The PlayStation 3 (officially abbreviated as PS3) is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment, and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
A major feature that distinguishes the PlayStation 3 from its predecessors is its unified online gaming service, the PlayStation Network, which contrasts with Sony's former policy of relying on video game developers for online play. Other major features of the console include its robust multimedia capabilities, connectivity with the PlayStation Portable, and its use of a high-definition optical disc format, Blu-ray Disc, as its primary storage medium. The PS3 was also the first Blu-ray 2.0-compliant Blu-ray player on the market.
The PlayStation 3 was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America and South America, and March 23, 2007 in Europe and Oceania. Two SKUs were available at launch: a basic model with a 20 GB hard drive (HDD), and a premium model with a 60 GB hard drive and several additional features (the 20 GB model was not released in Europe or Oceania). Since then, several revisions have been made to the console's available models, most notably with the release of a new slim model in September 2009 to coincide with rebranding of the console and its logo.
See also: History of video game consoles (seventh generation)Sony officially unveiled the PlayStation 3 (then marketed as PLAYSTATION 3) to the public along with its original returning boomerang style controller on May 16, 2005, during the E3 2005 conference. A functional version of the system was not present there, nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although demonstrations (such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) were held at both events on devkits and comparable PC hardware.Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was also shown (notably a Final Fantasy VII tech demo). The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports; however, when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one Ethernet port and four USB ports, presumably to cut costs. Two hardware configurations were also announced for the console: a 20 GB model and a 60 GB model, priced at $499 (€499) and $599 (€599), respectively. The 60 GB model would be the only configuration to feature an HDMI port, Wi-Fi internet, flash card readers and a chrome trim with the logo in silver. Both models were announced for a simultaneous worldwide release: November 11 for Japan, and November 17 for North America and Europe.
At the Tokyo Game Show on September 22, 2006, Sony announced that it would include an HDMI port on the 20 GB system, but a chrome trim, flash card readers, silver logo, and Wi-Fi would not be included. Also, the launch price of the Japanese 20 GB model was reduced by over 20%, and the 60 GB model was announced for an open pricing scheme in Japan. During the event, Sony showed 27 playable PS3 games running on final hardware.
The PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006 at 07:00. According to Media Create, 81,639 PS3 systems were sold within 24 hours of its introduction in Japan.
Soon after its release in Japan, the PS3 was released in North America on November 17, 2006. Reports of violence surrounding the release of the PS3 include a customer shot, campers robbed at gunpoint, customers shot in a drive-by shooting with BB guns, and 60 campers fighting over 10 systems.
The console was originally planned for a global release through November, but the European and rest-of-the-world's release was delayed "until March" at the start of September. With it being a somewhat last-minute delay, some companies had taken deposit-based pre-orders, to which Sony informed customers that they were eligible for full refunds or could continue the pre-order. On January 24, 2007, Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 would go on sale on March 23, 2007 in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and New Zealand. The system sold about 600,000 units in its first two days. On March 7, 2007, the 60 GB PlayStation 3 launched in Singapore with a price of S$799. The console was launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007 in a single version equipped with an 80 GB hard drive and IPTV.
PS3 Slim and console rebrandingEdit
Following speculation that a 'slim' model was in the pipeline Sony officially announced the PS3 CECH-2000 model on August 18, 2009 at the Sony Gamescom press conference.Among its features are a slimmer form factor and quieter noise when powered on. It was released in major territories by September 2009. As part of the release for the slim model, the logo was changed from the "Spider-Man font" and capitalised PLAYSTATION 3 to a more traditional PlayStation and PlayStation 2 like 'PlayStation 3' logo with "PS3" imprinted on the console. Along with the console and logo redesign, the boot screen of all consoles changed from "Sony Computer Entertainment" to "PS3 PlayStation 3", with a new chime and the game start splashscreen being dropped. The cover art and packaging of games has also been changed to reflect the redesign.
Main article: PlayStation 3 hardwareThe PlayStation 3 is convex on its left side, with the PlayStation logo upright, when vertical (the top side is convex when horizontal), and has a glossy black finish. PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto stated that the Spider-Man font-inspired logo "was one of the first elements SCEI president Ken Kutaragi decided on and the logo may have been the motivating force behind the shape of PS3".
