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60GB Playstation 3 unit with a box and a controller.

The PlayStation 3's hardware consists of both the internal systems and a number of peripherals such as the DUALSHOCK 3 controller.

Unless otherwise noted, the following specifications are based on a press release by Sony at the E3 2005 conference,[1] and slides from a Sony presentation at the 2006 Game Developer's Conference.[2]


Central processing unit

The PS3 uses the Cell microprocessor, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and six accessible Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). A seventh runs in a special mode and is dedicated to aspects of the OS and security, and an eighth is a spare to improve production yields. PlayStation 3's Cell CPU achieves 204 GFLOPS single precision float and 15 GFLOPS double precision. The PS3 has 256MB of Rambus XDR DRAM, clocked at CPU die speed. As of firmware update 2.01, 32MB of the XDR memory is reserved by the PS3's XrossMediaBar user interface, more XDR memory is required for multiple XMB operations to function at one time .[citation needed] According to Geek Patrol, which benchmarked and compared the PS3 against a Power Mac G5 using Geekbench 2006, the Cell processor performance is comparable to low-end PowerPC G5 performance (which in turn is comparable to high-end PowerPC G4 performance). [3]

Graphics processing unit

The graphics processing unit, according to Nvidia, is based on the NVIDIA G70 (previously known as NV47) architecture. The GPU makes use of 256MB GDDR3 RAM clocked at 550 MHz with an effective transmission rate of 1.4 GHz [4] and up to 224MB of the 3.2 GHz XDR main memory via the CPU (480MB max).


To date, the PS3 has had several component revisions which serve to reduce power consumption. This in turn results in production savings, lower heat production, lower cooling requirements and quieter running. Since launch, the Cell has had its process shrunk from 90 nm to 45 nm. According to rumors and early Sony plans the RSX GPU has also been shrunk, but that the actual switch would have happened has not been confirmed by Sony or third party disassembly.

Further improvements were introduced with the PS3 Slim, with a move to a 45 nm Cell which resulted in a further 34% reduction in power consumption over the 65 nm Cell[5]

Generation 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Features [6] [7] 60 GB
20 GB
60 GB
80 GB
40 GB
40 GB
80 GB
160 GB
120 GB "Slim"
250 GB "Slim"
Model number(s)[1][8] CECHAxx CECHBxx CECHCxx CECHExx CECHGxx,
CECH-20xxA CECH-20xxB
GPU process 90 nm 90 nm 90 nm 90 nm 90 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm
CPU process 90 nm 90 nm 90 nm 90 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm 45 nm 45 nm
Typical power consumption 180 W 180 W 180 W 180 W 135 W 110 W 110 W 110 W 73 W 73 W

Model numbers

On all models of the PS3, the last seven characters of the serial number make up the console's model number. This begins with "CECH", followed by a letter indicating what model the system is. The last two characters of the model number indicate what region the system is from.

Model number Release date[7] Model Regions
CECHAxx Nov 2006 60 GB 00 01 06 07 12
(JP, NA)
CECHBxx Nov 2006 20 GB 00 01 07 12
(JP, NA)
CECHCxx Mar 2007 60 GB 02 03 04 08
CECHDxx unreleased 20 GB (EU/PAL)
CECHExx Aug 2007 80 GB 01 05 06 11 12
CECHFxx unreleased 80 GB (NA)
CECHGxx Oct 2007 40 GB 01 04 05 06 07 08 11 12
CECHHxx Oct 2007 40 GB 00 01 04 05 06 07 08 11 12
CECHIxx unreleased 40 GB[a]
CECHJxx Aug 2008 40 GB[b] 00 04
CECHKxx Aug 2008 80 GB 01 02 03 04 05 06 07
CECHLxx Oct 2008 80 GB[c] 00 01 03 04 12
CECHMxx Oct 2008 80 GB 03 (UK)
CECHNxx unreleased 80 GB
CECHOxx unreleased 80 GB
CECHPxx Oct 2008 160 GB 01 04 07 12
CECHQxx Apr 2009 160 GB 00 (JP)
CECH-20xxA Sep 2009 120 GB (JP, NA, EU/PAL)
CECH-20xxB Oct 2009 250 GB (JP, NA, EU/PAL)
Key: NA - North America, EU/Pal - Europe/PAL region, JP - Japan, UK - United Kingdom


^ a Registered with FCC on January 31, 2008 with request for confidentiality[9]
^ b Registered with FCC on January 31, 2008 with request for confidentiality[10]
^ c Registered with FCC on July 3, 2008 with request for confidentiality[11]

Region codes

Region Japan North America Australia United Kingdom Europe/Middle East Korea Singapore Taiwan Russia China (unused) Unknown Latin America Hong Kong
Number 00[12] 01[13] 02[14] 03[15] 04[16] 05[17] 06[18] 07[19] 08[20] 09 10 11[21] 12[22]


