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THE NEW PLAYSTATION PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3)!!!!!!!

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z200wr
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Εγγραφή: 01 Μαρ 2004 23:30
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THE NEW PLAYSTATION PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3)!!!!!!!

Δημοσίευση από z200wr » 02 Μαρ 2004 00:53

The PlayStation 3: An Introduction

[Published by: Andrew Watt and Josh Dreuth on 2003-10-15]
Preface


With all the rumors and fairy tales of the PlayStation 3 floating around, we here at PS3Insider have decided to begin writing a series of informative editorials. During these editorials, we will relay to you, our readers, all the information we know, as well as some information we believe to be reasonably true with regards to past trends and current technology. We realize that with all the bizarre and outlandish information floating around, it may become difficult for you to separate the fact from the fiction. Stories of secret meetings, unreleased photos and unconfirmed release dates have littered our inboxes and consequentially, a number of PlayStation sites. Hopefully after reading our editorials, you will be able dismiss, or even laugh at these ideas and further educate yourself in the PlayStation 3.


In this first editorial, we will be presenting a general overview of what we know as fact, and what we can reasonably conclude to be true. We will not be presenting a technical explanation of the Cell processor (yet), nor will we try to convince you that this is the greatest console system ever created. If this is your first time reading about the PlayStation 3, you will find all the information you need to know to gain a basic understanding of this upcoming console. If, on the other hand, you are a casual PlayStation 3 follower, this editorial we help you weed-out the false rumors and fill in the pot-holes of information you crave.

Introduction

The PlayStation 3 (also known as the PS3) is the upcoming gaming console from videogame manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) which is a department of Sony. Similar to it’s predecessor, the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3 will move closer towards Sony’s goal of presenting an entertainment system available to the general masses. This goal will not be met, however, during this generation of gaming hardware. This is mostly due to the fact that the cost to Sony would be too great and those costs would then be reflected onto the consumer. In order to design the PlayStation 3 such entertainment system qualities as a TV tuner or DVD burner, the price of the console would skyrocket out of the reach of a great majority of the intended audience. A more likely scenario is that the PlayStation 3 will have the ability to physically upgrade to include these devices or even releasing a new entertainment system with these components further into production (i.e. PSX).

Processor

In order to design the most powerful processor possible with current technology, Sony formed a partnership with electronics giant Toshiba and supercomputer expert IBM. Together, the companies have assigned a team 300 engineers and are spending (an estimated) $500 Million to develop a new type of processor which has been nick-named the Cell. The processor is actually a collection of smaller processors. Software packets, called "cells", are then sent to each of the smaller processors in order to give instructions on what tasks to perform. When implemented optimally, the processor will be able to calculate up to 1 trillion floating point calculations per second, which as you would imagine, is better than any standard computer processor.

The PlayStation 3 is not the only application that will use the Cell, however. Sony and Toshiba plan to make use of the chip in many common electronics, including household appliances. This combined with the possibility of shared computing could result other PlayStation 3’s, or even your toaster providing extra computing power to your PlayStation 3 through a broadband connection. The chip has been designed in such a way to provide opportunities for such innovation.

Memory

Memory is an extremely important component to any computer system, and Sony has already ensured that the PlayStation 3 will contain some of the best memory on the market. Sony has licensed XDR DRAM for use will all of their Cell applications, including those of the PlayStation 3. XDR DRAM was developed through a joint effort by Elpida, Toshiba, and Rambus and will offer a bandwidth of at least 3.2 GHz (which is eight times that of today’s best-in-class PC memory). The architecture allows the memory to be expanded up to 6.4GHz, so it is unclear as to which bandwidth Sony will choose. There has also been no mention of how much memory Sony will choose, as that strongly depends on how much on-chip memory they decide to delegate.

Broadband Connection

The next incarnation in the PlayStation series will most likely feature a broadband modem. Broadband internet service is spreading rapidly over the United States, Japan, and parts of Europe with a minimum of 50% coverage by the time the PlayStation 3 is released. Online console gaming is becoming more popular by the day and Sony has already shown support for such gaming on the current PlayStation 2. If shared computing is implemented, a broadband connection will be necessary to benefit from other systems in standby. A dial-up modem will most likely not be included as the demand for such a device is rapidly declining and in all likelihood, games will not be able to transfer data quick enough over a phone line for online gaming.

Hard Drive

With the recent trend towards downloadable content and online gaming, it is almost certain that Sony will include a hard drive in the PlayStation 3. Upcoming games like SOCOM 2 and GT4 will make use of the PlayStation 2 HDD (hard disk drive) and games like Final Fantasy XI require such use. Sony is making an effort to get PlayStation 2 owners to adapt to using a hard drive, and it is reasonable to assume that they will continue with this mentality to include a hard drive in the PlayStation 3. Combined with a broadband connection, the hard drive could be used to download music, movies, and even game demos. By including a hard drive, Sony will be opening up an entirely new avenue for gamers and media enthusiast alike.

Memory cards will most likely be a thing of the past in favor of the more versatile Memory Sticks. Already designed into the upcoming portable gaming unit, PlayStation Portable (PSP), memory sticks allow for data to be transferred from a wide variety of electronic devices. By using memory sticks instead of memory cards, the PlayStation 3 will be able to share data with computers, digital cameras, and any other devices which uses memory sticks. The main use of the memory sticks will be to transfer data between devices rather than data storage. The majority of storage, including game saves, will be done on the hard drive.

Controllers

For the past 8 years, the PlayStation’s controller hasn’t had any significant design changes. The controller is comfortable, the buttons are well placed and it adapts successfully to many different styles of games. We think, and most of you would agree, that Sony hit the nail on the head the first time. Personally, we don’t want any changes to the PlayStation controller and judging by our recent controller poll, neither does anyone else. There could be some small cosmetic modifications – soft grip pads, molded handles – but other then that, we really don’t see the need to change the controller at all. From a technical point of view, their might be some changes that need to be done internally in regards to wiring or the mechanical composition, but we can hardly comment on information we are not privy to. A majority of gamers refer to the Dual Shock controllers as the best in the business which is why, in this case, change might not be a good thing.

Release Date

Possibly the most talked about and controversial topics on the PlayStation 3 involve the expected release date. Some analyst predicted the release to be this year in order to get a head start on the competition; we laughed. Others concluded that the Cell chip would not be ready until 2007, and therefore neither would the PlayStation 3; we laughed again. The fact of the matter is that no one really knows, but we can make an estimated guess using what we do know. There will be a demo of the Cell in March 2004 and mass production of the Cell by Sony will begin the second half of 2005 (Toshiba predicts their mass production to begin early 2005). All these facts point to a release date of either late 2005 or early 2006.

A few companies have made it public that they have yet to receive any next-next-generation development kits from any of the big three. They also commented that they expect to receive these kits soon if a 2005 release is to occur. Sony has begun a test line of Cell manufacturing which could lead to the manufacturing of development kits very shortly. As the hardware development continues, a better idea of a possible release will emerge.

Closing Comments


We hope that you have gained some insight on the PlayStation 3 after reading this editorial. If you have any questions about any of the information presented in this editorial, or have a question on a subject we did not cover, please feel free to email us, or ask a question in our forums. Please note that we only commented on the subjects were enough information was readily available to make an informed guess. In the future, look for upcoming editorials which will go in-depth on topics such as the Cell processor and backwards compatibility. Thanks for reading.
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