Sony officially announces the PlayStation 3.

The guys at Gamespot have a big article up on Sony’s pre-E3 unveiling of their next generation console system. The name “PlayStation 3” is official and it’s a very sexy looking device with some impressive specs:

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 the machine would 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 the Xbox 360’s. Sony did not mention if the drive would be standard.

Sony also laid out the technical specs of the device. The PlayStation 3 will feature the much-vaunted Cell processor, which will run at 3.2GHz, giving the whole system 2 teraflops of overall performance. It will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz.

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, 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.

Some surprising bits from the article include the fact that the PS3 will have two HD outputs on the back that allow you to hook up two side-by-side HDTVs for projecting video in a 32:9 extra-widescreen format (think Nintendo’s DS on steroids), it will support up to seven Bluetooth™ controllers that can be used for almost 24 full hours before needing a recharge, 6 USB slots, Wi-Fi connectivity to your Sony PSP which can then be used as a controller or remote screen, an optional wireless HD IP camera, and backwards compatibility all the way to the PlayStation 1! Several games were demoed to show off the new machine’s prowess:

To show off the PlayStation 3’s graphical brawn, Sony showed several game demos, including an Unreal 3 engine show-off of what appeared to be Unreal Tournament 2007. In what must come as a relief to developers, Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney was on hand to vouch for the PS3, saying it was “easy to program for” and that Epic had received its first PS3 hardware two months ago. He proved the tech demo was real time by showing it again and by manipulating the camera and zooming in.

However, Sweeney’s words were only the beginning. Later, Sony trotted out a whole host of publishers that are backing the PlayStation 3. And in the process, it confirmed several games for the console. Hideo Kojima introduced Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 4, Capcom showed off Devil May Cry 4, Namco unveiled Tekken 6, Polyphony Digital trotted out a fifth Gran Turismo, SCEE showed off the next Killzone, and Rockstar Games showed a new Red Dead Revolver.

EA President Larry Probst was also on hand to show off a demonstration of the next Fight Night game, which will presumable be called Fight Night Round 3. When one of the two fighters took a blow, his skin rippled realistically. Kudo Tsonoda from EA’s Chicago studio was on hand, and said that the goal is to make the facial animation convey the amount of punishment a pugilist has suffered.

And still the games came. SCEE had three on display: A third Getaway, with an even seedier, nastier version of London; a new off-road racing game called Motor Storm from Evolution Studios; and a shooter called Heavenly Sword. Sega is readying a fifth Phantom Saga and Bandai is prepping another Gundam game. Ubisoft is continuing to innovate in the first-person shooter field with an all-new IP named Killing Day. Koei enlightened the crowd with a demo of Ni-Oh, a new martial-arts-themed brawler about Buddha’s monk bodyguards. Incognito is developing a sequel to Warhawk, the acclaimed actioner for the original PlayStation.

I have to admit that the look of the new controllers has me a bit worried as I really enjoy the current dual shock design, but the machine itself looks amazing. You can see some more shots at Gamespot including views of the console in both horizontal and vertical positions and the back panel. The folks at nVidia aren’t wasting any time hyping the graphics chip they developed for Sony’s new box. I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more about both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 over the next several days so hang onto your seats.

18 thoughts on “Sony officially announces the PlayStation 3.

  1. Ubisoft is continuing to innovate in the first-person shooter field with an all-new IP named Killing Day.

    Ok, perhaps my roommate and I are missing something or our brains just aren’t functioning at this hour are maybe we just don’t know is being referred to when “IP” is mentioned in this sentence.  Can anyone help us out?

    Also, backwards compatibility is mentioned but of all the memory slots mentioned and shown, I don’t really notice a slot for current (aka PS1 and PS2) memory cards… Or are we just missing that too?

  2. IP = intellectual property.

    Not much is said about the memory cards the PS3 will make use of for storing games, though with built in support for Sony’s Memory Stick Duo, Secure Digital, and Compact Flash I and II I suppose you could use any of those to store games and/or the HDD unit which we know will at least be an option. If it turns out that the PS3 doesn’t have a slot for PS1 and PS2 style memory cards then I’d imagine we’ll see a USB peripheral made available to allow their usage.

  3. Jeebers,I can see this is gonna be a tricky decision – it’ll have to come down to the software.Halo 1 originally won me over to buy an X-box,But Halo 2 stunk and as ive whinged before;that bloody laser! – so when GTA 3 came out I bought a ps 2 and to hell with MS.
    Then again i’m not particularly loyal to these mega-buck companies..Maybe i’ll just upgrade the “rig” again!

  4. I’ve not been able to bring myself to buy an Xbox yet mainly because it’s basically a souped up PC and I already own a souped up PC. Just about every must-have game that’s been released for it has also come out for the PC (Halo, Fable due soon, Halo 2 probably later this year) so there’s nothing on the system that makes it a compelling buy at this point.

