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Sony Playstation 3 Unleashed

Sony today pulled the curtain up at the Electronic Entertainment Expo to reveal its development plans and launch schedule for the company’s latest video game console, the Playstation 3.

Sony stated in a press release that the backwards compatible Playstation 3 will combine cutting edge technologies including Cell — a 3.2-GHz IBM-Sony-Toshiba jointly developed processor (seven cores to be specific) — RSX, a 550MHz graphics processor co-developed by NVIDIA and SCEI and 256MB of XDR memory developed by Rambus. It will also use Sony’s Blu-ray Disc ROM (BD-ROM), which has maximum storage capacity of 54GB (dual layer), to deliver entertainment content in full HD quality. The PS3 will support resolution of 1080p as standard.

The Playstation 3 will, according to Sony, offer a computer power of approximately two teraflops. This will, in conjunction with the aforementioned technologies, be enough to provide highly refined movements of characters and objects as well as providing real time rendering of landscapes and virtual worlds.

Sony said that Cell-based development tools were already being delivered to gaming companies; development of game titles, as well as tools and middleware, was under way as well.

Notable mentions of features from the specs in the press release include support for Dolby 5.1 and DTS, a slot for a 2.5” hard drive attachment, six USB 2.0 slots, slots for Memory Stick, Compact Flash and SD memory cards and built in support for Ethernet, wireless 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth. The wireless Bluetooth option will provide support for up to seven controllers, while the Wi-Fi could enable connection with Sony’s recently released PSP.

Sony Playstation 3

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The Playstation 3 will also offer ports for outputting HDMI, analog and digital audio signals. Supported disc formats, besides the BD-ROM, will include CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, DualDisc, DVD-ROM and DVD-RW, among others.

Sony added that the Playstation 3 and next generation games will be available in the spring of 2006 in white, silver and black colors.

“SCEI has continuously brought innovation to the world of computer entertainment, such as real-time 3D computer graphics on PlayStation and the world’s first 128 bit processor Emotion Engine (EE) for PlayStation 2,” said Ken Kutaragi, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “Empowered by the Cell processor with super computer like performance, a new age of PLAYSTATION 3 is about to begin. Together with content creators from all over the world, SCEI will accelerate the arrival of a new era in computer entertainment.”


CPU Cell Processor
PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz
1 VMX vector unit per core
512KB L2 cache
7 x SPE @3.2GHz
7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
* 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy
total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS GPU RSX @550MHz
1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell- base processing)  Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz System Bandwidth Main RAM 25.6GB/s
VRAM 22.4GB/s
RSX 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read) 
SB< 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)  System Floating Point Performance 2 TFLOPS Storage Detachable 2.5" HDD slot x 1 I/O USB Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0) 
Memory Stick standard/Duo, PRO x 1
SD standard/mini x 1
CompactFlash (Type I, II) x 1  Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2) 
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)  Controller Bluetooth (up to 7) 
USB 2.0 (wired) 
Wi-Fi (PSP) 
Network (over IP)  AV OutputScreen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI: HDMI out x 2
Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1 Disc MediaCD PlayStation CD-ROM, PlayStation 2 CD-ROM, CD-DA, CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD, DualDisc, DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side) 
DVD: PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
Blu-ray Disc: PlayStation 3 BD-ROM, BD-Video, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE
-- By Nino Marchetti for Designtechnica

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