PlayStation 3 announced for 2006

[UPDATE 12] Sony unveils its next-gen console in LA; Metal Gear Solid 4, Devil May Cry 4, Tekken 6, Gran Turismo 5, and Warhawk redux confirmed. First pictures and video inside.

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LOS ANGELES--Today saw the second of the big three console makers announce its next-generation platform. At its pre-E3 press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment gave the world its first look at the PlayStation 3, as it is now officially called. While the device's price has not yet been set, its release window--spring 2006--has. Flanked by Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Kaz Hirai, SCE head Ken Kutaragi introduced it as a "supercomputer for computer entertainment."

The name was not unexpected, since Sony had been running an extensive teaser-ad campaign prepping the public for the PlayStation 3. The company had laid a blanket of posters around the Los Angeles Convention Center, site of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3). Bus stalls and billboards around the convention center proclaimed "Prepare for Chang3" in the distinctive PlayStation font with partial shots of the Dual Shock controller's square-circle-triangle-X buttons.

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. Sony also confirmed that the machine will be backward compatible all the way to the original PlayStation. 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 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. It will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz.

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. The RSX also has 512MB of graphics render memory and is capable of 100 billion shader operations and 51 billion dot products per second. It also has more than 300 million transistors, larger than any processor commercially available today. It will be manufactured using the 90nm process, with eight layers of metal. The RSX is more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards, which would cost roughly $1,000 total if purchased today.

The PlayStation 3 will also sport some hefty multimedia features, such as video chat, Internet access, digital photo viewing, and digital audio and video. Speaking of video, Sony Computer Entertainment's chief technical officer Masa Chatani was on hand to show off the PS3's panoramic video functions. Since the console has two HD outputs, it is can be hooked up to two side-by-side HDTVs to projecting video in a 32:9 extra-widescreen format (think Cinemascope in your living room). Like a gigantic version of the Nintendo DS, the dual digital outputs also allow for an extended game display, with the action on one screen and either game information or video chat on the second.

Out of the box, the PS3 will have the capability to support seven Bluetooth controllers, which can be used for nearly 24 hours before they require charging. Later, pictures of the controllers themselves were released, showing their almost boomerang-like shape. It will also have six USB slots for peripherals: four up front and two in the back. As rumored, it will also have Wi-Fi connectivity to the PSP, which can be used as a remote screen and/or controller.

Dr. Richard Marx, the inventor of EyeToy, was on hand to show off the PS3's wireless HD IP Camera. The demo recalled rumors that the machine will have Minority Report-esque motion-sensing capabilities. Marx held two small cup-like objects in his hands, which moved the cups on the screen in real time.

To show off the PlayStation 3's graphical brawn, Sony showed several game demos, including an Unreal 3 engine show-off of what appeared to be Unreal Tournament 2007. In what must come as a relief to developers, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney was on hand to vouch for the PS3, saying it was "easy to program for" and that Epic had received its first PS3 hardware two months ago. He proved the tech demo was real-time by showing it again and by manipulating the camera and zooming in.

Sony also showed off several other tech demos. One was a next-gen remake of the famed "duck demo" first shown when the PlayStation 2 launched. Except this time, instead of one duck in a bathtub, the demo showed a whole flock of ducks milling about, as well as several toy battleships. Another demo showed grass and foliage growing while another showed Gran Turismo cars racing with Spider-Man swinging overhead. Speaking of Spider-Man, another demo showed highly detailed renders of Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus recreated from the film Spider-Man 2.

However, Sweeney's words were only the beginning. Later, Sony trotted out a whole host of publishers that are backing the PlayStation 3. And in the process, it confirmed several games for the console. Hideo Kojima introduced Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4, Capcom showed off Devil May Cry 4, Namco unveiled Tekken 6, Polyphony Digital trotted out a fifth Gran Turismo, SCEE showed off the next Killzone, and Rockstar Games showed a new Western title.

EA President Larry Probst was also on hand to show off a demonstration of the next Fight Night game, which will presumably be called Fight Night Round 3. When one of the two fighters took a blow, his skin rippled realistically. Kudo Tsonoda from EA's Chicago studio was on hand, and said that the goal is to make the facial animation convey the amount of punishment a pugilist has suffered.

And still the games came. SCEE had three on display: A third Getaway, with an even seedier, nastier version of London; a new off-road racing game called Motor Storm from Evolution Studios; and a shooter called Heavenly Sword. Sega is readying Fifth Phantom Saga, and Bandai is prepping another Gundam game. Ubisoft is continuing to innovate in the first-person shooter field with an all-new IP named Killing Day. Koei enlightened the crowd with a demo of Ni-oh, a new martial-arts-themed brawler about Buddha's monk bodyguards. Incognito is developing a sequel to Warhawk, the acclaimed actioner for the original PlayStation.