The PlayStation 3 features a slot-loading 2x speed Blu-ray Disc drive for games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, CDs, and other optical media. It was originally available with hard drives of 20 and 60 GB (only the 60 GB model was available in PAL regions). An 80 GB model has since been introduced in NTSC regions, and a 40 GB model has been introduced in all regions. All PS3 models have user-upgradeable 2.5" SATA hard drives.
The PlayStation 3 uses the Sony, Toshiba, IBM-designed Cell microprocessor as its CPU, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields. Only six of the seven SPEs are accessible to developers as the seventh SPE is reserved by the console's operating system. Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', which can output resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080p HD.The PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR DRAM main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX.
The system has Bluetooth 2.0, gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.3a built in on all currently shipping models. Wi-Fi networking is also built-in on the 40, 60, 80 GB and slim models while a flash card reader (compatible with Memory Stick, SD/MMC, and CompactFlash/Microdrive media) is built-in on 60 GB and CECHExx 80 GB models. The system supports up to 7 controllers that are connected via Bluetooth 2.0 technology.
The PS3's hardware has also been used to build supercomputers for high-performance computing. Fixstars Solutions sell a version of Yellow Dog Linux for the PlayStation 3 (originally sold by Terra Soft Solutions). RapidMind produced a stream programming package for the PS3, but were acquired by Intel in 2009. Also, on January 3, 2007, Dr. Frank Mueller, Associate Professor of Computer science at NCSU, clustered 8 PS3s. Mueller commented that the 256 MB of system RAM is a limitation for this particular application, and is considering attempting to retrofit more RAM. Software includes: Fedora Core 5 Linux ppc64, MPICH2, OpenMP v 2.5, GNU Compiler Collection and CellSDK 1.1. As a more cost-effective alternative to conventional supercomputers, the U.S. military has purchased clusters of PS3 units for research purposes. Retail PS3 Slim units cannot be used for supercomputing, because the PS3 Slim lacks the ability to boot into a third-party OS.
On March 22, 2007, SCE and Stanford University released the Folding@home project for the PlayStation 3. This program allows PS3 owners to lend the computing power of their consoles to help study the physical process of protein folding.
In December 2008, a group of hackers used a cluster of 200 PlayStation 3's to hack the security protocol SSL.
There are five original PlayStation 3 hardware models, which are commonly referred to by the size of their included hard disk drive: "20", "40", "60", "80" and "160" GB. The only difference in the appearance of the first five models was the color of the trim, number of USB ports, the preasence or absence of a door (which covers the flash card readers on equipped models), and some minor changes to the air vents. All retail packages include one or two Sixaxis controllers and/or a DualShock 3 controller (beginning June 12, 2008), one miniUSB to USB cable (for connecting the controller and PlayStation Portable to the system), one composite video/stereo audio output cable, one Ethernet cable (20, 60, and CECHExx 80 GB only) and one power cable. All models support software emulation of the original PlayStation, but support for PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility has continually diminished with later models, and the last model to advertise integrated backwards compatibility was the 80GB Metal Gear Solid 4 Bundle. Compatibility issues with games for both systems are detailed in a public database hosted by the manufacturer. All models, excluding the 20GB model, include 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi. In addition to all of the features of the 20 GB model, the 60 GB model has internal IEEE 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, multiple flash card readers (SD/MultiMedia Card, CompactFlash Type I/Type II, Microdrive, Memory Stick/PRO/Duo), and a chrome colored trim. In terms of hardware, the 80 GB model released in South Korea is identical to the 60 GB model released in the PAL regions, except for the difference in hard drive size.
Like the South Korean and European models, the North American 80 GB (2007) model also excludes the PlayStation 2 "Emotion Engine" CPU chip. However, it still keeps the "Graphics Synthesizer" GPU. Due to the elimination of the "Emotion Engine", the level of compatibility was reduced. The 40 GB, 80 GB (2008), and 160 GB models have two USB ports instead of the four USB ports on other models, and do not include multiple flash card readers, SACD support, or any backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 games. This was due to the removal of "Graphics Synthesizer" GPU, which stripped the units of all PlayStation 2 based hardware.
No official Wi-Fi or flash memory card readers were ever released by Sony for the 20 GB system, although Sony had plans to do so. As of September 2009 Sony have placed no further emphasis on these proposed add-ons. Nevertheless, as the model features four USB 2.0 ports, wireless networking and flash memory card support can already be obtained through the use of widely available external USB adapters and third-party PS3-specific media hubs.
