PlayStation 3: Inside and Out

Sony has released tons of information on the upcoming PlayStation 3. This special feature sums up and analyzes what's important.

by

Hardware

The PlayStation 3 system will be available with two different hard-drive options in Japan and the United States in November 2006, and in Europe and Australasia in March 2007. The later date for the European and Australasian launches (as well as those planned for Russia, the Middle East, and Africa) has been blamed on delays in blue-laser diode production. The console will hit Japan first on November 11. The 20GB model will sell for 49,980 yen (about $429), roughly $85 lower than the 59,800 yen price Sony originally announced for the console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006. Sony will let Japanese retailers name their own price for the 60GB version. The PlayStation 3 will launch in the United States on November 17. In the US, the 20GB version will retail for $499, and the 60GB version will retail for $599. In Europe, the 20GB version will retail for 499 euros, and the 60GB version will retail for 599 euros. In Australia, the 20GB version will retail for AU$829.95, and the 60GB version will retail for AU$999.95.

The new PlayStation 3 console has an elegant design featuring clean lines and pleasing curves. In contrast to the Xbox 360's puckered "inhale" shape, the PS3 sides expand outward, barely containing the hardware inside. Designers had to build the case around the advanced cooling system built to handle heat output from the Cell processor, the Nvidia GPU, and the system power supply. PC or even Xbox 360 owners would expect a system with as much power as the PS3 to sound like a small aircraft on power up, but the system is actually remarkably quiet. "When it starts to notice a heat issue, it can ramp up the fan RPMs, but in general, it's as quiet as the PlayStation 2 was," according to Sony's Richard Marks.

The 60GB PlayStation 3 will have chrome trim.

Early prototypes showed consoles in white, black, and silver--but initial models will only be black. Sony used material choice to add extra sophistication to the console design. The console exterior appeared to be a glossy, opaque black in official preview images, but the system casing is actually a very dark, semi-transparent black similar in style to the PSP's exterior. The curved top of the console suggests that the PS3 will need to sit at the very top of your equipment stack if placed horizontally. The console will weigh in at a solid 11 pounds. In comparison, the Xbox weighs 8.5 pounds and the Xbox 360 weighs 7.7 pounds. The PS3 measures 12.8"(W) x 3.8"(H) x 10.8"(L), which is in line with the other consoles.

Like the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 3 will be able to stand vertically or sit horizontally on an AV rack. PS3 owners will be able to reposition the console while the system is running without worrying about accidentally damaging a game or movie disc. "We've been doing that for six years now, I think, so we're confident that we'll have no issue with that," said Marks.

PlayStation 3 60GBPlayStation 3 20GB
Price$599$499
CPUCell ProcessorCell Processor
GPUNvidia RSXNvidia RSX
System Memory256MB XDR256MB XDR
Graphics Memory256MB GDDR3256MB GDDR3
Hard Disk2.5" SATA 60GB2.5" SATA 20GB
Optical DriveBlu-rayBlu-ray
USB 2.04-ports4-ports
Flash Memory SlotsMemory Stick, SD, Compact FlashNone
Ethernet PortYesYes
Wi-FiBuilt-in 802.11 b/g Wi-FiNone
Bluetooth 2.0 EDRYesYes
Bluetooth ControllersYesYes
Resolutions480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI PortYesYes
Digital Optical OutYesYes

The 60GB console features a front-slot-loading Blu-ray optical-disc drive and four USB ports, as well as memory stick, compact flash, and SD card reader support to provide for an absurd level of media connectivity. The 20GB PlayStation 3, in comparison, won't have memory stick, compact flash, or SD card ports. The 60GB version will also come with Wi-Fi built-in, but the 20GB version will only have the Ethernet port.

The BD, Blu-ray Disc remote control will be available separately for $25.

The Blu-ray optical-disc drive can play games and movie discs. Each Blu-ray disc can hold up to 54GB worth of data, which should virtually guarantee that games won't be left wanting for extra media space. Games will be region-free, but movies will still have region locks preventing multiregion playback. The Blu-ray spec has North America, South America, and Asia (except for China) in region A. If the spec doesn't change, that means your US PlayStation 3 should be able to play those Blu-ray Godzilla movies imported from Japan. The first 500,000 PS3 units will ship with a full-length Blu-ray movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The PS3's Blu-ray drive will also support many of the older disc formats, including CD-ROM, CDR+W, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and DVD+R.

The 2.5" portable hard drives supply the system with much-needed storage space for PlayStation Network downloads, applications, and media files. Games will use the hard drive for game saves, and it will cache game files for decreased load times. During the Gran Turismo HD E3 2006 demonstration, Sony's Kaz Hirai boasted that load times would be reduced to two to three seconds. The game took around six to seven seconds to load during the E3 demo, but loading times will likely drop once developers have more time for game optimization. The 60GB PS3 will be more useful than the 20GB version if you wish to take advantage of the system's media functionality, but Sony has stated that upgrading the hard disk will be as simple as dropping a larger capacity 2.5" SATA notebook hard drive into the system.

Do you think the PlayStation 3 has the right mix of hardware, games, media capabilities, and online support? Are you planning on buying a system at launch on November 17?

Hardware

The PlayStation 3 will have a 3.2GHz Cell processor that consists of a single PowerPC-based core with seven synergistic processing units. The Cell is the result of a joint effort between IBM, Sony, and Toshiba. The primary PowerPC core has a 512KB L2 cache, and each SPE has 256KB of its own memory to work with. The CPU has an eighth SPE for "redundancy," which means that each Cell chip only needs seven working SPEs to pass muster for the PS3.The Cell processor will be powerful enough to drive a new class of gameplay physics impossible to run on older console hardware, including cloth and fluid simulations, as well as large-scale rigid-body interactions with hundreds and thousands of objects colliding onscreen. Today's PCs in comparison will need a physics add-on card or find a way to tap the GPU for physics processing to run PS3-level physics effects. Additionally, developers will be able to use the Cell's SPEs to give games new audio effects previously only available on the PC with dedicated audio processing.

