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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  • sxr7171 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Man, I hate Sony, but I have to admit that this thing is very nice. Let's see when it actually comes out though. The dual 1080p output is unreal, but what's with the aliasing? Can Sony ever get rid of it? I really am beginning to feel sorry for Nintendo at this point. I hope they have something that can keep up. Reply
  • milomnderbnder21 - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    "i'm glad there keeping blu-ray. plus built in hard drive. and something very smart."

    It's removable. And we don't know that it will even come bundled yet, though it would be dumb not to do so.

    "I never even looked at the x-box. I was afraid it'd crash 4 times a day. :P"

    Seriously man, what are you, stupid?
    Reply
  • mrgq912 - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    OKay disregard question 2. GDDR3 VRAM is the ram being accessed by the GPU.

    Reply
  • mrgq912 - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    okay. 3 questions:

    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.

    2) How much system ram does it have. I read it will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz. What the heck is GDDR VRAM? And how does it compare to DDR3 . Is this the RAM that the GPU is accessing? Or ist that different.

    3) What teh heck is that controller? what is sony smoking...2 teraflops. And there was no mention of the removable HD being included with all consoles.
    Reply
  • Sea Shadow - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    Both of these systems (Xbox 360 and PS3) are very neat. They sure pack quite a bit of processing power. Nintendo better have an ace up its sleeve or this might end up as their final foray into the world of consoles. Reply
  • Pythias - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    I never even looked at the x-box. I was afraid it'd crash 4 times a day. :P Reply
  • ksherman - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    nm... just looked over at the new page... damn that controler is UUGGLLYY Reply
  • ksherman - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    where do you all see pics of the controlers? am i blind or are you looking elsewhere? Reply
  • Googer - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    With all this connectivity, I can see the future of console gaming- PS3 LAN PARTIES! Reply
  • Googer - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    PS3 is so L337
    XB0X is for N00Bz
    Reply

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