Calling all gamers: Playstion 3 produces tough competition

By Patrick McGowan
November 17, 2006

Meghan Hurley

On Nov. 17, Sony’s new gaming platform, the PlayStation 3, will be released. The new PlayStation reflects numerous advances in the gaming industry, but the price tag may turn some buyers away. The base model of the PlayStation 3 starts at $499 and there is also another model with more features that starts at $599.

The base model of the PlayStation 3 has the same general specifications as the $599 model. The Central Processing Unit for the PlayStation 3 is a cell broadband engine, which is much more powerful than the PlayStation 2’s 128-bit CPU. Normal processors contain only one core, but the cell broadband engine has eight cores making it that much more powerful.

The base model also has 20 GB on its hard drive compared to the 32 MB on PlayStation 2’s memory card. For communication the PlayStation 3 has Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.0 wireless and can also handle seven Bluetooth controllers.

The PlayStation 3 also has five screen sizes, which are as follow: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The PlayStation also has a feature called High-Definition Multimedia Interface. The HDMI allows the PlayStation 3 to connect to any compatible video or audio source, such as DVD players and digital television. The PlayStation 3, although it is capable of connecting to these things, does not include a HDMI cable.

A well known specification for PlayStation 3 is the blu-ray technology. Blu-ray is an advanced media format. Blu-ray is technologically more advanced than DVDs and Sony believes that they may one day replace DVDs. The true performance of Blu-ray, however, has yet to be seen and may end up being a flop.

The more expensive model has these specifications, but there are some differences between the two models. This model has 60GB in its hard drive instead of 20GB and the $599 model also includes slots for Memory Sticks, SD and CompactFlash. A major feature that the $599 model has is Wi-Fi, which will connect players to a local network, allowing you to beat your friends silly without leaving the comforts of home.

The PlayStation 3 is backwards compatible with both the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, but the problem is playing saved games since neither systems memory cards work on the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 can also connect to Sony’s portable gaming system, PlayStation Portable. The PlayStation 3 is also always connected to the internet allowing for text and video messaging, voice chatting, downloading and also browsing the internet.

Dan Mastropieri, a sophomore marketing major, says that he would buy the PlayStation 3 once it comes out. Mastropieri also says that he would buy the $599 model saying that, “The $600 one has to be better.”

“If you are going to pay $499 you might as well shell out the extra hundred for the built in Wi-Fi and extra memory,” a senior English and communications major, Kevin Gallager, said. Gallager also points out that because of the price of the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo’s new gaming system, will be bringing in a lot of sales. The Nintendo Wii costs $200, which is much cheaper than the PlayStation 3.

Gallager said that although the Nintendo Wii is cheaper, PlayStation 3 has the technological advantage. PlayStation 3 is the only gaming system to have Blu-ray. PlayStation 3 will also have competition from Microsoft since Microsoft has come out with a media format that will challenge Blu-ray.

When it comes to gaming systems, Gallager said “The Nintendo Wii is like the fun-cheap VW Beatle and the PlayStation 3 is like the shiny new Cadillac.”

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Patrick McGowan

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