Introducing the Playstation 3

Ken Kutaragi, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, lead the introduction to most of the Playstation 3 specifications. For starters, the console will not be out until Spring 2006 - contrary to recent rumors.

The console itself will be available in three colors - white, grey and black:

As we all know already, the Playstation 3 supports Blu-ray storage technology, marking one of the fundamental differences between it and Microsoft's Xbox 360, which will ship with a DVD drive.

Mr. Kutaragi also reaffirmed that the PS3 would feature backwards compatibility with both the original Playstation and PS2 games, potentially another major advantage over Microsoft's Xbox 360 from a developer and even a consumer standpoint. Microsoft has yet to confirm backwards compatibility for original Xbox games on their new 360 console, but we expect to find out for sure this week.

One of the most publicized features of the Playstation 3 is the new Cell processor. We've talked about Cell in great depth already, but here's how it applies to the Playstation 3:

Contrary to the rumors we've heard, it looks like the PS3 will implement the Cell processor that we all were introduced to a few months ago - featuring a single PPE and 8 SPEs. There is one caveat however; the Cell processor in the PS3 will only feature 7 working SPEs, one will remain disabled in order to improve yields.

The processor will also feature a 512KB L2 cache and each SPE will feature 256KB of local memory, all running at 3.2GHz built on a 90nm process.

The Cell in PS3 can decode up to 12 HD streams simultaneously at full frame rate.

Sony also showed off Cell displaying 1000 movie thumbnails at the same time:

With one fewer SPE than we originally expected, Cell continues to be the shining star of the PS3 and we aren't disappointed with its implementation in the console.

Index Playstation 3 Storage and Outputs


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  • semo - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    just realised it is no longer needed to fork out £10 for a 8mb of excruciatingly slow memory card just to save your games.

    money grabbing sony even used to ask for £20 for those mem cards when the ps2 first came out and there were no alternatives.

    btw, i'm hearing that the ps3 will cost £200 (about $350) and i think that this can't be right...

    can it?
  • Son of a N00b - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    sorry for the rant, but its annyoing with all these ppl going, oooohh, ahhhhh, and ignoring facts and explanations.....
  • DrDisconnect - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Both the X-box and the PS3 are smoke and mirrors until we see whether NVIDA and ATI can delliver their parts. Neither of them were sucessful in delivering the last round of high end GPUs on time and in anywhere near the volume that these units will demand. I fear that only a handful of these units will make it to market when promised. Reply
  • garekinokami - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Hm, you're right Griswold (#53).

    I wish they'd produce numbers that are applicable.

    And I have to agree w/#56, piroroadkill, and 58, fitten -- the console and controller design is just ugly!

    XBOX 360 (I CAN'T BELIEVE IT) looks better albeit a bit like those small desktops that Dell or Compaq sells...Changeable faceplates -- reminds me of getting into my friend's Compaq, to get into it you removed the faceplate and pulled it out...Hah hah
  • fitten - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Impressive screenshots... but I also remember impressive screenshots for the PS2 (EmotionEngine) that were higher quality than ever appeared in a game for it.

    Other than that... the box is fugly and it has a freakin round top. I guess they did that on purpose so you can't stack anything on top of it so it must be on the top of any stack (more prominant and "important" spot).
  • andrep74 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    #55 Not a lie. The reason FLOPS was never used before by the GPU makers was that 128-bit float has of only recent become the "standard". Remember the big FX hoopla about 128 bits being the reason it was so slow compared to the 48 bits of the ATI? Back then no one used 128 bit in any games, so the argument was moot.

    Graphics processors do massively parallel 128-bit floating point instructions; they can have perhaps 256 simplified floating point ALUs processing at the same time, hundreds of lines per frame, 50-100 times a second. Or, let's say there are 2,048 FP ALUs, clocked at 500MHz, you get over 1TFLOPS (assuming one simple FLOP/clock cycle).
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    The controller for the PlayStation3 looks f ucking awful.

    As for Xbox 360 vs PlayStation3, I know I'll be going for the Xbox 360, and to be honest, they are going to be extremely close in the graphical muscle stakes.

    I even think the Xbox 360 looks better.

    I don't know what Sony have been smoking this time round but they've got the internals pretty solid but their design blows.
  • knitecrow - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    lies, damn lies and FLOPS

    PS3 is quoted as having 2.0Tflops of power, 1.8Tflops comes from the GPU.

    Who the hell uses flops for measuring GPU performance?!?! In all these years have you EVER heard nvidia or ATI throw flops around?
    NO, because they are useless.

    Second, I believe the sony OS3 slides when they say this GPU is 300 Million transistor beast that is twice as powerful as a two 6800Ultra SLI. Does that mean your single 6800ultra is nearly 0.9Gflops

    by extention that would make the X800XT around the same number....
  • igloo15 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Have you seen the pic of the nintendo Revolution. it definitly wins best looking next gen console! Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    Well, try to run server applications on a console or games on a server and you'll see how comparable these numbers are.

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