The PS3 supports numerous SDTV and HDTV resolutions (from 480i/576i up to 1080p) and connectivity options (such as HDMI 1.3a and component video).[23][24] In terms of audio, the PS3 supports a number of formats, including 7.1 digital audio, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and others; audio output is possible over stereo RCA cables (analog), optical digital cables, or HDMI. For the optical disc drive, a wide variety of DVD and CD formats are supported, as well as Blu-ray Discs. A 20, 40, 60, 80, 120, 160 or 250 GB 2.5 in SATA 150 hard disk is pre-installed. In the 60 GB and 80 GB configurations, flash memory can also be used, either Memory Sticks; CompactFlash cards; or SD/MMC cards. All models support USB memory devices; flash drives and external hard drives are both automatically recognized. However, they must be formatted with the FAT32 file system—the PS3 does not support the NTFS file system that is the standard in the Windows NT family.[25] For communication, the system sported four USB 2.0 ports at the front on the 20 and 60 GB models as well as the NTSC 80 GB model, but the 40 GB and 80 GB PAL models only have 2 USB ports. All models (80 and 160 GB) released after August 2008 have been reduced to two USB ports, as well as dropping CompactFlash and SD card support. One Gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.0 support, and built-in Wi-Fi are available on the 40, 60, 80, 120, and 160 GB versions.

Form and power consumption

The PlayStation 3 console is approximately 6 kg (approximately 13 pounds), 325 mm (W) × 98 mm (H) × 274 mm (D).[26]

The case was designed by Teiyu Goto of Sony, and uses the Spider-man font.[27]

The power consumption of the initial PlayStation 3 units based on 90 nm Cell CPU ranges from 170–200 watts during normal use, despite having a 380 watt power supply.[28] The power consumption of newer 40 GB PlayStation 3 (65 nm process Cell/90 nm RSX) units ranges from 120-140 watts during normal use.[29] The latest 80 GB units use both 65 nm Cell and 65 nm RSX, and have further lowered power consumption to between 90–120 W. The PS3 Slim reduces this power consumption by another 34% with the use of a 45 nm Cell, to around 76 W.

Universal power supply

The power supply can operate on both 60 Hz and 50 Hz power grids. It uses a standard C14 IEC connector and a C13 power cord appropriate for the region it is being used in. The power supply on the "fat" model is capable of delivering approximately 380 W, although the PS3 has never been measured using this much power. The power supply was reduced to 250 watts in the 120 GB "Slim" model.

Japanese PS3 models produced since 2007 are capable of delivering 280 W of power, in part due to the energy efficiency of the newer 65 nm-based cell processors.[30]

Disc drive

The PlayStation 3 disc drive is an all-in-one type allowing the use of different formats.


The Blu-ray drive is a 2× speed, region coded type allowing the use of:


The DVD drive is an 8× speed, region coded type allowing the use of:


The Compact Disc drive is a 24× speed, region coded type allowing the use of:

Official accessories

The PlayStation 3 Sixaxis[34] is a controller that is very similar in appearance to that of its predecessors, the DualShock and DualShock 2. The SIXAXIS features finer analog sensitivity;[35] more trigger-like R2 and L2 buttons; a PS (“home”) button; and a USB mini-B port for charging the internal battery and for wired play. The PlayStation 3 supports up to 7 simultaneous controllers over Bluetooth.[1] The Sixaxis is named for its ability to detect motion in the full six degrees; however, unlike the PlayStation 2's DualShock, the Sixaxis controller has no vibration feature.

At its press conference at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced the DualShock 3 (trademarked DUALSHOCK 3), a PlayStation 3 controller with the same function and design as the Sixaxis, but with vibration capability.[36] Hands-on accounts describe the controller as being slightly heavier than the standard Sixaxis controller, and capable of vibration forces comparable to the DualShock 2.[37]

The PlayStation 3 Memory Card Adaptor is a device that allows data to be transferred from PlayStation and PlayStation 2 memory cards to the PlayStation 3's hard disk. The device has a cable that connects to the PS3's USB port on one end, and features a legacy PS2 memory card port on the other end.

Using Bluetooth, the PlayStation 3 BD Remote allows users to control videos and music on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. In Japan, the device was available starting December 7, 2006. The PS3 will accept signals only via its Bluetooth Remote, as the console does not have an infrared receiver; this prevents the use of universal remotes with the system. The Blu-ray Disc movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby was included with the initial 400,000 release copies of the PS3 in North America,[38] while the first 500,000 European PlayStation Network activations after launch received a free copy of the Blu-ray release of Casino Royale.[39]

On April 25, 2007, Sony announced the PlayStation Eye. This is an updated version of the PlayStation 2 peripheral, the EyeToy. The camera is capable of capturing 60 frames per second video at 640×480 resolution and 120  frame/s video at 320×240 resolution. The four-channel microphone on the Eye can block out background noise. The camera will support live video chat and voice chat without a headset, and will be launched in the United States on October 23 for US$39.99,[40] and in Australia on November 8 for AU$79.95.[41] It will also be bundled with the card game The Eye of Judgment in the United States on the same day as the camera itself for US$69.99,[42] and in Japan and Australia on October 25, 2007 for JP¥9,980[43] and AU$159.95,[44] respectively.

