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Scope Series 4 RTÉ Two, Thursday, 7.00pm

Sony Playstation 3

Dannan and the PS3Outside of Japan, Ireland has the highest per capita ownership of Sony PlayStations in the world. That’s why there will be quite a bit of excitement this month when Playstation 3 is released here.

Sony calls its new PlayStation 3 console "a supercomputer for computer entertainment".  Its powerful new processor dubbed Cell is 35 times faster than the chip inside the current PlayStation, according to Sony.

The consoles are opening a new chapter in the history of video games, offering high-definition cinematic images in real time and the computing power to deliver sophisticated and complex gameplay.  The battle for supremacy in the games console arena is more than just about shooting aliens. These machines are a key part of a campaign to dominate how people watch films or listen to music at home. 

PS3‘This is a system to be placed in the centre of the living room around the world,’ said Ken Kutaragi, head of Sony's game unit.

The console boasts a new graphics chip from Nvidia which Sony claims can create movie-quality images in real time in games. It comes ready to be hooked to the internet, either through an Ethernet port or via wi-fi. Gamers can access their media from anywhere over the internet, make video calls using a high-definition camera or download new levels or weapons for games.

Not just the internet is wireless. The controllers are too, thanks to Bluetooth technology.

Like other console makers, Sony realises that the new wave of machines must offer more than prettier graphics.  Key to their success will be the ability of game makers to tap into the power of these new digital workhorses to produce original and compelling gameplay.

PS3: Brothers in ArmsDevelopers are aiming to combine processing power and realistic graphics to better convey emotions and create what one game maker described as a truly immersive, living, breathing world.

Sony can count on backing from some of the biggest names in the games business such as Electronic Arts. Games in the development pipeline include new versions of popular franchises like Gran Turismo, the role-playing game Final Fantasy and the gangster title The Getaway.

KEY PLAYSTATION 3 SPECS

  • CPU Cell Processor running at 3.2Ghz with 7 special purpose 3.2Ghz processors, capable of 218 gigaflops of performance
  • Backward compatible
  • GPU RSX at 550MHz 1.8 teraflop floating point performance
  • 256Mb XDR main RAM at 3.2 GHz
  • 256Mb of GDDR VRAM at 700Mhz
  • Memory Stick Duo, SD, compact flash memory slots
  • Detachable 2.5 inch hard drive
  • Support for seven Bluetooth controllers
  • Six USB slots for peripherals
  • Supports Blu-ray DVD format
  • System Floating Point Performance of 2 teraflops
  • Communication Ethernet, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11, Bluetooth

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