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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) unveiled some additional details about the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console at a recent presentation in Tokyo, Japan. Apparently, the company wants its console to remain on the market for a decade, even being expensive initially. Meanwhile, the company is struggling to deliver enough development kits for game makers, whereas its technology partners NVIDIA and Transmeta are yet to deliver tools that would help developers to leverage the power of PS3’s hardware.

PlayStation 3 Will Be Expensive – SCEI Chief

“We’re looking at a life cycle of 10 years with the PlayStation 3. We’re currently shifting from standard TVs to HDTVs, but in the next couple of years, most flat-panel TVs will be full HD. We’re releasing the PS3 with full HD features from the start so that consumers won’t have to buy another version of the console in the future. For the same reason, we’re using Blu-ray as the PS3’s disc format,” Ken Kutaragi, SCEI president is reported to have said, claims GameSpot.

Sony Computer Entertainment chief admitted that initially the price of the console is going to be high because of rather expensive components its uses, but he claimed that those, who want, would buy the gaming machine and that high price is justified by long life-cycle.

“I’m aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can’t be offered at a price that’s targeted towards households. I think everyone can still buy it if they wanted to,” Mr. Kuratagi said.

Merrill Lynch Japan estimates that the machine’s main components – namely its Cell chip, NVIDIA RSX graphics processor and BD-ROM drive – will cost about $101 each. After adding the other electronics that will be used in the PlayStation 3, the machine’s production cost goes up to around $500. Merrill Lynch believed that Sony would offer its PS3 at a discount price and may lose billions of dollars on that.

“I’m not going to reveal its price today. I’m going to only say that it’ll be expensive,” the SCEI chief added.

Development Tools – In Development

Sony still does not have final hardware of its console and game developers use preliminary kits, which are of a size of a typical computer and which feature Cell processor running at 2.40GHz. However, even such systems are in shortage. To date, only 450 PS3 development kits have been supplied worldwide. Sony intends to release an additional 200 units in August and 300 more in September, but most developers probably will have to wait until October, when the company ramps up its production to 3000 units per month.

Sony has already inked agreements with AGEIA and Havok acquiring license to use their physics technologies, now the company waits for NVIDIA Corp. and Transmeta to create tools that would ease development process for the RSX graphics processor and Cell central processor. In particular, NVIDIA is expected to provide a lineup of programmable shader tools for the console, including a compiler; Transmeta is set to develop synergistic processing unit (SPE) optimizer and software that will let developers effectively program for the Cell processor and its seven SPEs.

It is yet unclear when the final set of hardware and software for developers emerges.

Discussion

Comments currently: 34
Discussion started: 07/26/05 11:44:11 AM
Latest comment: 08/30/06 05:20:39 PM

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that is a long time, but Sony did it successfully with the ps1. So they can do it again.
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