Sony PlayStation 3 Ready To Rock

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The next-generation gaming console from market leader Sony has been scheduled for a spring 2006 release.

For the past few weeks, the public has enjoyed the endless buzz and speculation about Microsoft’s new gaming console, the Xbox 360. The Redmond-based console maker, which also makes software according to reports, wrapped up the early hype with a special airing on MTV.

Playtime just ended. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Sony finally announced details about its next-generation game console, the PlayStation 3. And the company sounds like it has a machine its fans won’t mind waiting for in 2006.

“PlayStation 3 has a powerful machine under the hood,” Kaz Hirai, president and chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said at a widely attended media briefing.

If you want processing speed, the PS3 has twice the power of the Xbox 360. The PS3’s new Cell microprocessor will be 35 times more powerful than the current PS2. According to a Mercury News report, Ken Kutaragi, Sony game division’s chief executive, says the PS3 will have 2 teraflops of computing performance.

Teraflops are measure of computation, and a teraflop is a trillion math operations per second.

A video shown by Mr. Kutaragi displayed the new console, in silver, black, and white, with a sleeker controller sporting the familiar PS buttons. The controller looks a little like a boomerang, with longer grips than the PS2 stock controller.

Also, the PS3 will support Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and up to seven controllers will be supported by the system.

Just to make sure the audience was paying attention, Sony had a couple of big names in gaming step up to show off what they could do with the new console.

Electronic Arts demonstrated a boxing game, which looked like a real bout. Beloved “Final Fantasy” maker Square Enix showed off movie-quality battle scenes from its upcoming Final Fantasy XII title.

Nvidia, last seen partnering with Microsoft on the first Xbox, noted that its RSX chip in the PS3 would be as powerful as two of its fastest graphics chips for personal computers.

Not surprisingly, the PS3 will support Sony’s Blu-ray DVD technology. And while Microsoft said the Xbox 360 would play some of the original Xbox games, Sony said the PS3 would be backwards-compatible with PS and PS2 titles.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Sony PlayStation 3 Ready To Rock
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