July 26, 2005 - (Last Updated: June 4th, 2007) Anyone who visits this particular corner of IGN obviously wants to know about the PlayStation 3, and what better place is there to start than here? We've assembled this PS3 FAQ so that you have a one-stop source for the powerhouse system's most important information. Enjoy!
What is the system's official name?
When was the system officially unveiled?
Sony officially revealed the PlayStation 3 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo during its press conference on May 16th, 2005. The system and a prototype controller were shown along with various tech demos and game trailers, though most of the trailers were CG "approximations" of what developers were aiming their gameplay experiences to be like.
When was the system launched?
The PlayStation 3 launched first in Japan on November 11, 2006, with the North American release coming a mere six days later on November 17, 2006. The system was then released in Europe and Australasia on March 23, 2007.
How much does the PlayStation 3 cost, and what configurations are available?
There have been two different SKUs for the PlayStation 3, though some territories only saw the release of the higher-end system. The "high-end" version contains WiFi, various flash memory inputs (like Memory Stick and SD), chrome lining around the Blu-ray drive and a 60GB hard drive while the cheaper version includes a 20GB hard drive. Here's a breakdown of the system prices for each territory/country at the time of launch: Region 20GB System 60GB System Japan 49980¥ 59980¥ US $499 $599 Canada $549 $659 Europe N/A €599 Australia N/A AU$999 In April of 2007, Sony announced that it would be dropping the 20GB model in the United States and only sell the higher-end 60GB version as that was the system that customers preferred by and large. The 20GB systems were not recalled or removed by stores and were still for sale while in stock, but Sony began only sending the 60GB models to stores from that point forward.
What ports and external connections does the PlayStation 3 have?
On the 20GB system, you'll find four USB 2.0 ports on the front of the system. On the back there are connectors for gigabit Ethernet, an optical audio output, HDMI output and an AV multi-out (which is exactly the same as found on the PS2). The 60GB system also includes inputs for Memory Stick, SD and Compact Flash cards inside a flip-up door on the front.
What happened to the dual-HDMI ports and three gigabit Ethernet connections that Sony hyped at E3 2005?Scratched! Dual-HDMI would be cool, but very, very few people would likely ever be able to use it, and most people never understood the triple-set of gigabit Ethernet ports to begin with, so as these were likely to be the least-used features, Sony cut them for cost reasons.
How is the SIXAXIS controller different from the PS2's Dual Shock 2 controller?
Its layout looks virtually identical to the Dual Shock 2, but there are some major differences. First, the SIXAXIS is wireless (via Bluetooth 2.0 technology) and the system supports seven controllers at once. Next, the L2 and R2 buttons are now triggers, making the button layout similar to that of the Xbox 360's controller. The triggers are wider and don't have as long of a throw, but it's a definite improvement over simple buttons.
The biggest addition is that the SIXAXIS features tilt technology that works with six-axis of freedom (roll, pitch, yaw, X, Y, Z). This means that it'll recognize any angle the controller is situated in, allowing you full 3D control over the orientation of an onscreen object. The first game shown utilizing this technology was Warhawk -- where rather than using the analog sticks to fly the ship, its yaw and pitch were controlled by simply tilting the controller.
The tilt feature comes at a price however, and thusly the PlayStation 3's controller does not feature the rumble technology found in the Dual Shock 2. However, Sony and Immersion have now come to an agreement regarding their long-running lawsuit so rumble may indeed make its way into a future revision of the controller, though no announcement has been made.