Finally, we're pleased to announce, the latest console from Sony is here! You'll find that the PlayStation 3 is powered by the "Cell processor" which is boasted to be 35 times more powerful than its predecessor, the PS2.
So let's talk about its graphics: it's powered by an nVidia graphics chip called an RSX ("Reality Synthesiser") where a 550 MHz core clock is operable with over 300 million transistors, whilst it's also claimed to be more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra cards pieced together.
However, it's virtually impossible to compare the PS3 to the Xbox 360 as far as specifications are concerned; this is largely due to the GPUs and CPUs construction. Whilst the Xbox 360 boasts more pipelines than the RSX, with its smaller number, this could still mean they are more powerful, though. Yet putting graphics aside, the Nintendo Wii is an even harder comparison which is due their completely different market appeal (but with the PlayStation Move this could change).
One crucial factor is the online facility, as you'll find with the Xbox 360. The PS3 can be played online free gratis, which is a positive contribution if you compare it with the Xbox: Live (£32-£40 subscription per year). As far as the PlayStation Network is concerned, however, there have been mixed reviews, and at the same time, it's widely accepted that Xbox: Live is far superior. Although downloadable files will cost you extra, you shouldn't find this a major issue as regards the overall lifetime of your PS3 online experience and activities.
The standard controllers you'll discover on the PS3 are not a redesign which was at first anticipated, and, to be honest, the controller appears similar to the old PS2 controller, plus the addition of wireless capabilities. In fact, the Sixaxis controller uses Bluetooth technology with a motion sensor, and also has six degrees of freedom (all as standard). And another thing: a newer version was designed to incorporate the rumble feature (DualShock 3). Additional controllers can be connected to the USB 2.0 ports available on the PS3, whilst it can also accommodate up to 7 players at one time. And, furthermore, PSP owners will be able to connect their handheld gaming device to a Wi-Fi port, being used either as a controller or an additional screen, and perhaps, too, this can be utilised for the viewing of tactical information in game.
You'll find that the system arrives in various colours too: these include white, silver and black. As far as media format is concerned the games will be stored on Blu-ray (the successor, as you probably know, to DVDs). And also, in case you didn't know, a standard single-layer Blu-ray disc can hold 25GB, which is roughly five times more storage than you'll get on a standard single-layer DVD. To go on further the Blu-ray drive will support all Blu-ray formats (BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE) and is backward compatible with current CD and DVD formats. This will enable "some" PS2 games to be played (and for your information Sony say that 200 do not work).
Given this flexibility what really separates the PS3 from the Xbox 360 is the fact that the console doubles up as a Blu-ray/DVD player. Although the benefits of such a system have momentarily not reached its full potential, it can be just as successful as the PS2 was to DVDs (provided that Blu-ray remains competitive with HD-DVDs).
The release of Sony's new motion control system, PlayStation Move, can be seen in September 2010, with plans to rival the Wii MotionPlus and Kincet for Xbox 360. In fact, you'll be interested to know that there are many similarities to the MotionPlus controller, some of them being the ability to mimic sword fighting, golf, tennis, and boxing etc., There is a more noticeable precision, however, which is one advantage over its Nintendo counterpart. And there's another observation too: say if the requirement in the game is to recognise both hand movements, then the PlayStation Move controller or the navigation controller can be added (to the unused hand). What does this mean exactly? Well, there are two controllers acting wirelessly where you'll find this is not the case with the Wii. For the present time, barring unreliable third-party hardware, the Wii system has the MotionPlus in one hand, with the wired nunchuck controller in the other. This does become a bit restrictive on occasions, and especially during sports-like boxing.
On the face of it, however, what Sony have created is nothing really new nevertheless and, bearing in mind that their main rival have come up with an original concept with regard to Kinect, it will be worrying times for Sony leading up to the next generation of console.
The PS3 arrives in various hard drive sizes which at release gave a retail value of £425 - and if you compare it to other consoles it's quite considerable. At the same time suffice to say that what should also have been priced-in is a 2nd controller (£30), plus a couple of games (£80), which gives an overall total of £535! And if you consider adding PlayStation Move to that it makes the overall cost even more considerable - perhaps this is why it has taken Sony so long to come up with it.
However, suffice to say, as the years have passed, this console is slowly becoming cost effective, whilst not forgetting, though, at the same time, as purely a console, it remains to be said that the PS3 is still rather expensive. But it depends what you're looking for. If it's a great console and Blu-ray player you're after then this would be great value at this price.
Finally, let us say that, prior to the concept of Kinect, the PS3 was marginally superior to the Xbox 360. Yet with the introduction of the PlayStation Move, from a cursory perspective, it would now appear that Sony are now comfortable with the present, whereas Microsoft have looked towards the future.
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