The industry-wide shift to multicore processing platforms will have a major impact on developers in the coming years. A lot of the burden will fall upon the hardware manufacturers themselves to design systems and provide tools that will make it easier for programmers to write games. Sony has announced that the PS3 will use Open GL/ES, a specialized API closely related to Open GL, and programmers will be able to access the Cell's SPEs using C or C++ tools, instead of having to program on the assembly level as they did with the PS2.

Sony will pair the Cell with a very powerful graphics processor based on advanced Nvidia technology. You may remember that Nvidia did the graphics for the first Xbox system, but with reports of contract disputes between Nvidia and Microsoft, few were surprised when both companies chose to change dance partners for the next console cycle. Microsoft went with ATI for the Xbox 360, and Nvidia hooked up with Sony on the PlayStation 3. The end result of that collaboration is the PlayStation 3 RSX "Reality Synthesizer" graphics-processing unit, a massive 550MHz, 300-million-transistor graphics chip based on GeForce 7800 GTX graphics technology.

The PlayStation 3 has 256MBs of Rambus XDR memory and 256MBs of GDDR3 memory dedicated to graphics. Nvidia claims that the RSX can take advantage of the combined 512MBs of memory, since it is capable of writing directly to system memory. The increased graphics-memory bandwidth and storage space will let developers use high-resolution textures and enable antialiasing to provide detailed, jaggy-free graphics. The RSX's programmable shader capabilities greatly increase graphics efficiency and will let game developers use advanced effects such as subsurface scattering to simulate human skin.

Wireless Sixaxis Controllers

The new PS3 controller heavily resembles the traditional Dual Shock gamepad design. The L2 and R2 shoulder buttons located on the top of the controller have been enlarged, with increased depth in stroke for more subtle game control. Sony has also enlarged the tilting angle of the analog joysticks to enable more delicate manipulation and a wider range of motion. Whereas the analog sticks on the Dual Shock controller for the PlayStation 2 had 8-bit sensitivity, the new controller will have 10-bit motion detection.

The PS3 wireless sixaxis controller will have built-in tilt movement support.

The new controller has two analog sticks, the usual four-button complement on the right side, and four top-side trigger buttons. However, the new PlayStation 3 controller will also have six-axis motion-sensing capabilities. The controller is capable of sensing motion in six degrees: up, down, left, right, forward, and backward. The new six-axis movement control will let players use body English to help control a game. For example, tilting the controller upward in the jet fighter game Warhawk will point the aircraft's nose in the air and shifting the sides of the controller up and down will cause the aircraft to tilt in a similar manner. The controller will weigh no more than the wired Dual Shock controller, even with the added six-axis functionality, but that might be due to the loss of force feedback support.

Like the Xbox 360 controller, the new PlayStation 3 controller will be wireless, but it'll get its freedom from Bluetooth rather than the traditional 2.4GHz RF. Devices operating with Bluetooth generally have a range of around nine meters, but Sony has stated that the PS3 controller will have a 20-meter wireless range. The controller will have a 30-hour battery life, a figure that seems to be in line with other Bluetooth devices but far short of the 300-hour 2.4GHz models available for current consoles. You will be able to recharge the controller by connecting it to the PlayStation 3 with a USB cable. The controller will be functional while tethered to the system and will also be hot pluggable, which means you can plug and unplug controllers while the system is on.

However, you won't be able to replace the controller battery. If the rechargeable battery ever dies, you'll have to buy a new controller or send the dead one back to Sony for replacement. We're guessing it'll take several years before the battery dies, so let's hope we've all moved on to the PlayStation 4 by then. Sixaxis wireless PS3 controllers will sell for $50.

Do you think the PlayStation 3 has the right mix of hardware, games, media capabilities, and online support? Are you planning on buying a system at launch on November 17?

Games

Sony has announced that the PlayStation 3 will have 21 games available "through the holidays," which means anytime between the system's launch on November 17 and the end of the year. But that might only be the conservative estimate. Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai told GameSpot in an interview that he estimates that we'll see "upward of 30 titles or so between first- and third-party [publishers] for the PlayStation 3" by the end of December.

The PlayStation 3 memory card adaptor.

SCEA will have three games ready for launch: Resistance: Fall of Man, NBA 07, and Genji: Days of the Blade. Highly anticipated third-party games include Tony Hawk's Project 8, Fight Night Round 3, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Sonic the Hedgehog. First-party games will retail for $60, and we expect third-party games to follow Sony's pricing lead.

If you can't afford to buy all the PS3 titles at launch, you can dip into the PS2 game catalog while you wait for the initial PS3 games to fall in price. The system will be backward compatible with PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games. You'll be able to transfer saved games from older PlayStation memory cards to the PS3 hard disk with a $15 Memory Card Adaptor. PS3 owners will also be able to buy and download arcade-style games from the PlayStation Network, which should cost under $15. Announced games include Blast Factor, flOw, Criminal Crackdown, Lemmings 2, Go! Sudoku, and Go! Swizzleblock2.

PlayStation 3 Launch Games

Resistance: Fall of Man

Publisher: Insomniac Games
Developer: Insomniac Games
*PS3 exclusive* US and British troops join forces to defend England from the alien Chimera invasion force in Insomniac Games' Resistance: Fall of Man.
Read Previews>>


NBA 07

Publisher: SCEA
Developer: SCEA
*PS3 exclusive* NBA 07 features all new gameplay modes, mini games, and authentic NBA teams. The PlayStation 3 version will allow you to use the sixaxis controller to execute juke and spin moves.
Read Previews>>


Genji: Days of the Blade

Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Game Republic
*PS3 exclusive* Slash your way through epic Japanese battles in Genji: Days of the Blade. Choose between four playable characters each with unique fighting styles and swap players mid-fight to execute combo attacks.
Read Previews>>


Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII is a arcade-like WWII flight game from Ubisoft. Use the sixaxis controller to tilt your way to victory.
Read Previews>>


Call of Duty 3

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Call of Duty 3 continues the series of World War II shooters, this time focusing on the battle for the liberation of Paris - known as the Normandy Breakout.
Read Previews>>


Fight Night Round 3

Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Chicago
Electronic Arts brings its boxing franchise to the PlayStation 3 with Fight Night Round 3. Now players can use the sixaxis controller to throw headbutts, elbows, and other dirty shots.
Read Previews>>


The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda
The fourth chapter in the Elder Scrolls series takes the game to new levels with gameplay and graphical enhancements, and features over 200 hours of play time. The PS3 version includes an additional race, the Knights of the Nine.
Read Previews>>


F.E.A.R.