However, one of the night's most impressive tech demos will likely be the most disappointing for fans of the Final Fantasy series. After showing some footage from the upcoming Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2, Square Enix Yochi Wada showed a very impressive demo called "Final Fantasy VII: Technical Demo for PlayStation 3." The visually impressive demo showed a sequence of a cityscape, culminating with fan favorite Cloud jumping out of a train. However, Wada said the clip was "merely a sample" and Square Enix currently has no plans to release a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3. However, he did say the series would arrive on the console in "some form."

Wada's presence at the PS3 launch was ironic, given that Microsoft announced Final Fantasy XI for the Xbox 360 just hours later. In fact, much of Sony's conference seemed designed to one-up the features of Microsoft's new console point by point.

Sony also emphasized that the PlayStation 3 would have similar online connectivity and services as the next generation of Xbox Live. Calling it "an always on, always connected device," Chatani said the PS3 would be constantly in touch with a "PlayStation World" network "fundamentally based on a on community, communication commerce, and content." He said that subscribers could "exchange unique characters and items through the network," much like Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace.

PLAYSTATION 3 SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Cell Processor PowerPC-base Core @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 gigaflops

GPU RSX @ 550MHz
--1.8 TFLOPS floating point Performance
--Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
--Multi-way programmable parallel Floating point shader pipelines
--Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-based processing)

MEMORY
256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz
System Bandwidth Main RAM-- 25.6GB/s
VRAM--22.4GB/s
RSX-- 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
SB2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

SYSTEM FLOATING POINT PERFORMANCE:
2 teraflops

STORAGE
--HDD Detachable 2.5" HDD slot x 1
--I/O--USB Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
--Memory Stickstandard/Duo, PRO x 1
--SD standard/mini x 1
--CompactFlash(Type I, II) x 1

COMMUNICATION
--Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2)
--Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
--Bluetooth--Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
--ControllerBluetooth (up to 7)
--USB 2.0 (wired)
--Wi-Fi (PSP)
--Network (over IP)

AV OUTPUT
Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI out x 2
AV multi out x 1
Digital out (optical) x 1

DISC MEDIA
CD
PlayStation CD-ROM
PlayStation2 CD-ROM
CD-DA
CD-DA (ROM),
CD-R,
CD-RW
SACD Hybrid (CD layer),
SACD HD
DualDisc (audio side)
DualDisc (DVD side)
PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM
PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM
DVD-ROM
DVD-R
DVD-RW
DVD+R,
DVD+RW
Blu-ray Disc
PlayStation 3 BD-ROM
BD-ROM
BD

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MaSt3RT57

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I can't wait till this thing come out, but it really disappoints me that square-enix would make a demo of FFVII and have no plans of actually remaking it. Hopefully they change their mind.

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Bladex2k

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ps3 looks amazing

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neoand12

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OoooooO____Its so Close to comming this year this is going to be great, Blu-Ray and all great thinking sony....Now all we need is F.E.A.R on PS3 and were good to go

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indrid-cold6684

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First of all you all need to proofread you'r comments before you post them. It's almost sub english :p. The 360 is having problems I won't argue with that but its mostly the consumers fault whether moving the 360 while playing a game which shreds the discs in any console or keeping the power supply too close to the console itself or blocking airflow( the 360's processors are more powerful than older generations hence they use more power and create more heat as a biproduct ) which can overheat the processor. With that said I will own both the 360 and the ps3. Tonito2004 congratulations on an error free ps2, my friend has a 1st generation ps2 and has had it sent to the repair shop numerous times. he doesn't use it anymore because it just plain doesn't work. I own a ps2 and an xbox. My xbox has problems sometimes but its because of the a/v cable. My ps2 works fine but thats cause its a slimline so it's fairly new. if any of you recall when the psp came out it had dead pixels on the screen and you had to do the hokey pokey with it to fix it. So i waited 4 months after the psp came out and my psp works fine. Xbox live is far superior to ps2 in terms of online play and just plain multiplayer games. ps3 better be 100 times better online than the ps2 if they hope to compete with microsoft who has allready had one console that was great online. I am upset that the 360 only uses dual layer dvds that only hold about 9 gigs. Games for the 360 will get much better. Developers have yet to use more than one of the three cores in the 360. So basically the graphics can be 3 times better than what they are right now. I also highly doubt that the ps3 will be priced lower than the 360's were when they were released. With the new Blu-ray format and a hard drive and all the extra features ps3 just might do the same thing xbox did. the ps2 came out and you had to buy the ethernet adaptor, the multi tap, the memory card, and later on the hard drive. While the xbox had all those features at no extra price, but for some reason everyone thought that the ps2 and the xbox were the same product so microsoft had to lower their prices every time sony did. So microsoft lost money every time they sold an xbox and sony not only made money with every ps2 but if you wanted to play online, or with more than 2 people on your ps2, or SAVE GAMES you had to pay more money, and people call microsoft cheap :P. What i'm trying to say is that ps3 will be cool and i'll own one and xbox 360 will be cool and i'll own one of those too.

