PlayStation Network Platform
In response to Microsoft’s successful Xbox Live network, Sony announced a unified online service for the Playstation 3′s console at the 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing meeting in Tokyo; tentatively titled “PlayStation Network Platform”. Sony has confirmed that the service will be always connected, free and include multiplayer support. However, developers are permitted to charge a subscription fee, as is common with MMO games.
On September 12, 2006, it was believed to be confirmed that the PNP would be combined with a modified version of the Xfire client to provide various match-making facilities, such as Friends Lists, among other features. However, Xfire CEO Mike Cassidy later clarified: “Xfire is not part of the PlayStation Network Platform. We are in discussions with Sony Online Entertainment, but I cannot comment any further.
At the Tokyo Game Show on September 21, 2006 it was revealed that users will be able to download some of the thousands of PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 titles from the PlayStation Network Platform for a fee, starting with those with the smallest game data. The reason to allow this kind of functionality is that Sony wants to allow the users to choose the games of their preference. Ken Kutaragi also announced functionality with other consoles, similar to Nintendo’s upcoming Virtual Console, including confirmed Sega Genesis and Turbo Grafx 16 functionality. However, Sega has replied that Sony has been too hasty with calling it a fact. Sega is currently reviewing the possibilities, but have not yet made a decision on it.
PlayStation Portable Connectivity
The PlayStation Portable can connect with the PS3 in many ways, including game connectivity, such as Formula One 06 shown at E3 2006 which uses the PSP as a rear-view mirror. Sony also will allow the PS3 to send PlayStation 1 games to the PSP that will be able to be used on the PSP’s PlayStation 1 Emulator, which will be released alongside the PS3.
Sony have also demonstrated the PSP playing back video content, including 1080p content from the PS3 hard disk across an Ad-Hoc wireless network, it has also been rumoured it is capable of playing movies on the PSP, from the PS3′s Blu-Ray drive. This featured it referred to as Remote Play.
Sony asked PlayStation Underground members to rank features they would like concerning PSP interaction with the PS3. Possible features listed include using the device to complete side missions for PS3 games, transferring media wirelessly from the PS3 to the PSP, using the PSP as an additional weapon/utility while playing PS3 games, and recording PS3 gameplay video to the PSP.
Unless otherwise noted, the following specifications are based on a press release by Sony at the 2005 E3 Conference,and slides from a Sony presentation at the 2006 Game Developer’s Conference.[
The PS3's 3.2 GHz Cell processor, developed jointly by Sony, Toshiba and IBM ("STI"), is an implementation to dynamically assign physical processor cores to do different types of work independently. It has a PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and six accessible 3.2 GHz Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs), a seventh runs in a special mode and is dedicated to OS security, and an eighth disabled to improve production yields. The PPE, SPE's and other elements ("units") are connected via an Element Interconnect Bus which serves to connect all of the units in a ring-style bus. The PPE has a 512 KiB level 2 cache and one VMX vector unit. Each of the SPEs is a RISC processor with 128 128-bit SIMD GPRs and superscalar functions. Each SPE contains 256 KiB of non-cached memory (local storage, "LS") that is shared by program code and work data. SPEs may access more data in the main memory using DMA. The floating point performance of the whole system (CPU + GPU) is reported to be 2.18 TFLOPS. PlayStation 3's Cell CPU achieves 204 GFLOPS single precision float and 15 GFLOPS double precision. The PS3 will ship with 256 MiB of Rambus XDR DRAM, clocked at CPU die speed.
The Cell microprocessor allows programmers to assign SPE's different work by running individual programs on them. Programmers may also arrange data flow in different ways, for example using parallel, pipelined or streamed processing data flow models. As an example for parallel processing performance gains, one core could work on decoding and multiplexing audio, another core may perform computations on realistic projectiles ballistics, while another might govern the activities of the main character. The programmer still has three more cores not yet assigned but the only remaining tasks are to collect the work performed and display the results on the screen. Since the program code on each SPE core is executed from its local store memory, much more Element Interconnect Bus bandwidth is available to transfers of work data. An obvious downside to this is that there is a 256 KiB size restriction on SPE programs, which may present a challenge for certain programming tasks.
The Graphic processing unit is based on NVIDIA G70 (previously known as NV47) architecture, which focuses on maximizing per-pixel computation in favor of raw pixel output. The GPU will make use of 256 MiB GDDR3 VRAM clocked at 700 MHz. The GPU has access to the XDR main memory as well.
The PS3 supports standard and HDTV resolutions (up to 1080p60) and connectivity options (such as HDMI 1.3  and Component video). In terms of audio, the PS3 will support a number of formats, including 7.1 digital audio, Dolby TrueHD, and others. For the optical drive, a wide variety of DVD and CD formats are supported, as well as Blu-ray Disc. A 20 GB / 60 GB 2.5″ SATA150 hard disk is pre-installed and coupled with Linux. In the 60 GB configuration, Flash Memory can also be used — either Memory Stick, CompactFlash, or SD/MMC. For communication, the PS3 will have one gigabit ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, and will support Bluetooth 2.0 EDR.
The console uses heat pipes and Sony claims the system will be as quiet as a slim PS2. Physically, the PlayStation 3 is approximately 5 kg (11 lb), 9.8 cm × 32.5 cm × 27.4 cm (3.9 in. × 12.8 in. × 10.8 in.). The power supply will be built into the console and a standard 3-pin IEC connector is present at the base of the console.