Publisher: Vivendi Games
Developer: Day 1 Studios
F.E.A.R. is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and an engaging story presented entirely in first person.
Read Previews>>


Full Auto 2: Battlelines

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Pseudo Interactive
*PS3 exclusive* Sega is bringing the sequel to the Xbox 360's trigger-happy racing game exclusively to the PlayStation 3.
Read Previews>>


Madden NFL 07

Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Tiburon
Madden 07 continues the perennial football series from EA Sports. The PS3 version allows you to tilt and move the sixaxis controller to fake snaps and execute finesse or timing moves like jumping the snap.
Read Previews>>


Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance continues the X-Men Legends franchise with more than 20 playable characters.
Read Previews>>


Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire

Publisher: Namco Bandai Games America
Developer: Namco Bandai Games America
*PS3 exclusive* Lead your Mobile Suit battalion to victory in Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire.
Read Previews>>


NBA 2K7

Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
NBA 2K returns for the 2007 season. The sixaxis controller gives us a new twist on free throw shots.
Read Previews>>


Need For Speed Carbon

Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Canada
Form a street racing crew and take over turf in Need For Speed Carbon, the first NFS game for the PlayStation 3.
Read Previews>>


NHL 2K7

Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: 2K Sports
2K Games brings the NHL 2K7 season to the PlayStation 3. Check your opponent and help your goalie make all the stops with the sixaxis controller.
Read Previews>>


Ridge Racer 7

Publisher: Namco Bandai Games America
Developer: Namco Bandai Games America
*PS3 exclusive* Riiiidge Racer! The seventh game in the Ridge Racer series is coming to the PS3. Select from over 40 different cars and 20 courses.
Read Previews>>


Sonic the Hedgehog

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Sega is working on a brand new Sonic title for next-gen systems, with exciting speed changes.
Read Previews>>


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07

Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Sports
Tiger Woods swings his way into the 2007 season. Add spin to the ball with the sixaxis controller!
Read Previews>>


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas is the fifth title in the Rainbow Six series, and pits players against terrorists who have taken the city of Vegas hostage.
Read Previews>>


Tony Hawk's Project 8

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Neversoft Ent.
Tony Hawk skates onto the PlayStation 3 with Tony Hawk's Project 8. Use the sixaxis controller to steer, keep your balance, and pull off tricks.
Read Previews>>


Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom

Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
*PS3 exclusive* Dark Kingdom marks the next-gen debut of the Untold Legends series, with support for online play and downloadable content.
Read Previews>>

Do you think the PlayStation 3 has the right mix of hardware, games, media capabilities, and online support? Are you planning on buying a system at launch on November 17?

Online

Anyone who has played online games with the PlayStation 2 has a pretty good idea of Sony's online strategy with that platform. That is to say, there wasn't much of a strategy at all. The network-adapter peripheral was released separately from the console itself. Each game publisher had to run its own servers, which meant that logging into every new game, or at least games from different publishers, meant creating and keeping track of several different login names and passwords. If playing online games on the PS2 felt like a chaotic free-for-all at times, that's because it basically was one.

Sony is moving in a more cohesive direction in regard to its online service with the PS3. The new console has built-in networking capabilities, and Sony will launch a new online service to coincide with the system's release.

PlayStation Network

The PlayStation Network will be similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live service and will provide community features such as personal login accounts, friends lists, avatars, and matchmaking, as well as communication options including messaging and eventually voice and video chat. The PS3 won't have a camera accessory ready at launch, but SCE CTO Masa Chatani has talked about developing an HD IP camera peripheral that will let you broadcast an HD-quality video stream for video messaging and conferencing.

The free PlayStation Network service will include community features and online multiplayer gameplay. Resistance: Fall of Man, for example, will feature a 40-man online multiplayer mode and a robust lobby system with buddy lists, as well as support for parties, clans, stats, and persistent experience levels. Xbox Live Silver, Microsoft's free basic service, provides community options, too, but Silver-level subscribers can only play massively multiplayer games online. Players must upgrade to a paid Xbox Live Gold service subscription to access online multiplayer gameplay for non-MMO games.

Sony's service will offer an Xbox Marketplace-like PlayStation Store where players can go to download a variety of content including games, game demos, additional game content, and video files such as movie trailers and music videos. John Smedley from Sony Online Entertainment demonstrated the working store at Gamers' Day 2006. Developers will have the option to integrate shops directly into games, letting players buy items from within the game experience. PS3 users can transfer cash to their "PlayStation 3 Wallet" by credit card or with prepaid cards. All items will be priced in dollars and cents rather than "points" as in other online systems. Sony has suggested that the commerce service can also handle subscriptions for massively mulitplayer online games or other games that may require constant upkeep.

Media Capabilities

Upon system boot up, PS3 console owners will be greeted with the familiar cross media bar (Xross Media Bar in Sony marketing-speak) menu system already in use on the PSP and Sony televisions. The XMB lets you navigate horizontally through top-level selection categories: users, system settings, and media options such as photos, music, videos, games, network, and friends. Each top-level category, when selected, will display a vertical list of related available options. The user menu, for example, will let you create new users or switch user accounts. Parents can set up "child" accounts that can limit games access based on ESRB and MPAA ratings.

