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PS3 Board FAQ Version 4.0

#1JacknicklsonPosted 11/8/2007 9:52:17 AMmessage detail
PS3 FAQ V.4.0

NOTE: Board members marked with stars contributed to that particular section of this FAQ. Thanks to everyone who helped out!!!

A lot of links will reference us.playstation.com, this is for general reference and will differ between regions

The biggest thing I see on this board is a lot of rumor and speculation. For pretty accurate information, check out http://blog.us.playstation.com/ as Sony has done a good job of keeping us up to date since the site’s inception.

Index

I. General Info


II. Hardware Specifications


a. General
b. Cell Broadband Engine
c. RSX
d. Blu-ray Disc
e. Hard drive Replacement
f. Official Accessories

III. The Playstation 3’s Operating System(s)


a. Multimedia Support
b. What types of Audio files can be played?
c. What types of Video files can be played?
d. What types of Photo files can be viewed?
e. Linux

IV. Software


a. Playstation 3 game list
b. Backwards Compatibility

V. The Playstation Network


VI. PS3 Quick Tips


1. Download game saves
2. Make free video phone calls
3. Browse multiple Internet windows
4. Share your purchased downloads
5. Force a PS3 to show your files
6. Change your album art
7. BD Calibration
8. Upscaling and Smoothing of PS and PS2 games

VII. Most Commonly asked questions on this board


1. What kind of HDMI cable do I need and which one is the best?
2. I just moved my PS3 to another TV using a different A/V output and I forgot to change my output settings, what do I do?
3. Should I buy a PS3, Wii, or Xbox360?
4. When’s the next firmware update and what’s going to be added to the store this week?
5. What games should I get?
6. Does a PS3 work on an SDTV?
7. What kind of headset should I get?
8. My PS3 is acting up, has anyone experienced this problem?
9. Can my PS3 play import PS1/2 games?
10. I recently purchased my first Blu-ray movie and I am playing it on a widescreen HDTV but I still see the black bars on the top and bottom of my screen. How can I get the movie to fill up my screen?
11. Sometimes when I turn off my PS3, I hear three beeps as opposed to the usual one beep. What does this mean and is there something wrong with my PS3?
12. Am I hurting my PS3’s laser by using it as a full-time Blu-ray player?
13. Can I charge my controllers when the PS3 is off/in stand-by?

VIII. Common Concerns\Issues


Emotion Engine and emulation
Virtual Memory Cards
SIXAXIS
HDCP
SD/ED/HD Resolutions

IX. Playstation 3 Titles – Official Game Sites

X. Board Member FAQS/Guides

1. PS3 Model Differences
2. PS3 Internet Browser Game Guide
3. Linux Install Guide
#2Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:54:27 AMmessage detail
I. General Info

When was the PS3 announced?

E3 2005 - 5/16/05

When did the PS3 launch?

Japan - 11/11/06
North America - 11/17/06
Europe & Australia - 3/23/07
S. Korea - 6/16/07 *earvcunanan*

How much does the PS3 cost?

*****Note: These figures are subject to change as Sony has frequently updated the hardware/configurations for the Playstation 3. Check a local retailer or us.playstation.com for the latest information.*****

Also, this wikipedia article seems to stay on top of all of the different Retail Configurations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ps3#Retail_configurations

Japan

20GB - 49,980 Yen
40GB – 39,980 Yen
60 GB - Open market(approx. 59,980)

North America

20GB – Discontinued
40GB - $399(US) $399(CA)
60GB - Discontinued
80GB - $499(US) $499(CA)

Europe

20GB – Unavailable
40GB – 299GBP
60GB - Discontinued

Australia

20GB – Unavailable
40GB - AU$699.95
60GB - AU$999.95

South Korea *earvcunanan*

20GB - Unavailable
60GB - Unavailable
80GB - 518,000 won

What does the PlayStation 3 look like?

A gallery of pictures can be found here:

http://www.us.playstation.com/PS3/About/Gallery

A comparison of any existing models’ differences can be found here:

http://www.us.playstation.com/PS3/About/ProductDetails

II. Hardware Specifications

a. General

CPU
Cell Broadband Engine™

GPU
RSX

Memory
256MB XDR Main RAM 256MB GDDR3 VRAM

HDD
2.5' Serial ATA (20GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB)

I/O
USB 2.0 X 4(X2 for 40GB)
Memory Stick/SD/CompactFlash Slots(60/80GB only)

Communication *Dr Egg*
Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
IEEE 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi*(40/60/80GB Models Only)
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)
Bluetooth Controllers (up to 7 devices)