It was rumored that the Cell processors in the third-generation PS3s (40 GB, 2008 80 GB, and 160 GB) would move from a 90 nm process to the newer 65 nm process, which SCEI CEO Kaz Hirai later confirmed, and later to 45 nm. This change lowers the power consumption of the console and makes it less expensive to produce.
Removal of "Other OS" support with firmware v3.21Edit
As of firmware version 3.21, installation of Other OSs is not be supported on any model, and the option has been removed from the XMB. The reason given by Sony was 'disabling the “Other OS” feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.' It is speculated that Sony was motivated by the vulnerability discovered by George Hotz, who created a software and hardware hack that uses the Other OS feature to take control of the hypervisor. Sony's main Linux developer has been reassigned, so any PS3 Linux development would have to be on his own time. This has caused some controversy as in effect Sony is removing officially advertised features and support from already sold products. Furthermore, it raises questions about the millions of Euros Sony saved over the years on import tax in Europe, thanks to being able to declare the PS3 a computer rather than a game console -- game consoles carry an import tax, while computers do not.
The firmware update is mandatory for access to the PlayStation Network. As a result the following features will be unavailable to users if they choose not to upgrade.
- Downloading games from the PlayStation store
- Playing disk-based PS3 games which require version 3.21 or higher
- Playback of Blu-Ray Disks which require profile updates
- Downloading movies PlayStation Store/Netflix
The PlayStation 3 slimline.
|Manufacturer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||Seventh generation era|
|Retail availability||September 2009|
The PS3 slim (officially called the PS3 CECH-2000) is the redesigned model of the console, and currently the only model in production. It features an upgradeable 120GB or 250GB hard drive and is 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% less power than previous models.
The PS3 slim also includes support for CEC (more commonly referred to by its manufacturer brandings of BraviaSync, VIERA Link, EasyLink and others) which allows control of the console over HDMI by using the remote control to use as a controller. The PS3 slim also runs quieter and cooler than previous models due to its 45 nm Cell. The PS3 Slim no longer has the "main power" switch (similar to PlayStation 2 slim), like the previous PS3 models, which was located at the back of the console. Support for emulation to play PS2 titles is not present in the Slim version. The PS3 slim was officially released on September 1, 2009 in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009 in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. However, some retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, and GameStop started to sell the PS3 slim on August 25, 2009.
A 250GB Final Fantasy XIII-themed PS3 Slim which was white in color with pink designs, was officially announced on September 24, 2009 at the Tokyo Game Show as part of a bundle in Japan for Final Fantasy XIII, it was initially revealed in U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings as the PS3 CECH-2000B. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia also announced later that day that it would be bringing the 250GB PS3 slim to Australia which would be bundled with other games and will not feature the Final Fantasy XIII theme. Although no American bundles have been announced for the 250GB PS3 slim, it will be sold as a stand-alone console (exclusively) in North America.
Removal of "Other OS" supportEdit
Among the changes made to the 'slim' model was the removal of the ability to install another operating system alongside the main system software. This was claimed to have been removed to focus on games and other content (new drivers etc would have had to be written for the new hardware for use in the alternative OS), although it is possible that Sony discovered a vulnerability in the feature that would enable hacking of the console. Such a vulnerability was later found on the original (non-slim) versions by George Hotz, who created a hack that uses the Other OS feature to take control of the hypervisor.
See also: PlayStation 3 accessories and DualShockNumerous accessories for the console have been developed including the wireless Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers, the Logitech Driving Force GT, the Logitech Cordless Precision™ Controller, the BD Remote, the PlayStation Eye camera and the PlayTV DVB-T tuner/digital video recorder accessory.
At its press conference at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced the DualShock 3 (trademarked DUALSHOCK 3), a PlayStation 3 controller with the same function and design as the Sixaxis, but with vibration capability included. Hands-on accounts describe the controller as being noticeably heavier than the standard Sixaxis controller, and capable of vibration forces comparable to the DualShock 2. It was released in Japan on November 11, 2007, in North America on April 5, 2008, in Australia on April 24, 2008, in New Zealand on May 9, 2008, in Europe on July 2, 2008, the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 4, 2008 and Seychelles on March 2010. During E3 2009, Sony unveiled plans to release the PlayStation Move in 2010.
