Review by earvcunanan

"This is the Playstation 3 review you need to read."

Another entry into the Playstation universe: The Playstation 3. Packed with multimedia features along with a hefty price tag. Don't let the price tag scare you away! In this review, I hope to accomplish one thing and one thing only: to help you decide on making a purchase while being unbiased.
Now, many people will look at the Playstation 3's price tag and will start to criticize it. This is understandable since many of these people are only gamers. With the intent of gaming in mind. So, they'll look at the PS3's library of games to try and justify the price tag. About the price tag, I've said "price tag" a million times yet I haven't even mentioned it. The Playstation 3 is $599.99 for a premium 60 GB model and $499.99 for a 20 GB model.

Differences between the two models: 20 GB & 60 GB

Playstation 3 (20 GB model)- No silver trim; No wi-fi connectivity; It's still a Blu-ray player.

Playstation 3 (60 GB model)- Memory Stick/SD/Compact flash slots, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

This is what Sony has been hyping for the past two years, what is supposed to begin the high definition era, and what is intended to destroy the competition. This is the Trojan horse by which Sony hopes to get Blu-ray into as many homes as possible. The stakes are much higher than for a simple gaming system; this is a format war for the home theater of tomorrow. It is also the first time Sony has gotten serious about on-line play, and they're hoping you're going to want to buy a lot of content through their new system. Sony has a lot riding on the PS3... but you know that already.

Blu-ray

Blu-ray will be the format of choice for PS3 games, and the high-density discs offer much more storage space than those of Sony's competitors -- Blu-ray discs max out at 50 GB and can theoretically go to 100 GB or 200 GB, while the Microsoft Xbox 360 and (as far as we can determine) Nintendo Wii use standard DVDs, which top out at a comparatively cramped 8.5 GB. The end result? The PS3 has the potential to offer more expansive games, with better graphical textures, more full-motion HD video and plenty of extra content. Sony is also planning to do away with region coding for games, partly because multi-territory releases (with region-specific languages, for instance) will fit all the versions on one disc.

The Cell

The Playstation 3 will be the first commercial device powered by the Cell processor. A 3.2GHz chip that Sony developed with help from IBM and Toshiba. The chip's seven synergistic processing elements (SPEs) will work in parallel to churn out a staggering 218 gigaflops, or 218 billion floating point operations per second. In practice, that should make the PS3 especially adept at such processor-intensive activities as up-converting video and emulating past Playstation games.

Backwards Compatibility

You'll be able to play your Playstation and Playstation 2 games right out of the box on the Playstation 3. Even though it seems as if every household on the planet owns a PS1 or PS2, it's still an impressive coup for the system to have such an extensive backlog available from the start. Comparatively, the Xbox 360's backwards-compatibility list has been built from the ground up in a piecemeal fashion, while Nintendo is offering GameCube disc playback on the Wii, but will charge for downloading games from the company's earlier consoles, including the Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo systems.

Going wireless

Like the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 supports multiple wireless controllers. Sony wins kudos for supporting up to seven simultaneous game pads, as well as the Blue tooth wireless standard -- the controllers will probably employ an internal battery that can be charged via a mini-USB cable. The controllers use the same Dual Shock design as the company's customary PS1 and PS2 controllers, with a few notable differences -- the PS3 controllers utilise motion-sensitive movement as a method of control, much like the Nintendo Wii, while the force-feedback rumble technology has been removed. There will be some connectivity between the PS3 and Sony's Playstation Portable hand-held system via USB (and possibly Wi-Fi). The most novel usage shown so far was for F1 06, a motor-racing title where the PSP acted as an external real-time rear-view mirror.

Close out comments

Last time around, the original Xbox came out later than the PS2 and thus wielded a significant hardware advantage. This time, the PS3 seems to have the technological edge, but the Xbox 360 will have a 12-month (15 in Europe) head start in the marketplace. But the release dates, gigahertz comparisons and Blu-ray boasts will probably take a backseat to the two most important factors: games and pricing. The Xbox 360 is slowly, but surely amassing a roster of impressive titles and will have even more when the PS3 becomes available.

The burden is now on Sony to justify the massive price tag (for a gaming console) while it captures an exclusive, must-have game that sells the system. The most likely candidate for that honor lies with Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4 or Sony's 1st party games. Sony didn't do itself any favors by drawing undue comparisons with the much cheaper Wii when it incorporated less impressive motion-sensitive technology in the controller. Sony's betting that hard-core gamers -- and high-def fanatics looking for a Blu-ray player will be happy to run up their credit card debt come next March. But for parents all over the world searching for a Christmas present, the cheaper Xbox 360 and Wii will be serious competition.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/26/07


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