Two variations have been promised: a 20GB model and 60GB version, though only the 60GB machine is available in Europe. One of the biggest features to draw attention to the PS3 is the inclusion of a Blu-ray Disc next-gen DVD player, allowing it to be fully utilised for the home cinema experience - though you'll need to use the HDMI port to make the most of it.
Inside, at the heart of the PS3, is the IBM co-designed Cell processor, running at around 3.2GHz. The Nvidia RSX graphics chip runs at 550MHz. A Wi-fi wireless network link is only available on the 60GB version, enabling not only internet access and on-line gaming but also allows a PSP to be connected to the device. There's a wired Ethernet port too.
So much for the spec sheet - what actually comes in the box when you part with 425 of your hard-earned pounds? The console comes with one wireless control pad and a USB cable to charge it up first. You also get a mains cable, AV connection lead and an Ethernet cable. Annoyingly, an HDMI cable is not supplied, so high definition games can't be enjoyed on an HD TV unless you remember to pick one up for around £18 more.
I'm afraid, like others here, I just didn't get any idea of what it's like to actually play the PS3. I got plenty of information about what it looks like sitting on the floor and the wires that don't come with it but practically nothing about how all the extra horsepower is put to use in games. We got one sentence about its graphical prowess - right at the end of the review: "You can see virtually every blade of grass, bead of sweat and piece of shrapnel flying about in the heat of battle." But we got an entire paragraph about the experience of pairing the Bluetooth controllers!
In a 5-page review of a groundbreaking games console I would expect to know at least a little about how the new hardware will change console gaming. Things like loading times and frequencies; graphics: not just good/bad but a deeper analysis of things such as anti-aliasing and draw distance; will AI be better now that it has a proper CPU? (a significant failing of the last generation of consoles) etc etc
Overall I thought the review was very superficial; about half was information you can get without even turning it on. Maybe an update in a few months about the actual experience of owning and playing a PS3?
What about the negatives?
I have to say I wasn't impressed with the review it merely scanned over the media hype and gloss already out there from Sony. I would have expected El Reg to be more cynical and get into the crux of the whole situation.
For example, there was no mention of the racing game which was reported last year to be released with 0 tracks and 0 cars. This meant that if you bought the game on the High Street you couldn't even play it until you spent even more money downloading the tracks and cars.
You also let Sony off way to easy. This is the company that thinks since most people don't know what a root kit is, why worry about installing one on their computer. This is also one of the companies that was found guilty of pricefixing. This is also one of the companies that have sued over 20 000 consumers for file sharing. Lets not forget that they also have less than ethical factory environments with insanely long hours for their underpaid staff. Did I mention DRM yet? Sony are one of the main pushers of DRM in the world, not to mention the vast sums of money they spend lobbying congress and other governments to bend legislation in their favour at the cost of consumer rights. They were one of the main campaigners for new laws in the US which have harsher mandatory jail sentences for having the latest Britney O'Conner^WSpears in a shared folder on their computer, than for killing someone.
Easily one of the -the- most evil companies in the world and you give them a glowing 95%? I expected much more from you guys, I really did.
Best gfx hardware in a console?? hmmm
best gfx processors in a console? hmm.. not done your research have you. the gpu in the 360 is DX10 hardware compliant whereas the PS3s NV offering is only a DX9 compliant one.
The reason for this was Sony originally wanted their Cell CPU to do all the gfx work however it was hard enough for them to get it to run at all so they fell back on NV to produce the GPU instead.
The GPU in the PS3 has difficulty doing FSAA and AAA at 1080p due to the limitations of the pipelines in the hardware.
Hopefully they will find a way to address this with the Cell or it could leave Sony and their HD *cough* Revolution in the dark...
Re: Rent before you buy
I'm guessing the second time you weren't playing it in High Definition.
As Sony chose to omit an HDMI lead from the PS3 box (another £40) I'm guessing a lot of peeps who bought the PS3 box are already pissed that they can't hook up with HDTV without coughing up all over again.
Frankly, Sony couldn't have cocked this release up any more if they'd gotton Ken Livingstone involved in it.
Rent before you buy
Having like most of you here I quite eagerly anticitpated the arrival of the the ps3. when the day came that I could finally see these amazing graphics we were promised, I must admit I was very dissapointed. The game in question was motorstorm, two days later i saw the same game on a 40 inch tv, and to be honest it looked like a different console, I was amazed by the graphics, much smoother and detailed. Can someone please explain this massive difference, I cant imagine it being down to the amount of lines or interlace, progressive modes. Funnily enough the poorer display was on a 32 inch Sony.
So as you can imagine I will be renting a ps3 before I buy one.