PlayStation Portable connectivityEdit
Playing a PlayStation 3 game through the PSPMain articles: Remote Play and PlayStation Store (PC) for PSPThe PlayStation Portable can connect with the PlayStation 3 in many ways, including in-game connectivity. For example, Formula One Championship Edition, a racing game, was shown at E3 2006 using a PSP as a real-time rear-view mirror. In addition, users are able to download original PlayStation format games from the PlayStation Store, transfer and play them on the PSP as well as the PS3 itself. It is also possible to use the Remote Play feature to play these, and some PlayStation Network games, remotely on the PSP over a network or internet connection.
Sony has also demonstrated the PSP playing back video content from the PlayStation 3 hard disk across an ad-hoc wireless network. This feature is referred to as Remote Play located under the browser icon on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable. Remote play has since expanded to allow remote access to the PS3 via PSP from any wireless access point in the world.
The PlayStation 3 illuminating the yellow light, indicating a non-specific failure,According to Ars Technica, the number of PlayStation 3 consoles that have experienced failure is well within the normal failure rates in the consumer electronics industry.
However, the BBC television programme Watchdog aired a report investigating the purported "yellow light of death" issue, which affects about 0.5% of PlayStation 3s. The yellow light indicates a non-specific hardware failure.
The program also noted that the PlayStation 3 has a one-year warranty (typical of most consumer electronics products). Out-of-warranty PlayStation 3 owners can pay Sony a set fee for a refurbished console.
In response to the tone of the program, senior vice president and managing director, Ray Maguire issued a document criticizing the program and citing potential attempt to harm Sony and PlayStation brand, and stating that the numbers of faulty PlayStation 3 systems the program mentioned are not evidence of a manufacturing defect.
Leap year bugEdit
On March 1, 2010 (UTC), many of the original (non-Slim) Playstation 3 models worldwide were experiencing errors related to their internal system clock. The error had a multitude of symptoms. Initially, the main problem seemed to be the inability to connect to the Playstation Network. However, the root cause of the problem was unrelated to the Playstation Network, since even users who had never been online also had problems playing installed offline games (which queried the system timer as part of startup) and using system themes. At the same time many users noted that the console's clock had gone back to December 31, 1999. The event was nicknamed the ApocalyPS3, a play on the word Apocalypse.
The error code displayed was typically 8001050F, and affected users were unable to sign in, play games, use dynamic themes and view/sync trophies. The problem only resided within the 1st through to the 3rd generation original PS3 units while the newer "Slim" models appeared to be completely unaffected.
Sony confirmed there was an error, and stated “We are narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all.” By March 2 (UTC), 2010, owners of the original PS3 could connect to PSN successfully and the clock no longer showed December 31, 1999. Sony stated that the affected models incorrectly identified 2010 as a leap year. However, for most users, the hardware's operating system clock (updated from the internet mainly and not associated with the internal clock) needed to be updated manually or by resyncing it via the internet.
Sony has included the ability for the operating system, referred to as System Software, to be updated. The updates can be acquired in several ways:
- If the PlayStation 3 has an active Internet connection, updates may be downloaded directly from the PlayStation Network to the PS3 and subsequently installed. Systems with active Internet will automatically check online for software updates each time the console is started.
- Using an external PC, a user may download the update from the official PlayStation website, transfer it to portable storage media, and install it on the System.
- Some game discs come with system software updates on the disc. This may be due to the game requiring the update in order to run. If so, the software may be installed from the disc.
The PlayStation 3 also includes the ability to install other operating systems, such as Linux. This ability has been removed with the introduction of the new slim model and will not be available in any future hardware revisions. In addition, as of firmware 3.21 released on April 1st 2010, the ability was removed from all models.