The 60GB PlayStation 3's flash card readers will be useful for transferring music, photos, and videos.

The photo options offer several slide show styles, including one particularly impressive show that uses the system hardware to render the images as physical photographs gently falling into place over a white work surface. The system can also play music while running a slide show. The PS3 supports several major music-file types (MP3, ATRAC, AAC, and WAV) and has a built-in music visualizer. Users can import songs from a flash memory card through the USB port or rip songs directly from a CD. Sony gave the video menu a next-gen feel by using 15-second video clips as video thumbnails. A selection screen with several moving video thumbnails has a much more powerful effect than a line of boring still images. Users won't be able to transfer files directly from a PC to the PS3 over a local area network, but you will be able to transfer or play video directly from flash memory cards or over USB.

The network menu provides access to the PS3's built-in Web browser, the PlayStation Store, and the PSP Remote Play feature that will let the PSP stream video from the PS3 over a Wi-Fi connection. Harrison demonstrated the Remote Play feature at Sony's Gamers' Day 2006 by playing the first half of the movie trailer for Casino Royale on the PS3, pausing the video, and then resuming playback on the PSP's screen. Streams will be limited to the local Wi-Fi network at first, but Sony has plans to extend the feature to PS3-to-PSP connections over the Internet. PS3 games will also support the PSP at some point in the future. At E3 2006, Sony demonstrated a preview build of Formula 1 that could output a video stream to the PSP that lets the player use the portable as a rearview mirror while playing the game on the PS3.

The Web browser looks to be fully functional with all the must-have features such as Flash support, which Harrison demonstrated at Gamers' Day by opening YouTube and playing a video of Kaz Hirai's "Riiiidge Racer!" E3 presentation a couple of times. You can open multiple browser windows and switch between them fairly quickly. The PS3 uses the same cell phone-style text-input interface used on the PSP, which means you should plug in a USB keyboard if you're serious about using the console for Web browsing.

The friends list is the final icon on the XMB. We haven't seen a lot of the friends-list functionality outside of text messaging, but in Harrison's Gamers' Day demo, we noticed that several of the people on his friends list had PlayStation-affiliated avatars like Kratos from God of War and Sly Cooper.

Keep your eye on this space! GameSpot will be updating this feature with new information as it's released!

Do you think the PlayStation 3 has the right mix of hardware, games, media capabilities, and online support? Are you planning on buying a system at launch on November 17?

Gut Reactions

Greg Kasavin
Executive Editor

Now, It's a Race

Sony came up fierce in that press conference. I was really impressed. First of all, I'm glad that none of that stuff leaked. On the heels of weeks and weeks of Xbox 360 rumors, it's nice to have gotten tons of conclusive info straight from the horse's mouth.

I like the design of the system. I thought the original PlayStation looked great, but I remember being shocked by how ugly the PlayStation 2 was when it was first revealed (yeah, I got used to it). The PS3 doesn't seem to have a lot of personality as a console, but it's certainly slick and doesn't scream "I'm a loser who plays video games" or anything like that, so you wouldn't mind having that thing in your living room. The Spider-Man 2 typeface for the PlayStation 3 logo is a little bit disturbing to me, but that probably has to do with my fear that the system will be a big cash-in simultaneous release with the next Spider-Man flick. As for that controller...I haven't heard a single person say anything nice about it yet. It looks functionally identical to the Dual Shock 2 (one of the best stock game controllers of all time, in my opinion), but that shape is just crazy.

Then there's the games. You see, I want to play these games. I'll buy that system for Tekken 6. I'll buy it for Metal Gear Solid 4. Hell, I'll buy it for Warhawk 2. Warhawk 2! I'm excited by the prospects of all that stuff. I appreciate that Sony split between showing a bunch of high-profile sequels and a bunch of never-before-seen titles. It's refreshing to have seen such a focus on promoting the system's lineup rather than just the glitz and glamour of the announcement itself.

I'll tell you, one thing's for sure: It's going to be a real savage fight between Microsoft and Sony...

Jeff Gerstmann
Senior Editor

How It's Done

So, in case you were wondering, that is how you introduce a console to the world. Not to harp on the Xbox 360's MTV debut too much, but I don't think I've spoken with one person who had anything nice to say about it. Not enough games, not enough details, and an incredibly fake feel made that Xbox 360 special feel like the infomercial it probably was.

By contrast, Sony didn't screw around. It skipped all the PlayStation 2 business details and cut right to the chase, devoting 95 percent of the press conference to information about the PlayStation 3. It started slow with a bunch of numbers and tech specs, but the pace just kept picking up throughout the event. The tech demos looked interesting but hardly mind-blowing. But once it came time to actually show games, it was practically information overload. One game after another, rapid-fire and with reckless abandon. Warhawk? They're making a new Warhawk after all these years? Finally! A new Tekken? Sign me up. And then there's that Killzone footage. If you had told me three days ago that I would find footage of a Killzone game to be totally amazing, I would have called you a filthy, filthy liar. It was the talk of the Microsoft press conference, which went down just after Sony's.

But Sony struck a balance, and that's the important part. It wasn't just "here are more sequels to games you already like." It was also "here are a bunch of games that you've never heard of before." By showing a great mix of existing and all-new products, it really seemed like Sony had something for everyone. Plus, it had volume on its side. We saw a lot of games, even if some of them were little more than a name and some prerendered stuff (Devil May Cry 4).

The technical aspects sound insane, and the features--like the crazy wireless HD IP-based camera and the fact that you'll be able to hook up two HDTV monitors to it at once--sound like they've got a lot of potential. About the only thing that didn't look so hot there is probably the controller, which looks a little crazy. OK, it looks a lot crazy. But beyond that, this looks like the best thing going, at the moment. Now I just want to know when I'll be able to play something on it for myself.