    Hardware-wise this time around it looks like Sony has the advantage in terms of raw power. Roughly twice what the Xbox 360 can do.

  5. Sony is proving once again why they’re ahead of the loop when it comes to computer entertainment.

    They’ve even forced Nintendo to unveil it’s next gen system, “The Revolution,” way earlier than they’ve anticipated.

    Microsoft on the other hand will have to show why it should even be considered as a next gen competitor, because with Sony’s new machine over-powering it, the boys at Xbox are in for some rough competition.

    I just seen the Sony press conference and I believe they stole the show at E3. With the Unreal tech demo, Kill Zone 2, Final Fantasy 7 (another tech demo and not a remake), Sony has sheared the fabric of what people come to expect from computer gaming technology.

    I’ll buy one in 2006 for sure and that’s a promise.

  6. Of all the things that I saw about the PS3, the one that stuck in my craw the most was the official logo.

    Why did they have to use the Spider-Man movie font?  Just ‘cause it’s Sony’s biggest picture ever?  They have all these great people designing the machine, but nobody to come up with a hip NEW logo?

    But that’s just my knee jerk reaction to Sony’s press release.  wink

  7. Dual widescreen HDTVs hooked into it sounds sweet.  Too bad most of us can’t afford the 5 grand accessory cost.

    I agree with Les.  I got a computer that lets me do more game hacking and mods than my PS/2.  We only wanted our PS/2 for family play.

  8. Double dip.

    Look at the wireless controller.  Don’t throw that fucker in anger!

  9. Ok, so we were sorta right in our thoughts on both accounts, I had googled Ubisoft and IP together and found out that IP stands for Intellectual Property, but it just didn’t seem to fit right in my mind.

    Also, my roommate mentioned to me how Sony could just be evil and require gamers to buy a USB memory card interface for PS1 and PS2 memory cards…  Should be interesting to find out.

    I also have my fears about the new controller… but I guess I’ll just have to wait until I hold one in my hands to give my final opinion.

  10. TERA-FLOP?

    Sony and Microsoft are LIARS.  Ain’t no way these systems are clocking at the numbers they say they are unless they’re charging half a mil per box. 

    The graphics are really pretty though, my money will probably go towards the Revolution, maybe a PS3 depending on what it costs.

  11. ooooooooooooh…

    yummy ps3 goodness.

    I have a nasty habit of twisting a controller in
    opposite directions when angry. I havnt ever tiwsted one in half, but I have heard them crack, then fail to function properly.  Now I get even more leverage for my oversized paws and less material by the looks of it.. I wonder how much a bluetooth controller costs to replace?

  12. Compared to this PC market hasn’t seen anything even nearly mathching paper launch! This is literally mother of all paper launches.

    Also it’s generally known that when some brand doesn’t have anything comprarable to sell they start to spew out PR bullshit how their new “sometime in close future released” product will give you moon from the sky, make coffee and clean your apartment!

    Sony is proving once again why they’re ahead of the loop when it comes to computer entertainment.

    Only in lying. And somehow people let them get away with it.

    Microsoft on the other hand will have to show why it should even be considered as a next gen competitor

    Are you trying to prove how bad memory of human specie is?
    It’s $ony which have to prove they can deliver even half of their promises.

    PS2 was supposed to give thoughts to NPCs… that was one of their top slogans for selling it but surely you don’t want to tell was that true or not!

    Or how about that last time when nVidia touted about completely new architecture GPU result was pretty much total flop.

    System Bandwidth VRAM 22.4GB/s
    Also GPU’s memomy bandwidth is very narrow for “next gen”… for comparison bandwidth of PC’s current (and soon old) generation top line GPU’s is around 40GB/s!
    Also PC’s next gen GPUs will surely come with 512MB of (even higher bandwidth) memory to allow bigger&more detailed textures among other things.

    CPU…  total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPSAnd neither this gives anything absolute about final capability.
    Different processors work so differently and are made for so different jobs, for examples GPUs have had higher FLOPS mark compared to CPUs for many CPU/GPU generations but do you think you could use GPU to run engines of current top of the line games with their quite good NPC AIs (which seem to be more intelligent than most of mankind) and other complicated things?

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050516/sfm178.html?.v=2

    Also PS3 will be expensive, just remember how big pile of transistors Cell is and its clockspeed, making that will be expensive.
    And it will come even more expensive when you remember size of core (almost 2x PC CPUs) causing much lower CPU number per wafer which is even more problematic with big transistor count&high clockspeed and easily leads to bad yield problems. (like what happened to top model of nVidia’s touted “revolution” generation)

  13. Not sure what you’re getting at there ET. The Sony PS2 not only lived up to my expectations, it surpassed them. I’m more than happy with that purchase.