Graphical user interfaceEdit
The standard PlayStation 3 version of the XrossMediaBar (pronounced Cross Media Bar, or abbreviated XMB) includes nine categories of options. These are: Users, Settings, Photo, Music, Video, Game, Network, PlayStation Network, and Friends (similar to the PlayStation Portable media bar). A tenth TV category is displayed between Music and Video if PlayTV or trone is installed or if the console meets certain criteria to access select catch-up television services. By default, the What's New section of PlayStation Network is displayed when the system starts up. The PS3 includes the ability to store various master and secondary user profiles, manage and explore photos with or without a musical slide show, play music and copy audio CD tracks to an attached data storage device, play movies and video files from the hard disk drive, an optional USB mass storage or Flash card, or an optical disc (Blu-ray Disc or DVD-Video), compatibility for a USB keyboard and mouse, and the web browser supporting in/compatible file download function. Additionally, UPnP media will appear in the respective audio/video/photo categories if a compatible media server or DLNA server is detected on the local network. The Friends menu allows mail with emoticon and attached picture features and video chat which requires an optional PlayStation Eye or EyeToy webcam. The Network menu allows online shopping through the PlayStation Store and connectivity to the PlayStation Portable via Remote Play.
Photo Gallery is an optional application to view, create and group photos from the PS3, which is installed separately from the system software at 105MB. It was introduced in system software version 2.60 and provides a range of tools for sorting through and displaying the system's pictures. The key feature of this application is that it can organize photos into groups according to various criteria. Notable categorizations are colors, ages, or facial expressions of the people in the photos. Slideshows can be viewed with the application, along with music and playlists.
VidZone is an online music video download service, accessible from the Music category on the XMB, which allows for free streaming of music videos. The VidZone catalogue encompasses over 1.5 million tracks, 25,000 music videos and 15,000 realtones, including full access to catalogues from Sony BMG and EMI.
On June 11, 2009, VidZone’s service was extended to the PlayStation 3 video game system in Europe and Australia, allowing users to watch music videos for on their PS3 or streamed to their PSP via Remote Play.
Main articles: PlayStation Network and PlayStation StorePlayStation Network is the unified online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service provided by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, announced during the 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing meeting in Tokyo. The service is always connected, free, and includes multiplayer support. The network enables online gaming, the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Home and other services. PlayStation Network uses real currency and PlayStation Network Cards as seen with the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Home.
The What's New screenWhat's New was announced at Gamescom 2009 and was released on September 1, 2009, with PlayStation 3 system software 3.0. The feature was to replace the existing [Information Board], which displayed news from the PlayStation website associated with the user's region. The concept was developed further into a major PlayStation Network feature, which interacts with the [Status Indicator] to display a ticker of all content, excluding recently played content (currently in North America and Japan only).
The system displays the What's New screen by default instead of the [Games] menu (or [Video] menu, if a movie was inserted) when starting up. What's New has four sections: "Our Pick", "Recently Played", latest information, and new content available in PlayStation Store. There are four kinds of content the What's New screen displays and links to, on the sections. "Recently Played" displays the user's recently played games and online services only, whereas, the other sections can contain website links, links to play videos, and access to selected sections of the PlayStation Store.
The PlayStation Store icons in the [Game] and [Video] section act similarly to the What's New screen, except that they only display and link to games and videos in the PlayStation Store, respectively.
Main article: PlayStation HomePlayStation Home is a virtual community-based service for the PlayStation Network, announced during the 2007 Game Developers Conference. Home allows users to create a custom avatar, which can be made to suit the user's liking. Users can decorate their avatar's personal apartment ("HomeSpace") with default, bought, or won items. Users can shop for new items to express themselves more through their avatars or HomeSpace. Users interact and connect with friends and customise content in a virtual world. Home also acts as a meeting place for users that want to play multiplayer games with others.
A closed beta began in Europe from May 2007 and expanded to other territories soon after. Home was delayed and expanded several times before initially releasing. The Open Beta test was started on December 11, 2008. Home is available directly from the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar. Membership is free, and only requires a PSN account.
Home is the host to avatars, a virtual economy, personal spaces and clubs. It features places to meet and interact, dedicated game spaces, developer spaces, company spaces, and events. The service undergoes a weekly maintenance and frequent updates. Xi, a once notable feature in Home, is the world's first console-based Alternate Reality Game. Adventures, puzzles and spaces were set up to continuously puzzle those who participated in finding clues. The meaning of Xi and the mysterious character "Jess" were the objects of study in this game. At TGS 2009, Kazuo Hirai announced that Home has been downloaded by 8 million users.