Matthew Rorie
Game Guides Editor

Shocked and Awed

My gut reaction to the PS3 launch is one of outright shock. Sony kept the lid on the PlayStation 3 before E3, and it paid off in spades, as the perception here is definitely that Sony beat Microsoft about the face and neck quite vigorously, at least when it comes to the relative strength of its press conferences. The games look incredible, and what's more, they're recognizable names, with things like Tekken, Gran Turismo, and Warhawk--Warhawk!--among the announced titles.

Let me say that again: The games look incredible. The first thing I saw when I started watching the press conference was the re-creation of the FFVII intro, and it was quite literally the kind of thing that could suck the breath out of your body as effectively as any sucker punch. That had the benefit of the comparison with the obviously dated CGI intro to FFVII on the PlayStation, though, as anyone who remembers that game recalls the blocky models and stumpy hands of the characters in it. The characters in the PS3 tech demo, though, are incredibly rendered and, yes, appear to rival even the pure CGI characters of FFVII: Advent Children. Simply put, that's the most impressive piece of game video I've ever seen.

At least, it was the greatest piece of video I've ever seen: That impression lasted until I happened to track down the Killzone 2 footage, with its landing sequence that seemed like an updated interpretation of Medal of Honor's Normandy invasion sequence. One of the things that made me feel like cringing was the explosion near the end of the video that sent a cloud of dust into the air. After years of seeing smoke and particle effects absolutely choke most video cards and consoles into single-digit frame rates, I was worried that it was going to show some kind of weakness in the PS3, some kind of unshielded porthole through which Microsoft or Nintendo might hope to launch their proton torpedos, but no, the frame rate appeared to remain constant throughout.

After watching each of the video segments a couple of times, I can say that Warhawk, Motor Storm, and the Killzone 2 footage are all pretty jaw-dropping. It's still different to really grasp the ass-kickingness of Sony's presentation, in that Sony didn't bother to hype its presence at all but instead decided to just walk the walk by bringing its A game. You can apend whatever sports metaphor you wish to that last sentence, but it's obvious that Microsoft isn't going to match the PS3's impressive lineup by just bringing FFXI to bear; the game's been out three years!

All I can say is that the next year or so is going to be a mighty interesting one. And while it might be tempting to speak of all this as a two-horse race, it's worth remembering that Nintendo has talked very little about the Revolution.

Bob Colayco
Features Editor

Warily Optimistic

Like the other editors, I couldn't help but be excited about the gameplay footage from the Sony press conference. But when the initial rush from seeing Warhawk, Killzone, and the other games subsided, I remembered Sony offering up similarly jaw-dropping demos of the PlayStation 2 when that console was announced. Everyone swooned then, began quoting Revelations, prophecied the death of PC games, dogs and cats living together, and so on. Well, we all know how all that power turned out. Aside from the odd exception like Gran Turismo or God of War, the PS2 was without question the graphical ugly duckling of this generation. So pardon me while I keep my pants on and hang onto this boulder I call a grain of salt (while secretly praying that the Killzone 2 footage wasn't a marketing mirage).

I also want to know if the industrial designers responsible for the PS3 controller will be publicly outed and shamed, or if they're just going to be quietly fired and then giggled at discreetly. I mean, seriously. When I first spotted a picture of the controller and showed the other editors, they all said it was too ugly to be real. It had to be fake. When we came to the horrified realization that the batarang was in fact real, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Harsh? You bet. But if published vitriol is what it's going to take to get Sony to reconsider that controller design, then here's my contribution. Xbox 360 controller: elegant. PS3 controller: joke.

So what do I like about the PS3? A lot, actually. I like the slot loading drive. I like the wide array of media slots. I loved all the game footage from the press conference and the raw amount of power available for designers. After seeing or hearing about all three next-gen consoles now, the PS3 has the clear edge in games at this early stage. And I'm excited to hear about possible PSP connectivity options that aren't dumb. Wouldn't it be great to grab movies and music off your PS3 remotely, through the Internet, using your PSP?

Brian Ekberg
Sports Editor

Ouch, Microsoft

Hi there, Xbox 360. Boy that was a nice shiny 15 minutes you had there, wasn't it? That whole MTV thing was fun--I liked all the bands especially; they were a riot. And the way your sexy sleek design has that sort of "inhale" design aspect to it. Pretty cool. I think Carson Daly thinks so too. Only one thing was missing--something sort of important. You know...footage. I saw plenty of people talking about the console and its potential but didn't see much action in the way of gameplay.

Then there was today's PS3 unveiling--sure it was probably too long, and if I saw one more PowerPoint slide describing Cell architecture I was going to scream. But then there was that eight-minute little chunk of heaven called the game demo reel, and what a reel it was--especially that harrowing Killzone footage. Hell, it was as if Kaz and the Gang were dipping directly into my mind this evening, framing the demo with two racing games--F1 and a jam-packed Gran Turismo 5 that had my blood pumping. I feel bad even mentioning games like Metal Gear 4 and Tekken 6, just because it kinda seems unfair right now.

It's amazing how perceptions can change over the course of a day. This morning, I thought that Bill Gates' Time Magazine quote that Halo 3 would meet the PS3 head-on on launch day was a brilliant idea. Now I'm not so sure. With all the heavyweight software Sony boasted today, it may be too much for even Master Chief to handle.

Jason Ocampo
Associate PC Editor

The View From the PC

Give it to Sony--the company really knows how to make an entrance. The videos and tech demos are all jaw-dropping, but I'm someone who's going to need to see what the actual games look like. Remember that Sony also introduced some pretty amazing stuff when it unveiled the PS2, but the actual games ended up looking more like high-res PlayStation games. There's a big debate going on right now about what was actual gameplay and what was prerendered simulations of gameplay, much like EA Sports' Madden commercial last month.

Unreal Engine 3 looks really good, but it looks really good on the Xbox 360, and it looks really good on a very high-end PC. That's very telling for me, because I think that, when you get down to it, the consoles and the PC are going to be very close in terms of power for a little while. The PC will do what it always does and leap ahead of the consoles. But, let's face it, the common factor unifying the PC, PS2, and Xbox 360 is that they use graphics chips from either Nvidia or ATI. So for all the vaunted power of the PS3's Cell processor, it can't improve graphics. That's what the Nvidia chip is for. So I imagine that all the games across all the platforms will look the same. It just depends on the skill and resources of each developer.

