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The Sony PlayStation 3 console is described by Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI) President and CEO, Ken Kutaragi as a "supercomputer for computer entertainment." This next-generation Sony video game console is rumored to be available during Holiday 2006 and promises to deliver state-of-the-art technology with new, powerful digital media and high storage capacity.
One of the key questions about the PS3 was what kind of media it would use. Sony has announced that the PS3 will use Blu-Ray discs as its media format, which can hold six times as much data as current DVDs. The PS3 will also support CR-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R formats. Sony has confirmed that the machine will be backward compatible all the way to the original PlayStation -- you'll be able to play all your favorite games without keeping all the old systems. The console will 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 hard disc drive, somewhat similar to the Xbox 360's. Whether or not this drive will come standard still remains a mystery.
The PS3 will feature IBM's new "Cell" processor, which will run at 3.2 GHz and give the system two teraflops of overall performance. In fact, the PS3 is said to be 35x more powerful than its predecessor. This processor vaults the PS3 to the top of the list for most powerful, next-gen consoles -- rumor has it that the PS3 is two times more powerful than the Xbox 360 and 15 times more powerful than the Nintendo Revolution.
The PS3's dedicated graphics chip is no slouch, either. Dubbed the the RSX "Reality Synthesizer" and based on Nvidia technology, it will deliver fresh, realistic imagery and bombastic visual expression. The chip will be capable of 128-bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution for a full HD experience.
Some hefty multi-media features are built into the new console, as well, such as video chat, Internet access, digital photo viewing, and digital audio and video. Out of the box, the PS3 will have the capability to support seven Bluetooth controllers. Each controller can be used for nearly 24 hours before requiring charging. The controllers feature PlayStation's signature square-circle-triangle-X buttons, but they sport a never-before-seen, boomerang-like design. Also, as rumored, the PS3 will have Wi-Fi connectivity to the PSP, which can be used as a remote screen and controller.
A whole host of game publishers are already backing the PS3 and several have even confirmed games for the console. At the 2005 E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) Konami introduced Metal Gear Solid 4, Capcom showed off Devil May Cry 4 and Namco unveiled Tekken 6. Also look for the fifth Gran Turismo title from Polyphony Digital, as well as the next Killzone from SCEE, and a new Western title from Rockstar Games.
Sony has also stated that the PS3 will have similar online connectivity and services as the next generation of Xbox Live. Calling it "an always on, always connected device," SCEI's chief technical officer Masa Chatani said the PS3 would be constantly in touch with a "PlayStation World" network "fundamentally based on community, communication commerce, and content."
Sony has confirmed a lot of information about its newest system, but until the PS3 is out on the market, the rumor mill will continue to churn with gossip -- both unconfirmed facts and bogus news. Nevertheless, with a powerful processor, an outstanding graphics chip, and an impressive list of new games, one thing is for certain: This console has firmly placed Sony on the cutting-edge of video game entertainment and technology.
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