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PlayStation 3 Primer

Just getting started on your love affair with the PlayStation 3? Here’s our PS3 briefing, with everything you need to get up to date.

Sony officially revealed the PlayStation 3 on May 16 and showed it off at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles later in the week. Since then, it’s been featured at the Tokyo Game Show and other gaming events.

Sony originally set a Spring 2006 release target for the PS3, but the last few weeks have provided tons of rumors to the contrary. And the PS3’s no-show at the Consumer Electronics Show during the first week of January only added fuel to the fire. Though Sony’s official line remains the same, we don’t expect to see the PS3 on the market until mid- to late 2006. (UPDATED JAN. 11)

The list of upcoming PS3 games is already too long to detail here. Some of the notables on display at E3: Vision GT (Gran Turismo), Metal Gear Solid 4, Unreal Tournament 2007, Devil May Cry 4 and a new Tekken. The PS3 is also backwards compatible with PS2 and PS1 games.

There’s no official price tag, but by most accounts the PS3 will be expensive. Think in the $400 range. Sony has no plans to release two different models, as Xbox 360 did, to give consumers a cheaper option. But nothing’s set in stone, so we’ll have to wait and see.

The PS3 will play DVDs, and it will also have support for high-definition TV. It’s also supposed to be the first big consumer player for Blu-ray discs, a new technology that fits 54 gigabytes of data on a disc (DVDs hold about 13 gigs).

The PS3 controllers will be wireless, and there will be ports to play with up to 7 at a time. (This is awesome, by the way.) Here’s a photo of one of the controller designs, although we read once that this design is conceptual and subject to change.

The PS3 will have wireless internet capability as well as Ethernet ports, and Sony has discussed plans for some sort of online gaming portal, probably along the lines of Xbox Live.

The PS3 will, of course, feature Sony’s state-of-the-art processors and graphics equipment; you can find all the technical details here.

Check out the PS3 from all angles, and in three colors.

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