Set for 2006 launch, Sony's PS3 packs power

Sony has announced detailed specifications of its PlayStation 3 and will launch the console in early 2006.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) provided the first detailed specifications of its next-generation PlayStation 3 games console on Tuesday and said it plans to launch the device during the first half of 2006.

Until now, the company has kept details of the machine a closely guarded secret but is using this week's E3 show in Los Angeles to showcase the console. The PlayStation 3 will compete against Microsoft's new Xbox 360, details of which were announced last week.

At the heart of the PlayStation 3 lie two very powerful processors. One, the main processor, is a new chip called Cell that was developed for use in the console by SCEI, its parent company Sony, Toshiba and IBM. The chip is based on IBM's Power PC architecture and will have seven cores, each running at 3.2GHz, to give the chip a total performance of 218G Flops (floating point operations per second).

That's 35 times the performance of the processor inside the current PlayStation 2, according to Koichiro Katsurayama, a spokesman for SCEI in Tokyo.

Running alongside the Cell will be a graphics processor developed by Nvidia that is capable of handling full high-definition images and boasts performance of 1.8T Flops. Together, the two chips will give the PlayStation 3 a total system performance of 2T Flops, or about double that claimed by Microsoft for the Xbox 360.

The processors will be backed up by 256M bytes of Rambus Inc.'s XDR (Extreme Data Rate) memory running at 3.2GHz and 256M bytes of GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate 3) graphics memory running at 700MHz. System bandwidth between the processors and memory is as high as 25.6G bps (bits per second) for main memory and 22.4G bps for graphics memory.

SCEI has made considerable changes throughout the PlayStation 3 compared to the current PlayStation 2.

Communication interfaces have been upgraded and the PlayStation 3 will include three Ethernet ports, 802.11b/g wireless LAN and Bluetooth. In addition, there are six USB 2.0 interfaces and card slots for Memory Stick, Secure Digital and Compact Flash (CF) memory cards. The console also includes a slot for a removable 2.5-inch hard-disk drive.

SCEI is offering a number of controller options, including a Bluetooth-based wireless controller and a wired model that connects to the console using USB. Users can also use a PlayStation Portable as a controller over a wireless LAN.

For gamers, the PlayStation 3's upgraded graphics will likely be the most important improvement. In addition to the extra performance offered by the new chips, the PlayStation 3 will also be capable of high-definition output up to 1,080 lines in progressive scan, which is the highest image quality of several signal types generally grouped as high-definition signals.

Besides playing games, the console will also double as a player for high-definition movies on Blu-ray Disc. PlayStation 3 games will also come on Blu-ray Disc and the drive will support almost all flavors of CD and DVD media and Super Audio CD.

SCEI did not disclose any details regarding the regional launch schedule or pricing.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?