Official PlayStation 3 HDMI and Component AV cables are also available for retail.

Backward compatibility

The PlayStation 3 does not include interfaces for legacy PlayStation peripherals, though tested a legacy controller using a PS2-to-USB adapter, finding that it is compatible, though most other devices (such as the Guitar Hero controller) may not be compatible.[45] However, with the release of firmware 1.70 for the Playstation 3, Sony has added support for previous Guitar Hero controllers with generic PS2-to-USB adapters (although the whammy bar is not functional). Nyko started production on the "Play Adaptor", a PS2-to-USB adapter allowing for guitars and other PlayStation 2 peripherals to be used on the PlayStation 3 and was scheduled for release in Q2/2007, but Nyko stated at the end of March that the production of this device had been postponed due to compatibility problems with the PS3.[46] The PS3 supports both the USB EyeToy camera/webcam and SOCOM Headset for video and voice chat. A memory card adapter is available so users can copy their old PS/PS2 game saves to a virtual memory card on the PS3’s hard drive.[47] The PlayStation 3 can also use Memory Sticks to store and save data for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software.[48] New PlayStation 3 systems no longer support PS2 playback (whether through use of the Emotion Engine & Graphics Synthesizer hardware or through the Graphics Synthesizer and software emulation of the Emotion Engine) or Memory Sticks.


  1. ^ a b Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (2005-05-16). "SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. TO LAUNCH ITS NEXT GENERATION COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, PLAYSTATION3 IN SPRING 2006". Press release. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
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  19. ^ "Terms & Conditions for “PLAYSTATION 3” in Taiwan". Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  20. ^ "Sony PlayStation 3". Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  21. ^ "Equipos inscriptos (Spanish)". National Communication Commission. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  22. ^ "Terms & Conditions for “PLAYSTATION 3” in Hong Kong". Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  23. ^ "Press Releases". Retrieved 2006-11-20. 
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  25. ^ Kiss, Tom (2007-03-25). "USB HDD not working with PlayStation 3? Format as FAT32...". Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  27. ^ Official Playstation Magazine, issue 005
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  29. ^ "Sony says the 40GB PS3 is still using 90nm chips". Engadget. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
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  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t PlayStation 3 "Safety & Support" manual
  32. ^ PlayStation 3 80GB model for Mexico "Safety & Support" manual
  33. ^ PlayStation 3 "Quick Reference" manual
  34. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment (2006-10-03). "ACCESSORIES FOR PLAYSTATION3 BECOME AVAILABLE". Press release. Retrieved 2006-10-03. 
  35. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (2006-05-09). "SCE ANNOUNCES NEW CONTROLLER FOR PLAYSTATION3". Press release. Retrieved 2006-05-24. 
  36. ^ "DUALSHOCK3 Wireless Controller With Rumble Feature To Be Introduced FOR PLAYSTATION3". Sony Computer Entertainment. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  37. ^ "TGS '07: Spot On - The Dual Shock 3". GameSpot. CNET. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  38. ^ Raby, Mark (2006-10-20). "Sony unveils details of PS3 online services". Tom's Guide Publishing. Retrieved 2007-01-24. 
  39. ^ "CASINO ROYALE FOR FIRST 500,000 PS3 REGISTRANTS". Three Speech. 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  40. ^ Stocker, Sarah (October 10, 2007). "PlayStation Eye, A Little More Info…". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  41. ^ "PLAYSTATION Eye". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  42. ^ Valledor, Mark (September 20, 2007). "5 Things You *Don’t* Know: THE EYE OF JUDGMENT". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  43. ^ "The Eye of Judgment(アイ・オブ・ジャッジメント) Biolith Rebellion ~機神の叛乱~" (Adobe Flash). Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-08-25. 
  44. ^ "Eye of Judgment". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  45. ^ "Guitar Hero II Compatible with PS3?". 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  46. ^ "Nyko Play Adaptor Cancelled". 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  47. ^ "Playstation 3 Supports PS2/PS1 Memory Cards". Console Watcher. 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2006-08-12. 
  48. ^ Elle Cayabyab Gitlin (2005-08-01). "More PS3 details emerge in print". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2006-07-19. 

External links

Official websites

Auxiliary sites by Sony



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