How will be PlayStation3

2 11 2006

Hardware

The PlayStation 3 system will be available with two different hard-drive options in Japan and the United States in November 2006, and in Europe and Australasia in March 2007. The later date for the European and Australasian launches (as well as those planned for Russia, the Middle East, and Africa) has been blamed on delays in blue-laser diode production. The console will hit Japan first on November 11. The 20GB model will sell for 49,980 yen (about $429), roughly $85 lower than the 59,800 yen price Sony originally announced for the console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006. Sony will let Japanese retailers name their own price for the 60GB version. The PlayStation 3 will launch in the United States on November 17. In the US, the 20GB version will retail for $499, and the 60GB version will retail for $599. In Europe, the 20GB version will retail for 499 euros, and the 60GB version will retail for 599 euros. In Australia, the 20GB version will retail for AU$829.95, and the 60GB version will retail for AU$999.95.

The new PlayStation 3 console has an elegant design featuring clean lines and pleasing curves. In contrast to the Xbox 360’s puckered “inhale” shape, the PS3 sides expand outward, barely containing the hardware inside. Designers had to build the case around the advanced cooling system built to handle heat output from the Cell processor, the Nvidia GPU, and the system power supply. PC or even Xbox 360 owners would expect a system with as much power as the PS3 to sound like a small aircraft on power up, but the system is actually remarkably quiet. “When it starts to notice a heat issue, it can ramp up the fan RPMs, but in general, it’s as quiet as the PlayStation 2 was,” according to Sony’s Richard Marks.

The new PlayStation 3 console has an elegant design featuring clean lines and pleasing curves. In contrast to the Xbox 360’s puckered “inhale” shape, the PS3 sides expand outward, barely containing the hardware inside. Designers had to build the case around the advanced cooling system built to handle heat output from the Cell processor, the Nvidia GPU, and the system power supply. PC or even Xbox 360 owners would expect a system with as much power as the PS3 to sound like a small aircraft on power up, but the system is actually remarkably quiet. “When it starts to notice a heat issue, it can ramp up the fan RPMs, but in general, it’s as quiet as the PlayStation 2 was,” according to Sony’s Richard Marks.

PlayStation 3 60GB
Price $599

CPU Cell Processor

GPU Nvidia RSX

System Memory 256MB XDR

Graphics Memory 256MB GDDR3

Hard Disk 2.5″ SATA 60GB

Optical Drive Blu-Ray

USB 2.0 4-ports

Flash Memory Slots Memory Stick, SD, Compact Flash

Ethernet Port Yes

Wi-Fi Built-in 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 2.0 EDR Yes

Bluetooth Controllers Yes

Resolutions 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

HDMI Port Yes

Digital Optical Out Yes

PlayStation 3 20GB
Price $499

CPU Cell Processor

GPU Nvidia RSX

System memory 256MB XDR

Graphics memory 256MB GDDR3

Hard Disk 2.5″ SATA 20GB

Optical Drive Blu-ray

USB 2.0 4-ports

Flash Memory Slots None

Ethernet Port Yes

Wi-Fi None

Bluetooth 2.0 EDR Yes

Bluetooth Controllers Yes

Resolutions 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

HDMI Port Yes

Digital Optical Out Yes

The 60GB console features a front-slot-loading Blu-ray optical-disc drive and four USB ports, as well as memory stick, compact flash, and SD card reader support to provide for an absurd level of media connectivity. The 20GB PlayStation 3, in comparison, won’t have memory stick, compact flash, or SD card ports. The 60GB version will also come with Wi-Fi built-in, but the 20GB version will only have the Ethernet port.

The Blu-ray optical-disc drive can play games and movie discs. Each Blu-ray disc can hold up to 54GB worth of data, which should virtually guarantee that games won’t be left wanting for extra media space. Games will be region-free, but movies will still have region locks preventing multiregion playback. The Blu-ray spec has North America, South America, and Asia (except for China) in region A. If the spec doesn’t change, that means your US PlayStation 3 should be able to play those Blu-ray Godzilla movies imported from Japan. The first 500,000 PS3 units will ship with a full-length Blu-ray movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The PS3’s Blu-ray drive will also support many of the older disc formats, including CD-ROM, CDR+W, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and DVD+R.

The 2.5″ portable hard drives supply the system with much-needed storage space for PlayStation Network downloads, applications, and media files. Games will use the hard drive for game saves, and it will cache game files for decreased load times. During the Gran Turismo HD E3 2006 demonstration, Sony’s Kaz Hirai boasted that load times would be reduced to two to three seconds. The game took around six to seven seconds to load during the E3 demo, but loading times will likely drop once developers have more time for game optimization. The 60GB PS3 will be more useful than the 20GB version if you wish to take advantage of the system’s media functionality, but Sony has stated that upgrading the hard disk will be as simple as dropping a larger capacity 2.5″ SATA notebook hard drive into the system.