Tuesday, May 17, 2005

PlayStation 3 announced for 2006

GameSpot (article)

A couple of days ago Xbox announced its platform, today PlayStation announced theirs. Let’s see how the PS3 looks.

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.

Everything looks good here. By Sony going with Blu-Ray that format gets a boost to its prospects (the other competing format is hologram discs) that Blu-Ray will win the format war. Also it is good to see that the PS3 will take Compact Flash, one because CF has 2gig of storage space, which is a good chunk to be able to save on to, two because having a CF slot makes the hackablility of the PS3 much easier, and three I just got a camera with CF so I like all the help I can get to keep that format around. Also I read somewhere else (i think ign.com) that the hard drive was 160gig... but I can't access the article right now, but if that is true that will hold a lot of saved game stuff.

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.

On the G4 coverage of E3 today, they were discussing if computer gaming was getting killed by console gaming. At least in the graphics department the PS3 will beat my computer, and probably the computer I buy next as well.

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).

So the Xbox does HD, the PS3 does HD twice... spiff.

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. 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.

Seven wireless controllers!?! Man that will make some fun sleepless nights... I don't even know if I could get seven people together to play PS3 all at once. Seven, jeez.

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.

Could the next EyeToy be the first large commercial version of augmented reality games? Let's hope so.

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.

The last thing that Xbox has going for it is that Xbox Live will be free on the weekends. If Sony matches this then the Xbox will have some serious catching up to do to keep up with the PS3. Let’s face it, the Xbox already has some catching up to do.

In almost every aspect the PS3 looks better than the Xbox, and it is looking more and more that the Xbox is only next gen 0.5 where PS3 is actually the next gen. (They debated this for a bit on G4). But, really, if Microsoft does not answer the PS3's call of awesomeness, Sony may be king of the consoles once again.

Although, Nintendo is expected to say something about Revolution sometime this week, we'll see how that turns out. Somehow I doubt it will beat PS3 prospects...


Michelle said...

2006?!?! I smell a graduation present!

Ookami Snow said...

I'll take it, although, this December would be 2005.