Sarju Shah
Associate Hardware Editor

I'm getting rather jaded by the spec sheets rolling out with these consoles. Two teraflops, something billion dot product operations per second, the numbers mean next to nothing. I'm half waiting for Nintendo to announce that the Revolution does four teraflops and has a reservoir on the heat sink that lets you make fondue. Personally, I've started looking at the inputs and outputs more closely, and what I see scares me into thinking that these specs might not be too far off from the truth.

We saw the Xbox 360 and came away wowed. Now we see the PlayStation 3 and we're running out of levels of stunned. The words "dual screen 1080p" leave my mouth filled with enough drool to fill a pint glass. At the same time, some latent fear is building inside of me with regard to the new consoles. The price of the new consoles will be less worrisome than all the gadgets I'll need to make them function optimally. Even though HDTVs have gone down in price, very few of the low-cost sets do 1080i, let alone 1080p. Let's say that a 1080p set will cost at least $1,500-3,000 by the time the PlayStation 3 is released; double that figure to get two of them, and now tack on a decent sound system. We're looking at well over $5,000 to get your PlayStation 3 running superpretty. Sick.

Discussion

5491 comments
jrtrio
jrtrio

So, Playstation Network gets hacked!! Plus my financial gets stolen cause I was stupid enough to "buy" something online! But, tell me this...if the hackers were so smart to hack the PSN how come they were so stupid as to not only order a pizza using my card but they then had it delivered!! Now my bank AND the authorities know who they are and where they live!! Gees the educational system in this country....

tac_maximus
tac_maximus

WOW. I think you need to up date this site. This is the year 2011 and we have what you call the PS3 slim and it comes with a 500GB version now. I think even thay might be working on the PS4 now to. LMFAO

sidhant3091
sidhant3091

Glad to see getsetgo has finally bought a PS3. i got mine in May 09. Who thinks GOW3 will break all barriers known to man?

sidhant3091
sidhant3091

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

getsetgo
getsetgo

Hi people. Just to say i'm stll alive and enjoying my gaming. Xbox 360 remains in my opinion the best console and things are getting better. Having said that i am now on my 2nd 360 because the 1st broke down and was replaced. This one also got the ring of death but was repaired by microsof free of charge. So far so good. I am also pleased the PS3 has more quality games out there. I like my PS3 but i still prefer the 360. That's all for now. I hope you are all doing well and having a great time, especially Avtoc and MotownBear.

CapitaoNinja
CapitaoNinja

I have two reasons for buying a PS3 instead of a XBOX 360. And it is the same from the ps2 instead of xbox. First, Japanese Games Second, It's better play the PC versions of the XBOX games.

MotownBear
MotownBear

watsup guys. ive just been chilling with life and my ps3, mostly playing madden online hows it goin for u guys

AvtoC
AvtoC

Killzone 2 looks amazing, best looking console ever, even if PS3 is technically inferior to X360 which I sincerely doubt, Killzone 2 looks better than any X360 game to date.

killerwsyan
killerwsyan

ps3 have open GL and i've heard ps3 have 4D ??!

AvtoC
AvtoC

Tekken 6 has fallen, MS buying PS3 exclusives one by one, very good for X360 owners that is what any corporation should do listen to their clients and if they want games from the console they didn't buy rather than their own original titles that is what MS should concentrate on.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey getset, good to hear from you again. MGS is good man, I'm a fan, so I might be exaggerating, but the graphics are the best out there, HDR is amazing, insane polygon count, high res textures, best post processing, DETAILS, special effects are top notch, but you know all of this don't you? What I don't like is Beauty and the Beast unit, Cobra unit from Snake Eater was so much better. The game(actual gameplay) feels a bit short, but I love making fun of NPC AI, this makes my clear time quite long. MGO is nice, but I don't like the pace of the thing. As for the feel it feels 95% like MGS3 Subsistence(2005), so if 2005 is old so is the feel of the game. There is one more thing, I'm so sick and tired of this endless assault of Unreal Engine 3 games, MGS4 is a relief. Very happy to hear from you I'm doing okay, I hope you're doing even better adios.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Hi Avtoc long time since we spoke. Are you enjoying MGS ? For me it is a big disappointment. I spend more time watching cut scenes than playing it. Also i think the game feels old. I am really bored with it. I am really fed up with the fact i bought a PS3. So far all it does is gather dust. Anyway, this is only my opinion. I hope you are doing well. Bye mate.

westside5566
westside5566

my cats is going to slice your dick off bungie .com

westside5566
westside5566

my dog is going to eat ur balls off bungie .com

AvtoC
AvtoC

Yeah, I know what you mean, it's hard to find a game that is actually worth spending money on. In game mechanics respect I don't think MGS4 will be out of this world new, but I think it'll bring a quite a bit of new ideas and also I'm sure the game as a whole will be very innovating all MGS games were, so looking forward for that one.

getsetgo
getsetgo

no i got the PS3 version cos Game Spot said was slightly better. Lets hope MGS4 hits the spot. I am getting a bit frustrated with some of these new gen games. Apart from graphics a lot of them offer nothing new.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey getset you got it on X360 right? So, anyway about GTA IV I played it and sadly it did not meet my expectations, but "sold it already" c'mon man it's not that bad, I'll let you in on a little secret a few days before GTA IV release I still had San Andreas installed on my PC, I can't say a used to play it, maybe once in a month and the same thing will be true for GTA IV, I'll pick it up from time to time (play online maybe) and eventually one day I'll finish the campaign, but with MGS4 on its way eventually... Now MGS4 is all I want in a game.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Avtoc have you played GTA IV ? I got it and sold it already. What a lot of rubbish. Same old stuff . GTA was new when it 1st come out . Now just fells old and tired. I got bored with GTAIV after a couple of hours. Even the graphics are bad and the characters are just plain stupid. What about you ? Do you like the it ?

