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Sony Talks PS3 Cell At GDC

 

Sony reps Mark DeLoura and Dominic Mallinson underscored the paradigm-shifting approach Sony is taking with its future console at GDC.

 

“The goal for the developers is to create the next generation of entertainment,” declared Mark DeLoura, Manager of Developer Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment America.

 

Sony unveiled the specs on the cell chip in early February. The 64-bit Power processor core on a 4Ghz architecture, which is surrounded by eight Synergistic Processor Units (which themselves house four Floating Point Units), for a chip capable of delivering 256 gigaflops at 4 GHz.

 

“We can run multiple operating systems on the chip at the same time.” “Each operating system can protect the others from crashes or security problems said Dominic Mallison, director of Sony Computer Entertainment America R&D. They also detailed that PS3’s Cell technology will allow designers to program for it in more complex languages, such as C/C++. The Cell will support Collada XML for PS3’s art assets interchange, and the OpenGL ES applications programming interface for 3-D graphics. A partnership with NVIDIA will see the graphics card maker begin producing PS3 GPU by the end of 2005.

 

Xbitlabs.com conducted an interview in January with NVIDIA corporate marketing head David Roman and said, “This is the next generation GPU [...] It will support DirectX 9, Shader Models 3; it will be the most feature-rich, the most powerful GPU that we’ve ever created.”

 

Sony’s GDC presentation comes just a day after the news that top members of Sony’s high command will get the first look at the PS3 in action during a closed door presentation in Japan next week.

 

It's lookin to be playable at E3, and there's supposed to be a big Sony press conference on it soon...on with pics!

 

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Rumored specs, key word on "rumor"...look for officials at E3...here's a bunch of stuff some guy made up years ago:

 

Main Processor: code-named “Cell” produced by IBM on 0.10-micron SOI process.

Clock Speed: 3 GHz

Floating-Point Performance: 196 GFLOPS

Operations per Second: 2 Trillion

3D Geometric Transformations: 2 Billion Polygons per Second

New processor design specifically for broadband communication generation.

 

System Memory: 512MB

System Memory Bandwidth: 24 GB/sec

 

Secondary Processor: Emotion Engine on 0.13-micron process (backward compatible with PS2)

Clock Speed: 300 MHz or 375 MHz (selectable)

 

GS3 (Graphics Synthesizer 3)

Clock Speed: 750 MHz

Embedded DRAM: 32MB

Screen Resolution: variable from 320x224 to 1920x1080

Fillrate: 24 Billion Pixels per Second

 

Sound: SPU3 + CPU

Number of Voices: 256 ADPCM channels + software

 

DVD-ROM

Built-in Broadband Ethernet Port

120GB Hard Disk Drive

 

Japanese Release Date: Q4 2004

US Release Date: Q3 2005

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  • 2 weeks later...

I definitely like the first pic, looks like a sleek ergonomic design.

 

The 2nd one looks dumb, and yeah I guess if you got a dirty mind, you can see a vagina-esque appearance to it.

 

The 3rd pic almost looks like a souped-up round-edged Nintendo Gamecube.

 

If I had to choose, my money would be on the 1st design. I also hope that this one will be backwards compatible and will allow me to play PS1 and PS2 games as well. That's what sold me (as well as DVD and CD compatibility) in deciding between PS2 and Gamecube.

 

:D

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Again, the game magazines are running the 1st shot, so im bettin on that one heavily, but we'll know by E3 in May.

And acalis, im with you all the way on backwards compatibility, but ive no dobut in my mind the PS3 will keep that trend going, its a smart way to bring a strong library, and if it can somehow play them sharper too, that's nothing but good.

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And acalis, im with you all the way on backwards compatibility, but ive no dobut in my mind the PS3 will keep that trend going, its a smart way to bring a strong library, and if it can somehow play them sharper too, that's nothing but good.

 

I read an article somewhere (I think it was in Gamepro Magazine) that the people from the R&D dept. at Sony were doing a survey of PS2 owners and other gamers about what they would like to see as far as features for the PS3. And I was actually shocked that not as many people of the ones surveyed would care if there was backwards compatibility! In fact, some of the people even remarked that it was a feature they would rather see done away with! There were some other remarks as well, one of them being that Sony considered making the PS3 console with a HD already installed, but that most gamers felt it would be pointless considering that the HD is really only used for one game, FF11 Online (kinda reminds me of the Pocketstation for PS1 that was only used for FF8 and no other game in the US).

 

As for what I would like to see in terms of PS3 features, I would leave it virtually unchanged from the PS2, only a sleeker design like the first pic, and of course add 2 additional controller ports which will allow for 4-player compatibility without the purchase of additional peripherals. I'd also include features which will allow me to play games online without having to shell out lots of cash for additional equipment and simply I can play just theoretically by plugging in a phone line or maybe a USB cord to my PC or something.

