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Sony Unveils PlayStation 3



Today Sony announced the specs for the officially titled PlayStation 3 console at their pre-E3 press conference. Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO, Kaz Hirai and SCE head Ken Kutarai declared it to be a "supercomputer for computer entertainment." To back this statement, they announced the specs for system.

The first thing Sony confirmed was that the PlayStation 3 will be using Blu-ray discs, which can hold up to six times as much data as a standard DVD, as its media format. The PlayStation 3 will also support CR-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and DVD+R format discs. Sony also announced that the PS3 will be backwards compatible all the way to the original PlayStation. Also mentioned was that the PlayStation 3 will have slots for Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, SD memory, and a Compact Flash memory. There will also be a detachable 2.5-inch HDD, but Sony did not say if it would be standard at this time.

Sony also laid out the technical specs of the device. The PlayStation 3 will feature the previously announced Cell processor, which will run at 3.2GHz. This allows the whole system to have 2 teraflops of overall floating point performance. It will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz.

As for graphics, Sony announced the PlayStation 3'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, the highest current HD standard. 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.

Some other features announced include Internet access, video chat, digital photo viewing, digital audio, and digital video capabilities. As for connectivity, the Playstation 3 will support seven Bluetooth controllers that can be used for up to 24 hours before recharging; four USB slots in the front and two in the back for a combined six; Wi-Fi connectivity to the PSP for use as a remote screen and/or extra controller; and two HD outputs capable of displaying in 32:9 extra wide screen spanned across two displays. There will also be support for a new wireless HD IP camera.

Square Enix spokesmen were quoted as saying, "Square Enix is extremely honored to have had the chance to provide you with this technical demonstration of what the Cell processor can bring to the PLAYSTATION 3 and the world of gaming. We are committed to fully backing SCEI's new computer entertainment system and plans to bring the FINAL FANTASY series to the PS3 are just beyond the horizon." at their own press conference that day.

No price has currently been set for the system, but it was announced to launch in Spring 2006. RPGamer will give coverage all the way up to the Japanese launch in Tokyo.

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