March 12, 2007 - If you're looking to splash out on a European PlayStation 3 when it launches, it makes sense to be sure you're fully equipped with all the latest information about the console. Well, thanks to IGN's comprehensive Euro-specific PS3 FAQ, everything you could possibly ever want to know is now but a mere mouse-wheel twirl away.
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 16, 2005. The system and a prototype controller were shown along with various tech demos and game trailers, though most trailers were CG "approximations", designed to give a taste of what the completed games would be like.
When is the system launching?
While Sony has already successfully released the PS3 in both Japan and North American territories, the console is set to reach both European and Australasian shores on March 23, 2007. Beyond that, Sony has yet to reveal launch information for the remaining areas of the globe.
How much does the PlayStation 3 cost, and what configurations are available?
While two versions of the PS3 were released in both Japan and the USA, Europe is currently scheduled to receive only the more expensive, 'high-end' iteration of the console. This version, containing a 60GB hard drive and other features not available in the cheaper model, includes Wi-Fi and various flash memory inputs (like memory stick and SD). Sony is yet to confirm whether the more basic 20GB model will eventually reach European shores.
Region / 20GB System / 60GB System
Europe / N/A / £425/€599
Japan / 59800 ¥ / Open Market
USA / $499 & $599 / Canada $549 & $659
What does the PlayStation 3 look like?
What ports and external connections does the PlayStation 3 have?
Systems released in Europe feature four USB 2.0 ports on the front, with rear connectors for gigabit Ethernet, an optical audio output, HDMI output and an AV multi-out (exactly the same as that on the PS2). European PS3s are also equipped with inputs for Memory Sticks, 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 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 DualShock 2 controller?
Its layout looks virtually identical to the DualShock 2 but there are some major differences. First, the SIXAXIS is wireless (via Bluetooth 2.0 technology) and the system is able to support 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 previous 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, offering full 3D control over the orientation of an onscreen object. The first game shown utilizing this technology was Warhawk - where, rather than using the analogue 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 the PlayStation 3's controller does not feature the rumble technology found in the DualShock 2.
What does the controller look like?
Take a look:
What sort of battery life can we expect, and how is the SIXAXIS recharged?
The controller is charged via a mini-USB cable, the kind that most digital cameras accept. The PlayStation 3 ships with one of these cables in the box. The controller contains an internal, non-removable lithium-ion battery and should last around 30 hours on a single charge.
How far is the controller's wireless range?
20 meters, or about 65 feet.
Is the current Dual Shock 2 controller compatible with the PlayStation 3?
Not without some sort of adapter. Sony is no longer using the old controller ports and connectors, so the DualShock 2 won't be able to be plugged in. No official word has been given regarding an adapter.
Does the PlayStation 3 come equipped with a hard drive? How big is it?
Indeed. In Europe, the system comes with a 60GB hard drive, enabling users to store downloaded content, saves, media and more. The drive is a 2.5" Serial ATA drive, like you'd find in most laptops. A second, cheaper model containing a 20GB hard drive and reduced feature set is also available in Japanese and North American territories only.
What kind of disc drive does the system use?
PlayStation 3 makes use of Blu-ray technology. The drive itself is slot-loading.
How fast is the optical disc drive?
Blu-ray technology transfers at 36Mbps at 1X speed, or about 4.5MB per second, and the PlayStation 3 features a 2X drive, transferring data at 72Mbps or 9MB per second. It reads DVDs at 8X and CDs at 24X speeds.
Besides a hard disc and Blu-ray drive, what other storage options are supported?
Memory Sticks (standard and Duo), SD and CompactFlash. It's also likely (but unconfirmed) that the PlayStation 3 will further enable you to natively use USB flash drives at some point.
There aren't any Memory Card slots on the system. Are PS2/PSone saves compatible in any way, or do we have to start our games all over again?
Sony will release a peripheral that enables users to copy their PS2/PSone saves from a Memory Card to the hard drive, and back again if they wish. The hard drive will contain space for 'Virtual Memory Cards' that mimic a hard Memory Card - users can save PS2 and PSone games here. The release date and retail price for the adapter has yet to be announced for Europe.
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us!