Oooh, another feature I would love is if Sony offered an optional tv antenna that you can connect to the console itself, and shares the video feed cable to the tv. One problem I've had to face time and time again is having to disconnect the cable for the PS2 to hook up the antenna or vice-versa. Doubtful Sony would go for it, but one can dream you know? :D

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Hmm..yeah, i too dont get why more folks dont push for backwards compaitbility, but again, it costs them almost nothing on the hardware end of it, and that's where the questions usually come in. Why not spend a bit of time, to add hundreds of titles to your library? its not like your next-gen system cant easily play the last one's. So in that area, im not worried, really.

 

As for what I would like to see in terms of PS3 features, I would leave it virtually unchanged from the PS2, only a sleeker design like the first pic, and of course add 2 additional controller ports which will allow for 4-player compatibility without the purchase of additional peripherals. I'd also include features which will allow me to play games online without having to shell out lots of cash for additional equipment and simply I can play just theoretically by plugging in a phone line or maybe a USB cord to my PC or something.

 

I'm guessin: its gonna be sleek like that 1st pic, but dont hold your breath on the 4 controller ports. Why?

PS systems are engineered for 1-2p games mostly; think sports titles etc. Nintendo is the one with the "party" 4p games. Sony looks at it like this: if you really want a rare 4-p game, and youre gonna pay for 2-3 more controllers, why not keep charing for the multitap? Most customers wont even notice, and it costs them more per unit to wire for this. Unltess a company has multiple big 1st party games scheduled, they usually dont build the hardware for it, they just leave it open ended for periprhials and more $.

 

Same for internal HD, modem, etc - X-box and even Dreamcast had a harder time lowering sales for their consoles during the price wars because of production costs. Ive read that typically, by the end of its average 4-year lifespan, a company can actually lose money on consoles sold, but they make more than that back on periphrials and of course games/licenses. The bottom line is they usually wont include HD, modem etc unless its part of the system's original plan, again. I wouldnt be surprised if we see 2 kinds of PS3: a cheaper one for offline guys like me, and a more expensive, ready-to-get-online outta the box version, too.

I just damn well wannna at least get a demo disc with it this time. Is it too much to ask to have somethin to play when you get home? And its not like demo discs arent great ads...

 

as for...

 

Oooh, another feature I would love is if Sony offered an optional tv antenna that you can connect to the console itself, and shares the video feed cable to the tv. One problem I've had to face time and time again is having to disconnect the cable for the PS2 to hook up the antenna or vice-versa. Doubtful Sony would go for it, but one can dream you know?

 

Hmm..mebbe a periphrial? I dunno, but we'll all see more after next month's E3...

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  • 1 month later...

From PA...

 

Gamespot has all the info - and FileRush has series of images not available there, including strange shots of Sony's boomerang bluetooth controller from the future. There's also a couple shots up of next-gen titles in the same gallery, Devil May Cry 4 and Killzone 2 specifically. Killzone didn't turn my crank, it really felt shackled by the Playstation 2 in my opinion, but even with that said it did some very interesting things with perspective that communicated my place in the world with a sometimes unsettling precision. I can't wait to see what they bring to the (next-generation) table.

 

even CNN had this.

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Sony just handed X-box and bill their ass on a plate, and heres why.

 

 

With Microsoft having unveiled their Xbox 360 console last week on MTV, the ball was literally in Sony’s court. With the claim that the Xbox 360 was going to be the most powerful piece of home video game hardware anyone had ever seen, we could only wonder what Sony might have up their sleeve at their E3 press conference. Well, Sony seemingly has gotten the last laugh. Today in Los Angeles, the hardware and software giant stunned all attendees by unveiling the PlayStation 3, their next-generation console. For months, the company has alluded to the console in passing, with mention of Blu-Ray DVD support and titillating clues about their graphics processing unit. Today, however, all of those ideas and hints took shape in their brand spanking new console. And believe us, what a console it is.

 

 

 

 

 

Unveiled! The new PlayStation 3 controller!

 

 

 

Before we get into the nitty gritty about the PlayStation 3, here’s a look at the technical specifications for the system.

