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Will you buy an Xbox One X on November 7?

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Game Profile
 Written by Matt Swider  on May 24, 2005

Event Special: Sony, speaking as a friend here, the concept controller... it's got to go.


The Sony PlayStation Press Conference prior to E3 was filled with PlayStation 3, PlayStation 3 and even more PlayStation 3. Completely skipping over its PS2 and PSP lineup, Sony instead gave the gaming world its first taste of PS3, which the company tailors as a ?super computer for super entertainment.? The system's power could be calculated through the detailed specs of the Cell processor, which contains a Power PC-base Core @ 3.2GHz, 7x SPE @ 3.2GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 7x256KB for SPE, and firm hardware security. Confused? Well, to put it in perspective, Sony claims that its console will be twice as fast as the Microsoft Xbox 360. Additionally, it touted the advantages of 1080p and Blue-Ray technology, which will result in games in Full HD and discs with 50GB of space (and although 100GB discs have just been developed, this was not mentioned at the Sony Press Conference). However, Sony did concede that the PS3 won't be available in stores until the spring of 2006, while Xbox 360 debuts in the fall of 2005.

The PlayStation 3 hardware is riddled with holes due to a multitude of ports. There are a total of six USB 2.0 ports, four in the front and another two in the back, and a small door that reveals slots for Memory Stick Duo, SD, and compact flash cards. It's nice to see that Sony decided against forcing consumers to use its Memory Stick Duo format of memory cards and opened up the field to the SD and compact flash cards as well. Another surprise is that Sony decided to bump up the number of controllers from two on PS2 to seven on PS3. While it was expected that there'd be more than two this generation, no one really expected more than four players per console, which is the number that Xbox 360 supports. And despite all of the holes in the console, you won't find seven ports for the controllers. This is because, like the Xbox 360, PS3 will support all seven wireless controllers via Bluetooth.

Additionally, WiFi is also the way that the PSP connects to the PlayStation 3 console. The USB ports can recharge the wireless controllers by plugging them in, but will also support special controllers like steering wheels, microphones, or the EyeToy camera. Speaking of the EyeToy, Sony has upgraded the EyeToy to HD IP Camera. Dr. Richard Marx, creator of the original EyeToy, demonstrated its capabilities with a pair of cups, one orange and one green. He filled up one cup with water from a cup and tossed it to the other cup and the opposite side of the tub.

Furthering its own HD revolution, Sony demonstrated that PS3 2K x 1K through a little history lesson. A cropped photograph of Spider-Man set at 320 x 240 represented the resolution of the PS1. An expanded picture revealed more of the Marvel superhero at a 720 x 486, signifying the resolution of PS2. The final and full extent of the Spider-Man image was at the 2K x 1K resolution, which, in addition to being the resolution of the PS3, is also the level of resolution you see when watching movies in a theatre. More dynamic graphics that resemble the movie theatre quality images is what Sony is attempting to prove with the PS3 and went as far as to exhibit a hybrid of a Spider-Man 2 scene and a Gran Turismo clip, merging the two into one complete package.

To harness this visual power on the PS3, Sony turned to Nvidia for the graphics processor, the Nvidia RSX @550MHz. To put its power into perspective, all you have to know is that the chip is said to be more powerful than two Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards and all you have to see is the demos for Unreal, Fight Night: Round 3, or any of the other games displayed at the conference. This is what really blew Xbox 360's presentation out of the water. In the process, many game titles were announced including Metal Gear Solid 4, Devil May Cry 4, Tekken 6, Grand Turismo 5, Killzone, The Getaway 3, Heavenly Sword, Fifth Phantom Saga and Killing Day. There was also a Final Fantasy VII clip, but sadly, it was simply a tech demo and not a Square-Enix title we'll be seeing in the future. PS2 owners were not forgotten as we were also shown video footage of Final Fantasy XII.

Although Microsoft launched a preemptive strike with its MTV introduction of the Xbox 360 and plans to launch its console before Sony releases PlayStation 3, the PS3 wins hands down based on the graphics seen so far. The question of which will prevail, however, has yet to be determined and includes many more factors including the price point of each system. Many speculate the Xbox 360 will launch with a price tag of $300 or a little but more, but, at the same time, see the PS3 weighing in over $400. Sony has yet to comment on this, even though many journalists moaned when that little detail was left out of the press conference presentation. Alas, much was told at the event and you can bet that every last detail will be revealed as the spring 2006 launch nears, just like you can bet we'll have all information for you at Gaming Target.



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