AV Output
Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p [576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p(PAL)] *Time__Killer*
HDMI**: HDMI out - (x1 / HDMI)
Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1
Blu-ray/DVD/CD DRIVE "read only"

Dimensions
Approximately 325mm (W) x 98mm (H) x 274mm (D)

Weight
Approximately 5 kg
#3Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:54:57 AMmessage detail
b. Cell Broadband Engine

Cell Tech Specs

PowerPC-based Core @ 3.2GHz
7 SPEs @ 3.2GHz
512KB L2 Cache
7 x 256KB SRAM for SPEs

For anyone interested in an in depth look at the Cell processor, this outlines everything quite nicely:

http://www.blachford.info/computer/Cell/Cell0_v2.html

c. RSX

Information on The PS3’s GPU can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSX_%27Reality_Synthesizer%27

d. Blu-ray Disc

*****NOTE: Sony DID NOT create Blu-ray!! The Blu-ray Disc Association did. This is the biggest misconception in the next-gen format war. They are on the Board of Directors for the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), and there are over 180 companies in this association.*****

The PS3 supports playback for dual-layered 50GB Blu-ray discs, as well as single layered 25GB discs. All PS3 games are on BDs.

*****NOTE: Whether you feel Blu-ray is needed or not, it is here to stay and there is no chance of Sony releasing a cheaper model without Blu-ray!*****

Blu-ray Specs

There is tons of information about Blu-ray for those that are interested:

http://www.Blu-raydisc.com/Section-14064/faqs/Index.html

http://www.Blu-ray.com/faq/

Blu-ray movie release info:

http://www.Blu-ray.com/movies/

For more information about Blu-ray Disc technology, see http://www.Blu-raydisc.com.

e. Hard drive Replacement*Eoin* *rallysportev*

The hard drive in the PS3 in completely upgradeable and does not use proprietary hardware. You will need a 2.5" SATA 5400RPM laptop drive. It has been confirmed that Sony tech support says there is a slight increase in performance when using a 7200RPM drive, but it may be too negligible to justify the extra cost. This decision is completely up to you. Anything higher than 7200RPM is not recommended and is an “at your own risk” decision. Also note that the HDD must be formatted in FAT 32 if using a “dirty” drive as opposed to a new one. Instructions for installation are located in your manual or on pg.16 of the Safety and Support .pdf located here:

http://www.us.playstation.com/Support/PS3/Manuals
#4Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:55:34 AMmessage detail
f. Official Accessories

SIXAXIS Wireless Controller(MSRP $49.99)

What sort of battery life can we expect, and how is the SIXAXIS recharged?

The controller is charged via a mini-USB cable.(supplied with system, not with the controller), the kind that most digital cameras accept. The controller contains an internal, non-removable lithium-ion battery that lasts around 30 hours on a single charge.

How far is the controller's wireless range?

20 meters, or about 65 feet.

Are Dual Shock 2 controllers compatible with the PlayStation 3?

Not without some sort of adapter. Sony is no longer using the old controller ports and connectors, so the Dual Shock 2 isn't able to be plugged in directly. However, through use of a PS2 to USB adapter, you can use a Dual Shock 2 on the PlayStation 3 with little to no problem. It lacks the PlayStation button and tilt support, but otherwise it works fine.

Memory Card Adapter(MSRP $14.99)

The memory card adapter will allow you transfer files from a PS1/2 memory card onto your PS3. Firmware 1.8 allowed for files to be copied back on to the memory card.

Blu-ray Remote(MSRP $24.99)

The PLAYSTATION®3 Blu-ray remote control enables users streamlined access to the PLAYSTATION®3 system's disc features. Unlike standard infrared remotes, the Blu-ray remote control uses Bluetooth technology so it can be used without having to point directly at the PLAYSTATION®3 system.

Sony Playstation 3 Composite(MSRP $9.99, included),S-Video(MSRP $14.99), Component(MSRP $19.99) cables

CAUTION: Using third party proprietary A/V cables will void your warranty.

Playstation Eye(MSRP $39.99)

The Playstation Eye is the next generation camera made specifically for the PLAYSTATION®3.
#5Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:55:58 AMmessage detail
III. The Playstation 3’s Operating System(s)

a. Multimedia Support

* Music & Audio
o Play music CDs and SACDs
o Connect to the internet to obtain detailed album information including album title, artist, length of album
o Copy CDs directly to your hard disk drive (HDD)
o Store and listen to other formats of audio/music files
* Movies & Videos
o Play Blu-ray Discs™ (BD) and DVDs
o Connect your digital video camera directly to your PLAYSTATION®3 with a USB cable
o Store and watch your own videos
o Download exclusive video content from PLAYSTATION®Store and the PLAYSTATION®3 Portal
* Photos
o Store your personal digital photo albums
o Use any of the various slideshow options to view
* Internet
o Surf the Internet with the PLAYSTATION®3 Internet Browser and the SIXAXIS™ wireless controller. You’re free to choose your own online destinations

b. What types of Audio files can be played?