 

 

 

CPU

 

 

 

Cell processor running at 3.2 GHz 1 VMX vector unit per core 512KB L2 cache 7 x SPE @ 3.2 GHz 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GRPs 7 x 256KB SRAM for SRE Total floating point performance of 218 GFLOPS

 

 

GPU

 

 

 

RSX @ 550MHz Capable of 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance Full HD (up to 1080p) over two channels Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

 

 

Sound

 

 

 

Dolby 5.1ch support

 

 

System Bandwidth

 

 

 

Two TFLOPS

 

 

Storage

 

 

 

Detachable 2.5 inch hard drive slot

 

 

I/O

 

 

 

Four front USB slots, two rear USB slots One standard/Duo, Pro Memory Stick Slot One standard/mini SD slot 1 Type I/II CompactFlash slot

 

 

Communication

 

 

 

Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (1 input, two output) Wi-Fi over IEEE 802.11 b/g Bluetooth 2.0 (for up to seven controllers to operate on one PlayStation 3 at once)

 

 

AV Output

 

 

 

Screen size ranging from 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p Two HDMI outputs One analog AV output One digital optical audio output

 

 

Disc/Media

 

 

 

Backwards compatibility with PSone, PS2, CD-DA, CD-R, CD+R, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE

 

 

On paper, the tech specs of the PlayStation 3 probably just looks like a bunch of numbers and big words. But, within those numbers lies the true power of the system. Perhaps the most important new feature of the console is the Cell processor. Capable of computing about 215 GFLOPS of information, the system will provide an incredible amount of processing power for gaming and other multimedia needs. To give you an idea of just how powerful the Cell is, compare it to the Xbox 360’s processor power of being able to calculate 115 GFLOPS and you get a good idea of its brute strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The logo is officially unveiled

 

 

 

The second most important feature of the PlayStation 3 comes in its RSX GPU, which has been developed by NVIDIA specifically for the console. The processor runs at 550 MHz and supports full high-definition video at a quality up to 1080p (which literally blows our minds). The GPU will house 256MB of main DXR RAM operating at 3.2 GHz, as well as 256MB of GDDR3 VRAM operating at 700MHz.

 

 

 

So you may be asking yourself what all these confusing numbers mean. First off, it means that developers will have access to perhaps the most technologically advanced graphics processing unit ever seen. In fact, Sony went to NVIDIA and gave the company three main goals for the RSX: build the world’s most powerful GPU, synthesize movie quality graphics, and take advantage of the awesome bandwidth and power of the Cell processor. The RSX can process 136 shader operations simultaneously at 128-bit pixel precision. The result is a display resolution that weighs in at 2000 by 1000. The processor itself contains over 300 million transistors and is technically more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra’s combined. If you were to combine the transistor counts from the Athlon FX 55, PS2 Emotion Engine, Xbox Pentium 3 CPU, GameCube Gekko, GameCube Flipper, PS2 Graphic Synthesizer, and the current Xbox GPU, you’d only just be approaching the number of transistors found in the RSX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Kutaragi stands next to the new PlayStation 3

 

 

 

All of this power comes into play in the ability for developers to utilize the power of programmable shader architecture. In simple terms, this means that developers will be able to add an incredibly large amount of visual detail to nearly every single object and item in a video game. Given the GPU’s 128-bit capability, a developer conceivably could have floating point precision for every single pixel that appears in a game. Each of these pixels could be shaded and dynamically lit, giving each one that much more realism. A Sony representative showed off an example of the technology in action with a short video clip of hundreds of thousands of leaves being sucked into a vortex. Each individual leaf was its own independent object, and each leaf was dynamically lit using the programmable shader architecture. As such, each leaf appeared visually different than those around it and reflected and absorbed light in a variety of realistic ways. Another example showed off a rendered woman. Visually, while the woman was impressive, the real magic came when a light source was introduced into the scene along with a few odd looking monsters. As the light source panned around the scene and changed intensity, the character models reacted in stunning ways. Light was absorbed by the models’ skin, and even shined through some thin membranes, such as the webbing between the toes of one of the monsters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Kutaragi holds aloft the PlayStation 3

 

 

 

Coupled with the tremendous power of the RSX is the Cell processor, which will be able to handle transfers of 35 GB per second, or about the equivalent of eight or nine DVDs. In addition, the Cell will be able to handle 100 billion shader operations per second, as well as 51 billion dot products a second. What does all this mean? It means that with the CPU and GPU working in tandem, games will become more life-like and realistic than you’ve probably ever imagined.

 

 

 

But, despite all the fancy numbers, the PlayStation 3 has a host of other impressive technologies under its hood. Sony plans on releasing a special high-definition camera that will serve a variety of purposes. At the most basic use, the camera will allow you to engage in some video chat with fellow gamers. At its most complex, it will transform your PlayStation 3 into a veritable media broadcast source. Gamers will be able to use the camera to broadcast things like video feeds (such as their own shows, views from their homes, or any other video related content) to other PlayStation 3 owners around the world. Say I set up my camera on my window sill that overlooks a picturesque lake view. Another gamer in Japan could go online and access my camera feed and watch (in real-time) the view from my camera.

