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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  • garekinokami - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Go to:

    Could someone explain that to me? I'm not really a genius at this but the numbers are kinda wacky (for PS3 and XBOX 360); if you check the numbers posted for the IBM P-5 you'll see what I mean...

    "A 64-way IBM eServer p5 595 (1.90GHz) is the best-in-class 64-way RISC SMP HPC result (418 Gigaflop/sec)" -- from the IBM eServer site.

    What I'd like to know is can you compare the three? If yes, why's the server losing out to these consoles (hype = blown-up numbers)? If not, then the inq article is wrong to point that out and so am I.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Are there ever any new games coming out again? I mean, not "blabla 4" and "gaga 6" or "humbug 7".

    Where is the originality nowadays?
  • Lord Banshee - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    impressive even for next year...

    I wonder how many pipelines this GPU has, ATI's X360 has 48 (increase of 3x from the current PC GPU(16))..

    Note to Sony... FIX AA lines.. Seriously if they can output 2x 1080p than i don't see a problem with 4x/8x AA on one 1080p. Give me demos with AA fixed please :)
  • RadeonGuy - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    damn it can run unreal engine 3 and comeputers are 2-3 years away from running it Reply
  • fishbits - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Looks impressive. So does the 360. I skipped out on the last round of consoles, PC is my favorite, but may get back in this time. Being able to get a PS3 and pick up any of the old games is very nice, hopefully the 360 is backwards compatible as well.

    Dual monitors for PS3? Panoramic view sounds nice, but give us 2x full screen head-to-head titles. Can't wait to see these units and read the reviews when they actually come out.
  • defter - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    "but I still don't see how a 300 million transistor card can do 1.8Tflops of processing"

    1.8Tflops is comnined number for both the CPU and the GPU.

    "1) The cell has a power pc core at 3.2 ghz. But that power point slide from sony says 7 SPE @ 3.2. Does that mean those SPE's are processors as well since they are being clocked. I always thought of them as mini-CPUs."

    SPEs are within Cell. So there is only one chip that acts as a CPU

  • araczynski - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    specs my ass, are there any good games for either system? or just more rehashing of all the same sports/fighter/shooters crap? Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    hopefully most of the mentioned bits actually make the final cut...

    but it all looks veeeery expensive
  • MPE - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Time to get an DVI to HDMI converter!

  • L3p3rM355i4h - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    LOL. xbox is going to get pwn3d by this. The first console out, always does (saturn, dreamcast), and the last one, does too (N64, Gamecube, Xbox). In the middle is always sony, and they always own.

    Some pretty damn impressive stats, though more RAM may be helpful for all that PPU stuff they have to do...

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