Life with PlayStationEdit
On 18 September 2008 the PlayStation 3's Folding@home application became Life with PlayStation. Life with PlayStation shows Earth's light at night in locations where it is night time and shows cloud patterns to reflect recent weather patterns (if zoomed out far enough). Along with the existing Folding@home functionality, the application also provides the user with access to three other information "channels", the first of which being the Live Channel which offers news headlines and weather through a 3D globe. The user can rotate and zoom in to any part of the world to access information provided by Google News, The Weather Channel, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison Space Science and Engineering Center, among other sources. The second channel is the World Heritage channel which offers historical information about historical sites. The third channel is the United Village channel. United Village is a project designed to share information about communities and cultures worldwide.
The PlayStation 3 launched in North America with 14 titles, with another three being released before the end of 2006. After the first week of sales it was confirmed that Resistance: Fall of Man from Insomniac Games was the top-selling launch game in North America. The game was heavily praised by numerous video game websites, including GameSpot and IGN, both of whom awarded it their PlayStation 3 Game of the Year award for 2006. Some titles missed the launch window and were delayed until early 2007, such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, F.E.A.R. and Sonic the Hedgehog. During the Japanese launch, Ridge Racer 7 was the top-selling game, while Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire also fared well in sales, both of which were offerings from Namco Bandai. The PlayStation 3 launched in Europe with 24 titles, including ones that were not offered in the North American and Japanese launches, such as Formula One Championship Edition, MotorStorm and Virtua Fighter 5. Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm were the most successful titles of 2007, and both games subsequently received sequels in the form of Resistance 2 and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.
At E3 2007, Sony was able to show a number of their upcoming video games for the PlayStation 3, including Heavenly Sword, Lair, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Warhawk and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune; all of which were released in the third and fourth quarters of 2007. They also showed off a number of titles that were set for release in 2008 and 2009; most notably Killzone 2, Infamous, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, LittleBigPlanet and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. A number of third-party exclusives were also shown, including the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, alongside other high-profile third-party titles such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5. Two other important titles for the PlayStation 3, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, were shown at TGS 2007 in order to appease the Japanese market.
Sony have since launched their budget range of PlayStation 3 titles, known as the Greatest Hits range in North America, the Platinum range in Europe and The Best range in Japan. Among the titles available in the budget range include Resistance: Fall of Man, MotorStorm, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call Of Duty 3, Assassin's Creed and Ninja Gaiden Sigma. As of October 2009 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Devil May Cry 4, Army of Two, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles have also joined the list. When they are put on the "Greatest Hits" list the new unused copies retail for $30 USD and are re-shipped in a new red case.
As of March 31, 2009, there have been 174.9 million games sold for the PlayStation 3.
In December 2008 the CTO of Blitz Games announced that they would bring stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie viewing to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with their own technology. According to Blitz Games, SCE confirmed that they intend to support stereoscopic 3D games and Blu-ray movies and that the functionality will be introduced to the PlayStation 3 via a firmware update in 2009. This technology was first demonstrated publicly on the PS3 in January 2009 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Journalists were shown Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in 3D as a demonstration of how the technology might work if it is implemented in the future.
Sales and production costsEdit
The PlayStation 3's initial production cost is estimated to have been US$805.85 for the 20 GB model and US$840.35 for the 60 GB model. However, they were priced at US$499 and US$599 respectively, meaning that every unit was sold at an estimated loss of $250, contributing to Sony's games division posting an operating loss of ¥232.3 billion (US$1.97 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2007. In April 2007, soon after these results were published, Ken Kutaragi, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced plans to retire. Various news agencies, including The Times and The Wall Street Journal reported that this was due to poor sales, whilst SCEI maintains that Kutaragi had been planning his retirement for six months prior to the announcement.
In January 2008, Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, suggested that the console may start making a profit by early 2009, stating that, "the next fiscal year starts in April and if we can try to achieve that in the next fiscal year that would be a great thing" and that "[profitability] is not a definite commitment, but that is what I would like to try to shoot for". However, market analysts Nikko Citigroup have predicted that the PlayStation 3 could be profitable by August 2008. In a July 2008 interview, Hirai stated that his objective is for the PlayStation 3 to sell 150 million units by its ninth year, surpassing the PlayStation 2's sales of 140 million in its nine years on the market. In January 2009 Sony announced that their gaming division was profitable in Q3 2008.
