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Sony Unveils PlayStation 3 Technical, Launch Details

Sony Unveils PlayStation 3 Technical, Launch Details

May 16, 2005 | By Simon Carless

Sony has revealed initial details of its PlayStation 3 next-generation gaming hardware at a Los Angeles-based press conference ahead of the E3 Expo this week.

At the press conference, officials confirmed spring 2006 as the release date for the PlayStation 3. It's also been confirmed that the PlayStation 3 hardware will be backward compatible with both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 1 in terms of software, and also revealed that the PlayStation 3 will adopt the BD-ROM (Blu-ray Disc ROM) standard, with maximum storage capacity of 54 GB (dual layer).

Technical specifics were also discussed, with the PlayStation 3 already confirmed as using the much-vaunted Cell processor, a co-development of IBM, Toshiba, and Sony, and the single PS3 CPU being clocked at 3.2 Ghz. Though this seemingly compares badly with the multi-core Xbox 360, which is a three-core PowerPC running at 3.2 Ghz, Sony claims 2.18 teraflops of computer power for the PS3, significantly more than the Xbox 360.

Elsewhere, the graphics chip for the PS3, courtesy NVidia, will be called the Reality Synthesizer (RSX), and was specifically described as being more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra current high-end PC graphics boards. In addition, the PlayStation 3 will have a total of 512 megabytes of RAM - 256mb XDR RAM at 3.2 Ghz, and 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700mhz. An official press release from Sony contains detailed additional information.

With regard to the launch, Ken Kutaragi commented: "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 for PlayStation 2. Empowered by the Cell processor with super computer like performance, a new age of PlayStation 3 is about to begin."

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