*****NOTE!! LONG POST*****
LOS ANGELES (CP) â€” The battle is on in the next-generation video game console war and Sony has come out swinging.
Microsoft got the early high ground, announcing last week that its Xbox 360 console will be in the stores before Christmas. But Sony made a splash Monday on the eve of the influential E3 trade show by announcing details of the PlayStation 3, boasting a more muscular machine that it says dwarfs the 360.
Both consoles expand the gaming experience with improved graphics in a high definition era. And both seek to occupy a dominant space in your living room, thanks to the ability to play and download music and movies, and connect with other digital devices from computers to cameras.
Nintendo's new entry, the Revolution, has far fewer frills and focuses more on gaming.
Sony, whose new machine will be out in the spring, says it has the edge over Xbox thanks to a new advanced "Cell" microprocessor â€” co-developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba â€” that has super computer-like power. With the Cell under the hood, it promises the PS3 will open the door to "the digital decade."
"Gamers will literally be able to dive into the realistic world seen in large screen movies and experience the excitement in real time," Sony promised at a news conference attended by more than 2,000 people at the Sony Picture Studio.
Jen-Hsun Huang, whose Nvidia company co-developed the PS3's "RSX" graphics processor, called the new Sony machine "the most important computer entertainment and digital media platform of the decade."
With more than 190 million units shipped of the PS1 and PS2, Sony is the industry leader. Xbox, last out of the box last time round, is No. 2 with more than 20 million consoles sold, ahead of Nintendo which has sold some 20 million of its GameCube.
Unlike the Xbox 360, the PS3 can surf the Net. It can handle seven wireless controllers to the 360's four. The PS3 will also support the new DVD Blu-ray technology, which can store six times the data of a regular DVD.
And the PS3, which looks like a beefed-up DVD player, has six USB ports.
A dazzling â€” and confusing to those who don't know a terra flop from a box office flop â€” array of charts reinforced the Sony message that its machine was bigger and better than Xbox 360.
The Cell processor, with 234 million transistors, is 35 times faster than the PS2's "emotion engine" and twice the speed of the Xbox 360 processor, Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi said.
The PS3 memory bandwidth is eight times faster than that of the PS2 and three times that of the latest PC.
With Sony boasting the PS3 technology being able to transfer seven DVDs in a second, Microsoft's talk of custom face plates for its 360 seemed somehow trivial.
Neither company has talked price yet, although Microsoft vice-president J Allard has said the 360 will cost less than the IPod photo that retails for $439 Cdn.
Both companies have set their sights high.
"PS3 truly is the system to be placed in the centre of living rooms around the world," Kutaragi said.
Allard countered by saying the Xbox 360 goal is to have one billion consumers.
And neither is ready to concede any ground. Both companies labelled their machines "monsters" and said theirs will be the most powerful platform on the market.
On Tuesday, it was Nintendo's turn at a news conference that featured more than 60 news cameras and was so packed that fire marshalls delayed the start by 40 minutes to rearrange the standing room-only crowd.
Nintendo's next-generation Revolution console will be available some time in 2006. While not as all-encompassing as the PS3 and 360, it is small â€” about the size of a stack of three DVD cases â€” and will play older Nintendo games. It also allows Internet access and the company boasted Revolution owners will be able to download 20 years of Nintendo titles.
Nintendo also announced a wi-fi network for its portable DS system and a slimmed down Game Boy called Game Boy Micro.
While Sony hammered home its beefed-up technological specs with mind-numbing depth at its news conference, Xbox opted for glitz at a concert-like spectacle at a later news conference at the Shrine Auditorium. Company executives made their sales pitch from a circular stage, with revved-up fans on stage behind them in addition to the journalists in front of them.
Much of the Xbox 360 news was already out â€” thanks to an MTV special last week â€” but the news conference did reveal something new. The 360 will be backward compatible, meaning it will play the games from the current generation Xbox. Sony executives had made the same promise hours earlier.
Microsoft had pledged the 360 would advance the console from DVD to HD â€” high definition. Sony took that and went one better, noting its machine would feed two high-definition TVs for a fully panoramic view if anyone had that kind of video hardware on hand.
Both Sony and Microsoft previewed games using its new technology, with the PS3 delivering some eye-popping graphics on such samples as a Formula One racing title and the sequel to the Killzone first-person shooter. Other clips looked straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster.
The new Xbox looked good in Gears of War, a third-person tactical shooter from Epic Games, best known for its Unreal Tournament series. Epic also provided a stylish demo for the PS3, proving it makes no sense for a developer to put its eggs in one basket. Industry giants Electronic Arts and Square Enix also sent executives to both news conferences, pumping up each of the new systems.
Sadly while the industry heavyweights turn their machines into custom hot rods, the gaming road seems to be leading nowhere particularly new. All too many of the titles previewed Monday involved driving fast or wielding big guns. And curvaceous women with big breasts remain on the horizon, no doubt to satisfy the core market of 18-to-34 males.
Notes: There was some humour in Sony's presentation when a European executive showed off a sample of the latest edition of The Getaway game that uses a painstakingly recreated London as its backdrop. The city streets looked terrific but he admitted on closer inspection that because of an undetected bug, every single car had the same licence plate. ... Microsoft announced that Square Enix will bring its Final Fantasy series to the new Xbox.
Ive just watched Sony's Big Press Conference at E3 about an hour ago and i was amazed on what the PlayStation 3 has to offer, pertically the Eye Toy for PS3. I couldnt beleive my eyes.
Link for the Press Conference:-
Feel free to delete the link if u wish Mods
http://www.gamespot.com/live/streamer_n ... group=8283