Since the system's launch, production costs have been reduced significantly as a result of phasing out the Emotion Engine chip and falling hardware costs. The cost of manufacturing Cell microprocessors has fallen dramatically as a result of moving to the 65 nm production process, and Blu-ray Disc diodes have become cheaper to manufacture. As of January 2008, each unit cost around $400 to manufacture; by August 2009, Sony had reduced costs by a total of 70%, meaning it only costs Sony around $240 per unit.
Early PlayStation 3 reviews soon after launch were critical of its high price and lack of quality launch games, but commended the system's hardware capabilities and potential. However, after a series of price revisions, Blu-ray's victory over HD DVD, and the release of several well received titles, the system received better reviews. IGN judged the PlayStation 3 to have the best game line-up of 2008, based on their review scores in comparison to those of the Wii and Xbox 360.
The PS3 was given the number-eight spot on PC World magazine’s list of "The Top 21 Tech Screwups of 2006," where it was criticized for being "Late, Expensive, and Incompatible". GamesRadar ranked the PS3 as the top item in a feature on game-related PR disasters, asking how Sony managed to "take one of the most anticipated game systems of all time and — within the space of a year — turn it into a hate object reviled by the entire internet", but added that despite its problems the system has "untapped potential". Business Week summed up the general opinion by stating that it was "more impressed with what [the PlayStation 3] could do than with what it currently does".
Developers have also found the machine difficult to program for. In 2007, Gabe Newell of Valve said "The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it's really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted". He continued "I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a do over. Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it'". Doug Lombardi VP of Marketing for Valve has since stated that they are interested in developing for the console and are looking to hire talented PS3 programmers for future projects. However he stated, "Until we have the ability to get a PS3 team together, until we find the people who want to come to Valve or who are at Valve who want to work on that, I don't really see us moving to that platform".
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has criticised the PS3’s high development costs and inferior attach rate and return to that of the Xbox 360 and Wii. He believes these factors are pushing developers away from working on the console. In an interview with The Times Kotick stated "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform." He continued, "It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation." Kotick also claimed that Activision Blizzard may stop supporting the system if the situation is not addressed. “[Sony has] to cut the [PS3’s retail] price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.”However, this has gotten Kotick some heavy criticism about the validity of the statement and whether such a statement, or such a move, would even be appropriate, with Bioware even calling the statement "silly."
Despite the initial negative press, several websites have given the system very good reviews. CNET United Kingdom praised the system saying, "the PS3 is a versatile and impressive piece of home-entertainment equipment that lives up to the hype [...] the PS3 is well worth its hefty price tag." CNET awarded it a score of 8.8 out of 10 and voted it as its number one "must-have" gadget, praising its robust graphical capabilities and stylish exterior design while criticizing its limited selection of available games.
In addition, both Home Theater Magazine and Ultimate AV have given the system's Blu-ray playback very favorable reviews, stating that the quality of playback exceeds that of many current standalone Blu-ray Disc players.
Hexus Gaming reviewed the PAL version and summed the review up by saying, "as the PlayStation 3 matures and developers start really pushing it, we’ll see the PlayStation 3 emerge as the console of choice for gaming." At GDC 2007, Shiny Entertainment founder Dave Perry stated, "I think that Sony has made the best machine. It's the best piece of hardware, without question". A second review of the PS3 by Ars Technica in June 2008 gave the console an overall mark of 9/10, while the original launch review marked only 6/10.
Slim model and rebrandEdit
The PlayStation 3 Slim has received extremely positive reviews as well as a boost in sales; less than 24 hours after its announcement the PS3 Slim took the number-one bestseller spot on Amazon.com in the video games section for fifteen consecutive days. It regained the number-one position again one day later. The PS3 Slim also received praise from PC World giving it a 90 out of 100 praising its new repackaging and the new value it brings at a lower price as well as praising its quietness and the reduction in its power consumption. This is in stark contrast to the original PS3's launch in which it was given position number-eight on their "The Top 21 Tech Screwups of 2006" list.
CNET awarded the PS3 Slim four out of five stars praising its Blu-ray capabilities, 120GB hard drive, free online gaming service and more affordable pricing point, but complained about the lack of backwards compatibility for PlayStation 2 games. TechRadar gave the PS3 Slim four and a half stars out of five praising its new smaller size and summed up its review stating "Over all, the PS3 Slim is a phenomenal piece of kit. It's amazing that something so small can do so much". They did however criticize the exterior design of the PS3 Slim, calling it "ugly" and cheap-looking compared to the design of the original PS3.