The PLAYSTATION 3 is Sony's next generation console follow up to the PlayStation 2. It sets itself apart from Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii by offering support for the next generation Blu-ray Disc format. Blu-ray enables greater space for games and the potential of 1080p gaming. This feature also gives gamers a low-cost Blu-ray movie player much like PS2 offered gamers DVD movies in 2000. However, unlike most Blu-ray players, the PS3 does not upconvert standard DVDs to 720p at this time. The PS3 will debut with 2 models in the US, a 60GB hard drive model with flash drives for $599 and a 20GB hard drive model for $499. Latest reports indicates both models have HDMI support.
The PS3 features a 3.2 GHz Cell processor developed jointly by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM. The Cell processor includes a PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and seven active 3.2 GHz Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The PPE has a 512KB level 2 cache and each SPE has its own L1 cache. The PS3 also comes with 256 MB of Rambus XDR DRAM. The graphic processing unit is based on NVIDIA G70 architecture. The GPU has 256 MB GDDR3 VRAM and also has access to the XDR main memory.
For video, the PS3 supports both standard and HDTV resolutions and connectivity includes HDMI and component video. For audio, the PS3 will support 7.1 digital audio, Dolby TrueHD, and others. For communication, the PS3 will have one Gigabit ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, and supports Bluetooth 2.0 EDR.
The PS3 controller dubbed "Sixaxis" is similar to that of the PS2 except it replaces the force-feedback feature with motion detection and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The controller features a rechargeable battery that can be recharged using a USB cable. As the name suggests, the Sixaxis detects motion in 6 directions. It does not detect acceleration or spatial position like the Wii, but also does not require a sensor bar.
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