* Memory Stick Audio Format(ATRAC)
* MP3(MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3)
* MP4(MPEG-4 AAC)
* WAVE(Linear PCM)
* WMA

c. What types of Video files can be played?

* Memory Stick Video Format
* MPEG-4 SP (AAC LC)
* H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (AAC LC)
* MPEG-1 (MPEG Audio Layer 2)
* MPEG-2 PS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AAC LC, AC3(Dolby Digital), LPCM)
* MPEG-2 TS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2)
* Motion JPEG (Linear PCM)
* Motion JPEG (μ-Law)
* AVCHD (.m2ts)

d. What types of Photo files can be viewed?

* JPEG (DCF 2.0/Exif 2.21 compliant)
* TIFF
* BMP
* GIF
* PNG

e. Linux*82xeno*

Linux is an operating system that you can install on your Playstation 3. Here are some links for installing certain versions of Linux:

Yellow Dog Linux - http://www.linuxgames.com/ps3/ydl5.0_ps3_guide.pdf
Gentoo - http://www.daniel.jp/joomla/info/ps3/installing-gentoo-on-the-ps3.html
Fedora Core - http://www.fedora-ps3.com/Installation_Guide

And here are some guides to get you started using Linux:

General beginners guide - http://www.linux.ie/newusers/beginners-linux-guide/
YDL beginners - http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/support/newbie/
Fedora - http://docs.fedoraproject.org/desktop-user-guide/en/
Gentoo - http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/list.xml

*****IMPORTANT!!! Linux is not for everyone. If you are having issues installing this, then operating it is pretty much out of the question. A certain portion of your hard drive must be partitioned for Linux so a format might be in order if you decide not to use it. I advise to read through all the information to see if this can benefit you and if you are confident enough to install and operate it*****
#6KrowbarPosted 11/8/2007 9:56:28 AMmessage detail
*Requests Sticky*
---
Words of Wisdom From Jack Thompson
http://youtube.com/watch?v=f66KEPGNSzk
#7Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:57:02 AMmessage detail
IV. Software

a. PlayStation 3 game list *earvcunanan*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PlayStation_3_games

b. Backwards Compatibility *Nicholas*

These sites will let you know which Playstation 1 & 2 software titles are compatible with your system.

Japan:

http://www.jp.playstation.com/ps3/status/

North America:

http://www.us.playstation.com/Support/CompatibleStatus

PAL:

http://faq.eu.playstation.com/bc/

V. The Playstation Network

The Playstation Network is provided free of charge. The only things that cost money are optional downloads, such as games, game add-ons, maps, etc.

The Playstation Network’s status can be monitored here:

http://www.us.playstation.com/ps3/network/status

When does the Playstation store update?

Every Thursday, though Sony is very hush about what content is released each week and is usually unknown until that day.

What’s available for download on the Playstation Store and how much do things cost?

You can check the status of the Playstation Store here:

http://www.us.playstation.com/PS3/Store
#8Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:57:20 AMmessage detail
VI. PS3 Quick Tips*moneycash84**Snadados*

1. Download game saves

Chances are someone out there has already beaten that boss for you and saved their game afterwards. Why not take advantage of it? Google 'PS3 game saves'. There are hundreds of finished and half finished game saves scattered all over the internet. Download the save you want - it'll come in a 'PS3' folder that you can lift onto a USB stick and put into your PS3. Go to the Game menu, choose your stick and the game save you downloaded should be right there. Press Triangle to copy it to your hard drive.

2. Make free video phone calls

You will need a USB headset (like the one you use for PS2 Socom) and an EyeToy camera. Plug in both via USB then go to your Friends menu. Choose a friend you've signed up earlier and press Triangle. Choose Start New Chat and type a message. Something like 'Videochat?' should do the trick. Now, providing they're in front of their powered-up PS3 (perhaps you could text them to tell them to be in position?) then they'll see your message and be given the option to accept your videochat.

Now, provided they too have a camera and headset, two windows will open, one showing you. (so you can make sure you're looking)

3. Browse multiple Internet windows

Open the browser (go to Network) and surf to a page you want. Now open up the menu with a press of Triangle and choose 'Open In New Window'. Enter another URL and then do the same again. Keep going until you've got six windows open. Now press L3 (done by clicking down the left stick). You're now in multi-page mode. Move the left stick to flick through the web pages as though they were bits of paper, then click L3 again to zoom in.