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Mkgodofwar

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Ps3 is the best , no need to explain that

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Shatilov

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This is an outstanding gaming console , it is the next generation gaming experience , if this is done then there is no limit to the game performance & with such cutting edge graphicall cards i believe that reality is coming to life it is better than all other gaming platforms but it will be in a strong fight against the PC since PC graphics are also in a technological update so it worth buying but how much does it cost ???

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Mkgodofwar

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

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Mkgodofwar

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...... To the owners of the 360, i want to ask u a question , why did u buy the 360 even then , the ps3 is coming out very soon?!belive me ,the day that u buyed the xbox360 in will be a black 1 when the ps3 is finally unleashed. ,really to now i dont find any strong reason for buying a 360 , this is not only my openion ,im sure that there are millions of people who shares me . Because by comparison ,the ps3 have numerous forms of portable media inaddition to the new blu-ray format which allows discs to hold about 54GB each , while The Xbox 360 will support dual layer DVDs, which can hold only about 9GB worth of data , Xbox 360's normal DVD should serve you just fine in the near future, but not too long ... and about the graphics do u know that "PlayStation 3 GPU (RSX) is more powerful than GeForce 7800 Gtx! (that it is the ultimate in pc graphics technology) ,and even more powerful than 360 graphics card ATI . Conclusion:the ps3 is more powerfull than the 360 in all SPECIFICATIONS (CPU(RSX),CELL PROCCESOR,MEMORY,STORAGE,COMMUNICATION,RESULUTION.....)and easy to develope for, as stated by Epic Games' Tim Sweeney was on hand to vouch for the PS3, saying it was "easy to program for" , if u dont belive me in all what im saying go to PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360: Tech Head-to-Head on game spot . Ohhhhhh the 360 became 0 ,just while u r sitting reading this article, so what will happen when the ps3 comes out , lol.........it will turn the angle up down(this is the life new takes the place of the old) therefore I will buy the ps3 no matter how much it costs , because really it is the best ( here in lebanon ,all are waiting u ps3) go go sony . please who shares me reply .

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Mkgodofwar

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Ps3 im waiting 4 u ,no matter how u will be late

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Tonito2004

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There are so many problems with the 360 crashing its ridicioulus. 300$ plus 3 hours in line to get this. Ive had had my ps2 for 5 years and i honestly say i havent had a problem once. The 360 a week out and it was already working like this. i know this will never to Sony.

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cripset87

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The PS3 is amazing, and graphically capable of what they say. The controller as well is very good, even though it looks discomforting, the controller is more comfortable than the Dual Shock 2 and smaller than the 360's controller and the Dual Shock 2. Check out this Link and it will show you how good it is. There is also infromation about how it works and its specs. << LINK REMOVED >>.

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silentgod21157

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HEy Mkgodofwar sorry to tell to tell you this but the graphics on the PS3 are alot better then Xbox 360 yet if you were all smart you would get someone else to get you the XBOX 360 and later in the spring use what ever mony you get from the holidays and buy the HOLY GRALE(THE PS3). OH and aarchareker Xbox 360 is made by microsoft who make Computers so Xbox 360 cant be a wanna be computer...

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Mkgodofwar

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hey hassan05 (all what u saied about the ps3 is true exept ...) I want to tell u that the pice of the ps3 will be less than the 360 as i read on gamespot . and i want to thank evey persone who r just saying the truth about the powers of the ps3 .

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chrontricross

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well i am going to try to download it.....................................hmm

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Hassan05

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Hhmmmm. i think ps3 is the best for next gen games and it has awsome graphics it means reality graphics.every body who has ps2 they are waiting for ps3 even they know that ps3 will be a costly than xbox 360 but i believe on these people who are waiting for ps3 and they will get there hands on it.so ithink ps3 is the best and will be the best in next gen no matter what happens.

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baseballplaya35

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i don't know if im going for ps3 or 360 yet, but if everything is true, how do you not go with ps3. More powerful, more games, better graphics and wat about all that extra slots u probably won't use but wantfor the just for kicks. and if it launches for same price as 360, how do you not say ps3 is the better console wait for PS3

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aacharekar

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Hmmm PS3, well its gonna sit nicely beside my computer, who needs a 360 now, its mostly a PC wannabe. But SONY best do something about the HDD, even if they don't have a centralized online system, a simple "standard" HDD can easily blow 360 put of the water, and into a 1.5 system

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The_Game_2005

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I love the E3 2005 video. It really shows where Sony stoled the show and spot light from M$. With the 360 coming out tomorrow you barely hear a word about it. Now I can't wait for the PS3.

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markacme1983

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cool videos

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