Playstation 3 Launch
When Sony CEO Howard Stringer announced during an SCE Business Plan Convention last May 2005 that the Sony Playstation 3 launch would be somewhere near spring of 2006, many game enthusiasts saw the inevitable domination of seventh generation gaming –again by Sony. And Sony must have believed in it too, since they are more than willing to sacrifice the huge head start of the Xbox 360 for some technology no other consoles has ever implemented on their game system.
During this SCE Convention, the Sony Playstation 3 really looks nothing short of promising. In fact, the specs alone could be enough to put the consoles of the competition to shame. But while almost all components of the Playstation 3 are state-of-the art, the hype was its strongest with the Cell Microprocessor and the Blu-ray media drive, the components that what made the Playstation 3 a monster machine.
It was revealed during the Playstation 3 launch that the Cell Microprocessor was the system’s most powerful component. The Cell Microprocessor will have a clocking speed at 3.2 GHz and allows 2 teraflops of overall performance for the system. It has 256 MB of XDR memory also at 3.2GHz and another 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz. And the last piece, the NVDIA “Reality Synthesizer” can take advantage of new HDTV hardware with a 1080 pixel resolution and 128bit pixel precision.
Aside from the three, the Playstation 3 also sports cool new multimedia features, such as an online community access, much like Xbox Live, and several digital audio and video features, like a digital photo viewer. The Blu-ray is actually a multimedia feature, allowing users to play Blu-ray movies from the system.
With so much promise, everything looks good. It was November 2006, when Sony made an impressive Playstation 3 launch in Japan then worldwide. Since Sony made only below 500,000 units, there was massive bottlenecking and the result was grossly inflated prices in the United States and around the world. Similar to what happened with the Xbox 360 launch, the Playstation 3s sold at this moment have massive price markups, over 100% from the original price. And the initial price is something any gamer couldn’t enjoy, at 0.
Truly the Playstation 3 launch was seen as the true beginnings of the seventh era game console. Of who is the better, time will still determine. Yes, with Xbox 360’s early market strategy, it had already carved a considerable market share especially over Australia. But in Japan, the leading gaming market, the Xbox 360 has sold poorly. Maybe it is Japan’s tendency to patron national brands. But would it be enough for Playstation 3 to control the next generation gaming era? Maybe by 2007 we’ll be seeing (and buying) enough.