How PlayStation 3 Works

PS3 Special Features

The 20GB and 60GB PlayStation 3 models.
The 20GB and 60GB PlayStation 3 models.

The PlayStation 3 has a front-loading, Blu-ray optical disc drive, and PlayStation 3 games will be distributed on Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray discs can hold up to 54 GB of content as opposed to the dual-layer DVD format currently used, which can only hold about 4.7 GB (or 8.5 GB in the DVD-9 format). Even though it has a Blu-ray disc drive, gamers can still play older PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games on the PlayStation 3. The disc drive can support:

  • CR-ROM
  • CDR+W
  • DVD
  • DVD-R
  • DVD+R
  • SACD

The PlayStation 3 comes in two configurations -- a 60GB hard drive model and a 20GB hard drive model. Both models feature:

  • One Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Four USB ports
  • One HDMI output
  • Composite video (with dedicated AV cable)
  • S-video (with dedicated AV cable)
  • Component video (with dedicated AV cable)
  • Optical audio output
  • Bluetooth 2.0 EDR

The 60GB hard drive also includes:

  • Built-in 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity
  • Flash memory slots, which accept Compact Flash, Secure Digital and Memory Stick Duo

The PS3 audio has been upgraded. The new console supports:

There's no arguing with the success of Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service. Xbox Live has created the first cohesive online console-gaming community, boasting more than millions of subscribers. The older PlayStation 2 can take multiplayer games online, too, but users needed to buy an extra network adapter to do so. Also, Sony left it up to each game company to build and host its own online gaming community, so the PlayStation 2 never offered the online structure that Xbox does.

After the 2005 Expo, we suggested that if Sony's hoping to stave off Microsoft's advance into the console market, a cohesive online community is going to be crucial. Apparently they agreed. With the release of the PS3, Sony has also opened the PlayStation Network for "online gaming, entertainment and digital distribution" [Source: PlayStation]. Unlike Xbox Live, there's no subscription fee. While some premium (read: pay) content will be sold in the network's store, online multiplayer gaming, audio and video chat and game downloads are free.