs can hold up to six times as much data as current-generation DVDs.
It will also support CR-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R formats. It will also have slots for Memory Stick Duo, an SD slot, and a compact flash memory slot. It will also sport a slot for a detachable 2.5-inch HDD, somewhat similar to the Xbox 360's. Sony did not mention if the drive would be standard.
Sony also laid out some the technical specs of the device. The PlayStation 3 will feature the much-vaunted Cell processor, which will run at 3.2GHz, giving the whole system 2 teraflops of overall performance. This is a whooping feature for fast and graphically enhanced games.
Sony also unveiled the PS3's graphics chip, the RSX "Reality Synthesizer," which is based on Nvidia technology. The GPU will be capable of 128bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution--some of the highest HD resolution around.
PS3 combines state-of-the-art technologies featuring Cell, a processor jointly developed by IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba Corporation, graphics processor co-developed by NVIDIA Corporation and SCEI, and XDR memory developed by Rambus Inc.
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S. Stammberger is editor of Video
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