 

 

 

The camera will also be used for a number of gaming applications. One Sony demo showed off a bathtub full of rubber ducks. Using the camera, a presenter picked up two real-life cups and moved them around in front of the camera, dipping them into the “virtual water” and splashing and throwing around water on the video display while doing so. A quick video trailer played later in the show highlighted a game tentatively titled Eyedentify, which had a player using the video chat functionality to actually talk and command on-screen characters. The player appeared in the upper-right hand side of the screen, while the actual game filled the rest of the display. While it may still be early to see how Sony plans on utilizing the technology to its fullest, what they’ve shown so far is truly promising and goes way beyond anything that we’ve seen with their current generation EyeToy USB camera.

 

 

 

 

 

The PlayStation 3 will stand vertically and horizontally

 

 

 

The PlayStation 3 console will also serve gamers in terms of networking. The system will be built specifically for broadband (sorry all you 56K gamers). Once online, the system will become part of a mind-bogglingly large virtual community, allowing you to play games, chat, download and purchase new game content, as well as share content with other players. And, much of this new functionality lies in the PSP. The PSP will act as a bridge between the PS3 and the online world, allowing you to share content with other gamers by connecting your handheld to the PS3 via Wi-Fi. If you have a particular character or in-game item you really want your friend to check out, the process will be a snap to pull off. Most surprisingly, however, will be the PlayStation 3’s ability to make your PSP a virtual key to accessing any content you may have on the home console. If you have the PlayStation 3 connected to a broadband source and just so happen to be thousand miles away with your PSP, you’ll be able to access your PlayStation 3 content using the handheld granted you have an Internet connection wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

 

The PlayStation 3 will come in three colors, including black

 

 

 

In true Sony fashion, the company closed their press conference with what everyone was hoping they would: the games. But, in also traditional Sony fashion, many of the game were simply short snippets of video that sometimes didn’t even give a title for the game. But, our astute eyes and hands managed to get all of what was shown. Here’s a list of what was showcased.

 

 

 

Untitled Insomniac Games action shooter Oni – KOEI (based on an original idea by late director Akira Kurosawa) Eyedentify – SCEA Fifth Phantom – Sega (an odd supernatural-like action game) Heavenly Sword – SCEA (an intense hack ‘n slash action game featuring insane combat attacks) Warhawk – Incognito Killing Day – Ubisoft (first person shooter) Motor Storm – SCEE (car combat) Killzone – SCEE (first person shooter) Gran Turismo – SCEI Mobile Suit Gundam - Bandai Untitled Rockstar title (possibly a sequel to Red Dead Revolver) F1 Gran Prix – SCEE Devil May Cry 4 – Capcom

 

 

To send the fans into bigger frenzy, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada came onstage to show off a short video clip of what a Final Fantasy title would look like on the PlayStation 3. The video clip featured an incredibly detailed remake of the Final Fantasy VII intro movie. And while it made a huge impact on the crowd, Wada-san made it a point to say that the company had no plans to remake the classic RPG. Even after all the video footage managed to drop the jaws of every single attendee, Sony managed to outdo themselves even more. The last tidbit of information about the company announced was a doozy: the PlayStation 3 will launch in the spring of 2006. Granted, they didn’t announce whether that was Japanese or North American release date, but either way, the PlayStation 3 is coming soon to a game retailer near you. Our advice; save your money and get ready for the new face of gaming.

 

 

 

 

 

The PlayStation 3 will release in Spring of 2006

 

 

 

And wouldn’t you believe it, Sony still had one more surprise up their sleeve. Before the entire audience, SCEI president Ken Kutaragi unveiled the PlayStation 3 console itself. A sort of mix between the regular model PlayStation and the new slimline model, the PlayStation 3 will come in three colors (white, silver, and black). The unit itself features four USB slots on the front of the console, while the rest of the unit itself is quite minimalist in appearance.

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  • 1 month later...

Both those comments are very true.

Anyone know why some consumers seem hard up on having next-gen consoles vertical as well as/instead of horizontal? I just dont empathize when a man says "I have far too much shit in my entertainment unit on the shelves, and would like the system to read games sideways, thus allowing the disc to possibly fall out when the tray ejects." I mean, boo hoo, if you really need room, give me your stereo or something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aw man, i havnet read IGN since they went pay a few years ago!

Actually, since TheGIA and Gameforms both went to shit, the only game sites i even check here & there are Tokyopia and Penny-Arcade. Anything else good out there? Crunkgames mebbe?

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