Next battle looms in console war

Console gamers received a sneak peek of Sony and Microsoft’s forthcoming consoles this week, as the firms previewed their next-generation PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Xbox 360 releases.

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Wade Published  May 20, 2005

Console gamers received a sneak peek of Sony and Microsoft’s forthcoming consoles this week, as the firms previewed their next-generation PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Xbox 360 releases. Sony’s PS3 will be launched in the West next spring and in this region thereafter. Based upon a powerful new cell processor, which Sony claims offers ‘supercomputer’ power, the PS3 features a PowerPC-base core running at 3.2GHz, while its HD (high definition) ready graphics processor operates at 550MHz. Interestingly, the PS3’s game disks will support the forthcoming BD-ROM (Blu-ray Disc ROM) media format, which offers a massive storage capacity of 54GB. And in terms of the number of players able to enjoy a game at any one time, this will be hugely increased, as the unit supports up to seven Bluetooth wireless controllers. Other connections include four USB 2.0 ports at the front, two at the back, and the PS3 is also Wi-Fi enabled. Perhaps the most exciting new game title previewed at last week’s PS3 launch event was ‘Eyedentify’. Using the EyeToy video camera, this literally puts players in the game, with game characters reacting to a player’s speech as though they were actually in the room. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 meanwhile runs three-core IBM PowerPC processors, also clocked at 3.2GHz and capable of handling six threads simultaneously, while its graphics sub-system is based on an as yet unnamed ATI chip clocked at 500MHz. A cool-as-ice liquid cooling system is onboard to keep these components from melting. From a storage point of view, there is no Blu-ray here but instead the 360 has a removable 20GB hard drive and 12x DVD-ROM. Up to four controllers can be wirelessly connected, plus users get three standard USB 2.0 ports too. Although Microsoft claimed the unit will be “Wi-Fi ready”, this will actually mean users having to buy an optional adaptor card. The 360 can also function as a media centre in that MP3 players, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PCs with USB 2.0 ports can plug right into an Xbox 360 system to stream music and photos. At present however, no-one seems to know whether these MP3 players will include Apple’s ubiquitous iPod. While the 360 can connect to a Windows Media Center 2005 PC, it lacks its own PVR (Personal Video Recorder) functionality, but it will be able to rip CDs. Games previewed at the Xbox 360’s launch event included Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, Quake 4, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 and Perfect Dark: Zero. In contrast to the launch of the PS2 and first Xbox, when Sony beat Microsoft to market with its console, the 360 is expected to launch in the US “this holiday season” (November or December), meaning it could well make it to the Middle East in the first or second quarter of next year, before the PS3.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code