E3 NEWS: PlayStation 3 Due Spring 2006

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced a spring 2006 release window for its eagerly awaited PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system. Prototypes of the next-generation console will also be showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, from May 18th through the 20th.

The PS3 features Cell, a processor jointly developed by IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba Corp.; the RSX graphics processor co-developed by NVIDIA Corp. and SCEI; and XDR memory developed by Rambus Inc. It also adopts BD-ROM (Blu-ray Disc ROM) with maximum storage capacity of 54 GB (dual layer), enabling high-definition entertainment content displayed in 1080p resolution.

Sony says the PS3′s 2 teraflop computing power will make game models, environments and animation far more refined, more realistic and closer to feature film quality.

Another thing gamers will appreciate is the PS3′s backward compatibility, which allows users to play their PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games on the new machine.

While the PS3 is sure to be a huge seller next year, it will have some stiff competition. Also being unveiled at E3 this week are Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which will launch globally this holiday season, and Nintendo’s Game Cube successor, Revolution, due sometime in 2006.