4. Share your purchased downloads

You can download anything you've bought from the store to five PlayStation 3's. This is useful if you've got more than one PS3 (of course) and also if you've wiped your hard-drive and don't fancy paying for the same download twice...

However, you can also choose to share your download with your mates. The PlayStation Store logs how many times each download has been downloaded by each user. On your mate's PS3 Create New User and log onto the store with your ID. You'll now be able to go to your download and see that you've already downloaded whatever it was that you paid for. You can now download it again, using another of your downloads and giving it to your mate for free. Or a small optional charge...

*****Warning: Giving out your login information can grant users access to your credit card*****
#9Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:58:07 AMmessage detail
5. Force a PS3 to show your files

Put your photos in a folder called 'PICTURE' or your videos in a folder called 'VIDEO' or simply *force* your PS3 to look at your files on your stick regardless of what you called them or where you put them. Insert your stick and go to the menu option you want (Photos, Music, whatever). Press Triangle to bring up a menu and choose Display All. This will show every file on the stick. It even works for a plugged-in iPod, though the multi-folder structure you'll reveal is a bit baffling. Still, your songs are in there if you've got the patience to find them.

6. Change your album art

When you import a music CD your PS3 automatically pulls down the album art and stores it with the tracks. Occasionally it gets it wrong, however, or it may simply not be able to find the art of your hipper, less commercial tracks. This is easily fixed however. Download a pic of the art you need as a jpg on your PC and put it onto a stick (in a folder called PICTURE, ideally). Copy it to your Photo menu (press Triangle). Now go to Music and select the album folder with the offending art. Press Triangle and select Information. Go to the Photo menu and select your new picture.

7. BD Calibration*LiQuiDsWorDs56**methos75*

On any Sony Blu-ray Disc, press triangle at the main menu and enter 7669(SONY)and press Enter. This will provide you with four test patterns that you can use as a basic test pattern to calibrate your HDTV. Information on how to utilize these patterns can be found at these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE_color_bars
http://www.techlore.com/article/10095/How-to-Adjust-Your-Picture-Using-Video-Test-Patterns/

8. Upscaling and Smoothing of PS and PS2 games

Thanks to firmware update 1.80 PS and Ps2 games can be upscaled to 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions. Upscaling itself will probably not make your PS or PS2 games look any better. It is more to prevent the games from looking worse when played on an HDTV. Smoothing on the other hand is designed to make your PS and PS2 games look better. It does this by blurring the edges of pixels to give the appearance of a smoother line. This is much more noticeable in some games then others. Results may vary.
#10Jacknicklson(Topic Creator)Posted 11/8/2007 9:58:51 AMmessage detail
VII. Most Commonly asked questions on this board*Snadados*

1. Q. What kind of HDMI cable do I need and which one is the best?*rallysportev*
A.
An HDMI cable is a universal cable. HDMI is a digital signal and there is virtually no difference from a $5 cable and a $100 cable. The only reason to buy a higher quality cable would be for lengths of over 25 feet. Even then, a 24AWG cable is more than sufficient and not much more expensive. The most you should pay at a brick & mortar establishment is $30 and no more than $15 shipped, online, for a 6-12ft. cable. The most popular site for cables is www.monoprice.com.

2. Q. I just moved my PS3 to another TV using a different A/V output and I forgot to change my output settings, what do I do?
A.
Hold the power button for 5 seconds on startup to default your video output to whatever type of cable you currently have connected.

Same info, different wording:*UseMyExciter*
So, you had your PS3 hooked up to your fancy 1080p TV via, then took it to your friend's house with his crappy SDTV and had to hook it up using a composite connection. And suddenly, OMG, the display doesn't work! Here's the simple solution:

Press and hold the power button while turning on the PS3.

This will reset all the display settings and show you the display setup that you saw the first time you turned the PS3 on. You'll have to change it back when you get back home, though.


3. Q. Should I buy a PS3, Wii, or Xbox360?
A.
There is no real answer to this as it depends on you, as a gamer. Look at the releases/future releases for the systems and determine which suit your needs. Gaming has become an expensive hobby and I sure as hell would not let a stranger sway how I feel about spending my money.

4. Q. When’s the next firmware update and what’s going to be added to the store this week?
A.
Trust me, if anyone has an answer to these questions, the first few pages would be plastered with topics covering this. As mentioned earlier, Sony is rather hush about updates.

5. Q. What games should I get?
A.
These topics are inevitable and technically don’t belong. But if you must, provide details on what you have and what your interests are. This will make getting an answer much quicker.