    Just about everyone who’s seen both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 is quite convinced that they outperform anything available in the PC arena right now, though that certainly won’t last long as you can bet your sweet bippy that nVidia and ATI are planning on bringing out graphic cards that make use of all the new goodies they’ve developed for the GPUs in the new consoles.

    Yes, the PS3 is likely to be expensive when its first released with some rumors putting it into the $450 to $500 range. There’s also hints that the Xbox 360 will be over the traditional $299 price mark as well. Console prices do come down over time, however, and Sony isn’t likely to price itself out of the market. They know the big money is in software sales and they’ve taken a loss on hardware in the past in order to make sure there’s something to sell software for out there. Sony has plans to use the Cell processor for more than just PS3s and that could help make taking a loss on the hardware a bit more palatable.

    Personally, I think both the Xbox 360 and PS3 bode a very bright future for gaming and I’m looking forward to seeing what both have to offer.

  14. Not sure what you’re getting at there ET

    PR=BS
    Like using pre-rendered videos or edited photos for advertising.

    So everything which comes out from PR/marketing departments have to be taken with bucket of HCl.

    Also do you know so many people who have HDTV capable systems?
    Without those resolution will be limited to around 640×480 antique resolution.

    …nVidia and ATI are planning on bringing out graphic cards that make use of all the new goodies they’ve developed for the GPUs in the new consoles.

    Actually it’s more likely other way.
    What I’ve read GPU used in new Xbox is heavily tweaked version of R520 architecture which is going to be released this summer/early fall.

    Also I noticed few days ago on one site something like that nVidia had said when PS3 is out there’s already more powerfull GPUs for PC.
    At least GPU makers will release tweaked models of coming next gen GPUs around December-January with high propability.

  15. PR=BS
    Like using pre-rendered videos or edited photos for advertising.

    So everything which comes out from PR/marketing departments have to be taken with bucket of HCl.

    According to both Microsoft and Sony, all the demos shown were running in real-time though some were recorded to video for playback later. Even the footage from Killzone 2, which appears to be generating the most debate on the topic. Of course they could be lying, but I’ve got no real reason to think they are at the moment.

    Still, the point remains that it’s not like the PC game industry isn’t beyond it’s own hype and PR bullshit itself. Anyone else remember how Romero was going to “make you his bitch” with the release of Daikatana? If ever there was something that completely failed to live up to expectations…

    Also do you know so many people who have HDTV capable systems?
    Without those resolution will be limited to around 640×480 antique resolution.

    Um, so what? It’s still going to look pretty incredible regardless and if you have the hardware to display it in HDTV then it’s going to look that much better. If nothing else it’s one more reason for folks to consider buying an HDTV in the future. Not like there’s tons of HDTV channels to push people to make the jump yet.

    Actually it’s more likely other way.
    What I’ve read GPU used in new Xbox is heavily tweaked version of R520 architecture which is going to be released this summer/early fall.

    Also I noticed few days ago on one site something like that nVidia had said when PS3 is out there’s already more powerfull GPUs for PC.
    At least GPU makers will release tweaked models of coming next gen GPUs around December-January with high propability.

    I’ve not read up on the ATI chipset in the Xbox 360 so I have no idea if it’s just a tweaked R520 or not, but as for the PS3 the folks at nVidia themselves have claimed the GPU is better than two of their top of the line 6800 video cards. Not sure what the benefit would be to them lying about it.

    Will they have GPUs as powerful as the consoles by the time they launch? I wouldn’t be surprised if they did as it would be idiotic not to incorporate what they’ve developed into new cards as soon as possible. Simple tossing one into your current box isn’t going to make it the equivalent of a Xbox 360 or a PS3, though.

    No one expects that PCs won’t catch up with these consoles pretty quickly, but that’s not an argument against owning one. My current PC is more powerful than my PS2 and yet my PS2 still manages to put out titles that amaze with their graphical prowess. It also cost considerably more than the price of a PS2 to get a PC that outperformed it.

    For me there’s plenty of room for both formats to coexist. There are many games I prefer to play on my PC (First Person Shooters) and there are many I prefer to play on a console (Platformers). By having both I’m sure to have the game in the format I’m most comfortable with.

  16. As it turns out they do, yes. Which shouldn’t be surprising in the least. Here’s another big revelation: The Xbox 360 games being shown weren’t running on Xbox 360 hardware either, but rather on the Alpha development boxes which consist of Mac G5s.

    I already said that we can expect to see nVidia come out with graphics cards that incorporate whatever new goodies they developed for the PS3’s RSX architecture and that’s exactly what they say they plan to do. The point remains, however, that those demos were in real time.

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