JerNewbz
JerNewbz

Alright, thanks for your input! What I meant by $150 was that you invest $150 more dolars for the PS3 than the 360. So thanks anyway, and I will continue debating. So far, I'll probably get the 360 as of now...

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey JerNewbz, where are you going to get a PS3 with 60GB HDD for 150$? As for the console this is your choice only, if you think you will play X360 games get X360, but if you like Metal Gear Solid, GT, God Of War or just about any PS/PS2 games I would recommend PS3, and one more thing PS3 is a better value for money, cuz you are getting more than just a game console, but if all you need is a game console it's down to the games and which controller you prefer.

JerNewbz
JerNewbz

I'm not sure on which to buy, Xbox 360, or PS3. People tend to say Xbox is now, PS3 is the futur. I am questioning the gamese in particular, I have absolutly no idea which games I would enjoy for this, but I found many games that are exclusive to 360 that looked interesting. Is it worth boosting $150 dolars for a 60gb hard drive PS3? Or $450 120gb Xbox360, but you have to pay for internet?

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey getset have to agree about Wii it got boaring to soon, also I hope they bring PS2 games to 40gb model through software emulation. Well a lot of reviews have been writing PS3 version looks a bit better and has shorter load times, Sixaxis stuff too, but online Xbox Live is a bit better. Want to hear something funny?... well I'll tell you anyway I now this bloke and the fact he has got PS3 and X360 is a sad misunderstanding so he is getting a PS3 version and when asked about it he said, he did not like the green XBOX stripe on the case of X360 version and that's why he will get the PS3 version.

getsetgo
getsetgo

hi avtoc my PS3 is a 40gb. I bought it cos they had a good deal at the time and they also gave me 2 new games with it. Yes i think the 360 has came to an halt, but the PS3 doesn`t have a lot of exciting news at the moment as well. I reckon they are all waiting for the summer holidays. Anyway, i am starting to enjoy the PS3 more than before, i am even enjoying playing on it some of the oldies PS1 games. I can`t wait for the Dual 3 to be released over here. I think the proof of the pudding is going to be GTA IV. I really don`t know which version i am going to buy. Let`s wait and see. The one i am really bored with is the Wii. Now the novelty of the Wii remote is finished i hardly play the thing. I think i am going to sell it. Bye mate.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey getset, your PS3 which one is it? And don't you think X360 game tech has stalled lately, while PS3 or DelayStation games are going forward in terms of tech, but get delayed every time they get close to the release date.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Thanks. I wait for it to come out in England. I hate internet shopping. Far to many croocks from Eastern Europe trying to sabotage UK internet shopping. It is always on telly how people are falling for scams or having their credit card details stolen. R6 Vegas 2 is ok. But offers nothing new in terms of action although i`ve only played it for a couple of hours in my mate`s house. I don`t think i will be buying it.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Well it was released in US a week or so ago but I had to get mine online the Japanese one you know the one that's White. And yes as far as I know Dual Shock 3 is the only controller with rumble, but to be honest I never actually looked, so ask around. Hey getset what about R6 vegas 2 you like it, I think it's more of an expansion pack than a game.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Avtoc just another thing, is the Dual Shock 3 the only controller with rumble ?

getsetgo
getsetgo

Hi Avtoc. In London the Dual Shock 3 is not out yet. In Game Uk and Gamestation i was told that it will be months before it`s released over here and the States. They told me it has just come out in Japan. Do you have a DS3 ? If yes how did you manage to get hold of one ? Bye mate

AvtoC
AvtoC

I'm sure you'll enjoy Dual Shock 3 a great controller, Wipeout's all-right, but I'm not such a big fan. And you say Wipeout HD is the only reason c'mon man what about MGS4 and LittleBigPlanet. Halo was good but not as good as I wanted it to be it's truly overrated, so is Killzone 2 I mean two things I'm looking forward in this game is cover system and not so much graphics as the knowledge that something that looks this good is mostly running of the CPU rather than GPU it's kind of personal though.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Avtoc i am going to get that Dual Shock 3 and hopefully i will enjoy the PS3 a bit more. Finally the only reason why i have not yet sold my PS3 is because i am waiting for Wipeout HD to come out. I love all Wipeouts. I have played them to death. Anyway thanks for the advice on the Dual Shock. Last thing, Halo 3 is a very overrated game. There is a lot of better stuff out there.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Well the graphics in a lot of the games are better on X360 and a bit sharper too cuz' as some say AA is free on Xenos, but the colours is kind of personal some including me like PS3 colours best, and SIXAXIS does have this cheap feel but all Playstation fans have Dual Shock 3 which is great and the size of the thing is not such a big issue, some of us are short you know, and you have yet to play GT5 what you have is GT5 Prologue and more than a million people think it's great the graphics are the best and the phisics are o.k. The fact is there are games you like on X360 but the games some of us love are on PS3 it's as simple as that, we want MGS, we love GT, we can't get enough of Final Fantasy, we like GTA IV with Dual Shock, we like Uncharted and sometimes even flOw. Don't get me wrong Gears is amazing and Halo 3 is kind of o.k, but we're just loyal to Playstation.

getsetgo
getsetgo

hey avtoc. I hope you are ok.Let me tell you what i don`t like about the PS3. 1st the graphics are good but i prefer the 360 graphics. In general they are sharper and have better colours. Then the PS3 remote is a pain. No rumble but the worse is the design. The controller is to small.It feels really unconfortable. The cheap feeling of its plastic material is a real no no. PS3 online is also poor. I know is free but i rather pay and have a good service like xbox live. I like racing and adventure games above all. I both these categories the 360 as much better stuff. This is not to tease you but i hardly play the PS3. I used it last to play GT5. What another waste of my money. I have come to the conclusion there is no point in having a PS3 at all. No doubt the PS3 offers a lot of extra stuff but as far as games goes it is second best by a long margin to the 360.

