PlayStation 3

From Academic Kids

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Playstation 3 in horizontal position

The PlayStation 3 (colloquially known as the PS3) is the next video game console in Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCEI) market-leading PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 is slated for release in spring 2006. It is the successor to the PlayStation 2 and will mainly compete against the Nintendo Revolution and Xbox 360. Sony has announced that the PS3 will be backwards compatible with earlier PS1 and PS2 games. At the moment, little more is known in public about the PS3 apart from its hardware specification and reports that it will support open APIs for game development.



The PS3 was officially unveiled on May 16, 2005, in Sony's conference at E3, where the console was first shown to the public. The console was in non-operational form at E3 but Sony is expected to present fully operational PlayStation 3 at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005.

Cost & Release Date

The system's retail price has not yet been confirmed. Sony officials hinted that the PS3 will cost less than 40,000 yen, which is about $370 in U.S. dollars. Template:Ref Kazuo Hirai claims the PS3 will not be expensive and that it will be competitively priced with the Xbox 360. Template:Ref

During its E3 presentation, Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 will be available in Spring 2006. Reports quoting high-ranking Sony officials suggest the PlayStation 3 may be launched simultaneously in Japan and North America, a tactic that would differ significantly from the PlayStation (launched December 1994 in Japan and September 1995 in North America) and PlayStation 2 (launched March 2000 in Japan and October 2000 in North America

Other possible capabilities according to Sony


President and CEO of SCEI, Ken Kutaragi states that the Playstation 3's hard disk drives will be pre-installed with the GNU/Linux operating system. Ken Kutaragi also hinted the Playstation 3's hard disk drive will probably be seperately sold. Template:Ref The operating system is already ready. However, Mr Kutaragi is also open to other operating systems.

IBM has sent a series of patches to the Linux developers mailing-list regarding the Cell processor,and has publicly presented a server running Linux Kernel 2.6.11. Template:Ref

PlayStation 3 standards

Unlike the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems, Sony appears to have chosen publicly-available application programming interfaces and technologies for the PlayStation 3. The current list of open standards Sony has chosen includes:

The list of standards they are reported to be considering includes:

Hardware specifications

A simple comparison of the system architectures appears to indicate that the raw floating point capability of the PS3 is roughly double that of the Xbox 360; whether or not that will be particularly advantageous for the console's developers and popularity remains to be seen.

According to a press release by Sony at the May 16, 2005 E3 Conference, the specifications of the PlayStation 3 are as follows. Template:Ref

Central processing unit

Cell processor:

  • PowerPC based core (PPU) clocked at 3.2 GHz
  • 1 VMX (IBM's branding for AltiVec) vector unit for the PowerPC core
  • 7 Synergistic Processing Elements or SPEs are programmable vector processor units clocked at 3.2 GHz each (there are eight on the chip, but one kept unused for redundancy, leaving seven usable)
  • 218 GFLOPS floating point performance
  • 512 KiB L2 cache
  • 7 256 KiB SRAM caches for the SPEs
  • 7 128×128 SIMD general purpose register files
  • 234 million transistors Template:Ref

Backwards compatibility

The PlayStation 3 will be fully compatible "on the chip" with PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games, without emulation. It still isn't known how Sony has achieved this (although Sony had developed a single-chip PS2 CPU/GPU solution, used in newer revisions of the "slim" PS2). Compatibility with PS2 online games and games designed for the hard drive support hasn't been elaborated upon.

Graphics processing unit

Custom "RSX" design co-developed by Nvidia and Sony:

  • Clocked at 550 MHz
  • 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance, 356 GFLOPS programmable
  • Full high definition output (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
  • Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines
  • 300.4 million transistors
  • 280 shader operations per cycle
  • 154 billion shader operations per second
  • 51 billion dot products per second (When combined with CPU power.)
  • 128-bit pixel precision
  • Vertices Performance: 1.1 billion vertices per second
  • Texture bandwidth: 47.5 GB/sec


Theoretical system bandwidth

  • Main XDR DRAM: 64 bits × 3.2 GHz = 25.6 GB/s
  • GDDR-3 VRAM: 128 bits × 700 MHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle (one per edge) = 22.4 GB/s
  • RSX: 20 GB/s (write), 15 GB/s (read)
  • System Bus: 2.5 GB/s

Overall floating-point capability

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Sony comparison of PS3 performance in FLOPS with Xbox 360.

In a slide show at their E3 conference, Sony presented the "overall floating point capability" of the PlayStation 3, and compared it to other gaming hardware. The presentation claimed that the PS3 is capable of 2.18 TFLOPS (CPU and GPU), compared to the Xbox 360's claimed 1.15 TFLOPS, and the floating point performance of an "average" PC of about 0.08 TFLOPS. In their official press release, the same statistic regarding the PS3 was reported to be 2 TFLOPS. It's possible that the figures are rounded estimations. At this stage it is unclear how these numbers were calculated, possibly being nothing more than a creative addition of the theoretical peak floating point capabilities of all the processing units in the Cell CPU and the RSX GPU. Floating point performance is a single-dimensional metric for measuring one computer against another. This means that it should not be taken as the only (or even the single most important) indicator of one game console's capabilities over another's, but rather as a comparison of one facet of their respective performance.

Audio/Video output



  • Blu-ray Disc: PlayStation 3 BD-ROM, BD-Video, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE
  • DVD: PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
  • CD: 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)
  • Memory Stick standard/Duo and standard/mini slots
  • CompactFlash Type I and II slot
  • SD slot
  • Slot for detachable 2.5" hard drive (drive likely sold seperately)

Physical Dimensions



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The new DualShock 3 controller shown at the 2005 E3.

SCEI's press release indicates that controller connectivity to the PlayStation 3 can be provided via:

Currently there is some controversy among fans about the new PlayStation 3's controller, which they dubbed Dualshock 3. Many argue it is simply untastefully designed and somewhat of an eyesore, or that the controller itself has poor ergonomics, all aesthetic attributes aside. Its design has been likened to a boomerang by many observers. However, other gamers suggest that the controller, while a little un-traditional in contrast to the Dualshock ( and Dualshock 2 ( controllers, will provide greater comfort for extended hours of play, and that eventually everyone will "get used to it." According to the Japanese video game publication Famitsu, Sony Computer Entertainment chief technical officer Masayuki Chatani said that the controller design is a "prototype, so there could be some small adjustments." Template:Ref In an interview with Edge, SCEE's Chris Deering echoed these statements by describing the E3 controller as "just a design study".

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the PS3 may in fact support the older DualShock 2 (and by logical extension DualShock) controllers. The number of ports to support such backward compatibility would most likely be limited to one, although this is also an unconfirmed rumour. The PS3's specifications, and E3 display units, don't support DualShock controller ports.


See also

Template:Dedicated video game consoles


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External links

es:PlayStation 3 fr:PlayStation 3 ja:プレイステーション3 no:PlayStation 3 pl:PlayStation 3 pt:PlayStation 3 simple:PlayStation 3 sv:PlayStation 3 zh:PlayStation 3


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