AvtoC
AvtoC

Hey getset how you been, bought a PS3 hey? and you say you're disappointed so what exactly you did not like? mind-blowing visuals of Uncharted, Blu-ray, all the loading times cut half in Devil May Cry, Dual Shock 3, backward compatibility, XMB, HDMI 1.3, upgradable HDD, mod support in UT3, free PSN, oh I get it you are not a gamer and you don't need Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy, well that is your problem. There are quite a few reason to get a PS3 and you know it, I'm not saying X360 has to be sold, but PS3 is a must have for any gamer whose first console was not the first Xbox.

getsetgo
getsetgo

Just in case somebody bothers to read this. I finally bought a PS3 , all i can say is that i am seriously disappointed , i wasted my money big time. Now i can say with 100% certainty , the 360 is the best game console of them all. If yo have a 360 there is no reason whatsoever to get a PS3 and if you have a PS3 , forget it, sell it and buy a 360.

Jaziel
Jaziel

I love this. Sony fans vs Xbots, it never gets old. I own both consoles but I must admit that I prefer my PS3 over my 360. I'm sorry but the 360 just doesn't measure up. I get so much more out of my PS3 than I do my 360. Werther I play games or not I use my PS3 every day. I got all my music on there I got all my photos and home videos and trailers......you name it. It's so easy to upgrade your Hard Drive and so much more cheaper than with the 360. With what you pay for a 360 20GB HDD you can buy a 160GB HDD for your PS3. Do the math it's not rocket science as to which console gives you more for your money. Not only that but the PS3 has some great games out and some amazing games on the way. I mean we got Heavenly Sword, Uncharted, UT3, Resistance, Ratchet & Clank and if you were smart like me you got a launch console and you can play all your PS2 and PS games on your console. That was last year now we got some new amazing titles on the way like Resistance 2, Haze, Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, Grand Turismo 5, Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII and VS XIII, Metal Gears Solid 4,and Star Ocean 4. I'm sure I missed some but regardless, you can't touch that line up. Throw on top of that all the multiplatform games that are free to play on line on the PSN as opposed to "XBOX Live Gold" and you got a wining combination. Oh yeah lets not forget about Home, Remote Play, and in game XMB. I love playing my 360 as a matter of fact the last game I got was for my 360 and it will probably be the last I get for a good while because to be honest there is nothing on it's way to the 360 that I'm slightly interested in.,except for maybe Alan Wake which was not originally a 360 exclusive but you know how that goes. M$ wanted it and they probably paid for it. I mean we gotta face facts, M$ screwed up by not putting in a high capacity disc drive in their console be it Blu-Ray or HD-DVD with out a mandatory good size HDD. You gotta have one or the other because the day will come very soon when games will have to do partial installs to the HDD and the 360 will get left behind because not all their consoles have HDD and they can't fit everything on a DVD. Which will mean some people will get left out or you'll have a multi disc game that will be substandard when compared to the PS3 version. Well that's my 2 cents. Peace guys

MotownBear
MotownBear

I still believe the PS3 wins hands down for high definition gaming, online and being a media center. :D :)

AvtoC
AvtoC

getset my man you have not changed a bit. I agree PGR4 is the most photorealistic game out there, but GT5 Prologue is right there with it and with the slightest improvement of racetrack quality it will be the best. As for GOW vs Unchartered, gameplay wise it's Gears hands down, but graphics c'mon man yes, there are some slight problems but the technological level of Unchartered is far beyond than of GOW.

getsetgo
getsetgo

here we go again. Yes Unchartered looks sweet and plays well. I give you that . It is the only PS3 game worth buying but Gears of War plays and looks better . Still the best looking game out there is PGR4.Like i said the 360 remains the top console .

AvtoC
AvtoC

Uncharted looks and plays really well, everybody should give it a try. I think it's the best looking game on any console ever, yes it actually looks much, much better than Gears. Gameplay is also good maybe not as good as GOW, but if you like TR this is your game. Oh, and there's Ratchet & Clank and I tell you this game is extraordinary, so getset give this games a try. As for PSP Slim, I'm right with you man extra RAM and faster loading times is great, but no more infra-red port (I know it's hard to believe but I use it from time to time) so if you have a PSP there is no real reason to buy the Slim version unless you're obsessed with this UMD on a TV idea.

sidhant3091
sidhant3091

aahhhhhh nice to be back. so who else loves unchartered?

getsetgo
getsetgo

Hi Avtoc.Of course the PS3 remains the best media hub but the 360 remains the best for gaming. I think the latest releases prove my point. I have been considering buying a PS3 but to be honest when i see what my mates play on theirs , i feel there is no reason for me to get one at all. Another thing, i bought a PSP Slim. Big disappointment. It offers nothing new and the cables that link it to the telly reduce the picture size a lot and make graphics look blocky to the extreme. Waste of money that was. I like to play games on the go. When i am travelling or commuting. For thIs the DS remains the best.

AvtoC
AvtoC

hey getset how are you man and now let us get to the argument now when X360 got DivX do we think X360 is a better media hub than PS3 of course I'm quite sure getset thinks it always was but not all of us agree.

MotownBear
MotownBear

Yeah I missed the arguments too. That's why I came back on here.

getsetgo
getsetgo

nice one bear . Nice to hear from you. I miss the old 360 vs ps3 arguments.

AvtoC
AvtoC

hey this place is still here! I thought it was gone good I mean great job Bear how you been how's it going what do you say we have a get guys back and have a reunion or something PS3 hardware is not the case anymore but games still are, so who is excited about UT3 I have the PC version and it's very good actually and I believe it'll be even better on PS3 what do you think?

MotownBear
MotownBear

Yeah I haven't been on here in a while simply because I thought they terminated the link. Luckily I added it as an bookmark on my PS3, and got the link there.

clawboy
clawboy

This page has been dead for months now.

reeco411
reeco411

i guess this page is dead now