Monday, August 31, 2009

I Phone 3gs

Images of the iPhone 3GS video recording interface, the Voice Control screen, and the built-in digital compass.

Introducing iPhone 3GS

Meet the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet. iPhone 3GS features video recording, Voice Control, up to 32GB of storage, and more.

New to iPhone? Find out why you’ll love it

Watch the
Guided Tour
The National Geographic site on iPhone 3GS, with a 2x faster badge.

The Fastest iPhone Ever

The first thing you’ll notice about iPhone 3GS is how quickly you can launch applications. Web pages render in a fraction of the time, and you can view email attachments faster. Improved performance and updated 3D graphics deliver an incredible gaming experience, too. In fact, everything you do on iPhone 3GS is up to 2x faster and more responsive than iPhone 3G.

Video

Images of the iPhone 3GS camera's tap to focus feature and the video camera interface.

Now you can shoot video, edit it, and share it — all on your iPhone 3GS. Shoot high-quality VGA video in portrait or landscape. Trim your footage by adjusting start and end points. Then share your video in an email, post it to your MobileMe gallery, publish it on YouTube, or sync it back to your Mac or PC using iTunes.
Learn more about video recording

3-Megapixel Camera

The new 3-megapixel camera takes great still photos, too, thanks to built-in autofocus and a handy new feature that lets you tap the display to focus on anything (or anyone) you want.
Learn more about the camera

The Voice Control screen and a call screen.

Voice Control

Voice Control recognizes the names in your Contacts and knows the music on your iPod. So if you want to place a call or play a song, all you have to do is ask.
Learn more about Voice Control

A map on iPhone 3GS rotated to show the correct direction and the Compass application.

Compass

With a built-in digital compass, iPhone 3GS can point the way. Use the new Compass app, or watch as it automatically reorients maps to match the direction you’re facing.1
Learn more about Maps + Compass

The iPhone 3GS keyboard and the Cut, Copy, and Paste interface.

Cut, Copy & Paste

Cut, copy, and paste words and photos, even between applications. Copy and paste images and content from the web, too.
Learn more about Cut, Copy & Paste

Landscape Keyboard

Want more room to type on the intelligent software keyboard? Rotate iPhone to landscape to use a larger keyboard in Mail, Messages, Notes, and Safari.
Learn more about the keyboard

Images showing the accessibility settings screen, the White on Black feature, and the Zoom settings screen.

Accessibility

iPhone 3GS offers accessibility features to assist users who are visually or hearing impaired. These features include the VoiceOver screen reader, a Zoom feature, White on Black display options, Mono Audio, and more.
Learn more about accessibility

A laptop connected to an iPhone 3GS with Internet tethering active.

Internet Tethering

Surf the web from practically anywhere. Now you can share the 3G connection on your iPhone with your Mac notebook or PC laptop. Tethering is not currently offered in the U.S. and some other countries. See your carrier for availability.

Learn more about Internet tethering

The Voice Memos application.

Voice Memos

Capture and share a thought, a memo, a meeting, or any audio recording on the go with the new Voice Memos application.
Learn more about Voice Memos

The Nike Plus iPod interface.

Nike + iPod

iPhone includes built-in Nike + iPod support. Just slip the Nike + iPod Sensor (available separately) into your Nike+ shoe and start your workout.

The Stocks application in landscape with a chart tracking stock peformance.

Stocks

Stocks on iPhone shows you charts, financial details, and headline news for any stock you choose. Rotate iPhone to see even more detailed information.

The YouTube application playing a video of a surfing dog.

YouTube

Watch YouTube videos wherever you are. Log in to your YouTube account to save and sync bookmarks and rate your favorites.

iPhone showing Important Message
Safari showing the mobileme site, find my iphone section

Find My iPhone
and Remote Wipe

If you misplace your iPhone, Apple’s MobileMe service can help you find it. Log on to me.com to view a map that shows the approximate location of your iPhone. If it’s nearby, have it play an alert sound to help you find it, or display a message on the home screen to help someone return it to you. If displaying a message hasn’t resulted in its safe return, you can initiate a remote wipe and restore your iPhone to factory settings. Learn more at the MobileMe site

Everything you love about iPhone.

Phone, iPod, and Internet device in one, iPhone 3GS offers desktop-class email, an amazing Maps application, and Safari — the world’s most advanced mobile web browser. And your iPhone does even more when you add apps from the App Store.

Images of the iPhone 3GS Home screen, call screen, iPod now playing screen featuring The Killers, Safai featuring the New York Times, and the Facebook application.

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3 logo


(Counter-clockwise from top) Original logo, new logo, original model and new model design.
Manufacturer Sony EMCS, Foxconn, ASUSTeK and Logitech for SCEI
Product family PlayStation
Type Video game console
Generation Seventh generation era
Retail availability November 11, 2006
Units sold 24.6 million (as of August 5, 2009)(see below)
Media Blu-ray Disc, DVD, CD (all models)
Super Audio CD (20 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB (CECHExx models), Digital distribution
Operating system XrossMediaBar
system software version 3.0[3]
CPU 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine with 1 PPE & 7 SPEs
Storage capacity 2.5" SATA hard drive
(20 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB, 120 GB, or 160 GB included) (upgradeable)
Graphics 550 MHz NVIDIA/SCEI RSX 'Reality Synthesizer'
Controller input Sixaxis, DualShock 3
Connectivity
Online services PlayStation Network
Backward
compatibility
PlayStation (all models)
PlayStation 2 (20 GB, 60 GB, and CECHExx 80 GB models)
Predecessor PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 3 (marketed as PLAYSTATION 3until September 2009and officially abbreviated to PS3) is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment, and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

A major feature that distinguishes the PlayStation 3 from its predecessors is its unified online gaming service, the PlayStation Network,which contrasts with Sony's former policy of relying on video game developers for online play.Other major features of the console include its robust multimedia capabilities,connectivity with the PlayStation Portable, and its use of a high-definition optical disc format, Blu-ray Disc, as its primary storage medium.The PS3 was also the first Blu-ray 2.0-compliant Blu-ray player on the market.

The PlayStation 3 was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan,[12] November 17, 2006 in North America and South America, and March 23, 2007 in Europe and Oceania.Two SKUs were available at launch: a basic model with a 20 GB hard drive (HDD), and a premium model with a 60 GB hard drive and several additional features(the 20 GB model was not released in Europe or Oceania). Since then, several revisions have been made to the console's available models.

History

Sony officially unveiled the PlayStation 3 to the public on May 16, 2005, during the E3 2005 conference.A functional version of the system was not present there, nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005,although demonstrations (such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) were held at both events on devkits and comparable PC hardware. Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was also shown (notably a Final Fantasy VII tech demo). The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports; however, when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one ethernet port and four USB ports, presumably to cut costs. Two hardware configurations were also announced for the console: a 20 GB model and a 60 GB model, priced at $499 (€499) and $599 (€599), respectively. The 60 GB model would be the only configuration to feature an HDMI port, Wi-Fi internet, flash card readers and a chrome trim with the logo in silver.Both models were announced for a simultaneous worldwide release: November 11 for Japan, and November 17 for North America and Europe.

Silver PlayStation 3 prototype (E3 2005 specs). Note the two additional USB ports, three gigabit ethernet ports and two HDMI ports.

On September 6, 2006, Sony announced that the PAL region (Europe and Oceania) PlayStation 3 launch would be delayed until March 2007, due to a shortage of materials used in the Blu-ray Disc drive.

At the Tokyo Game Show on September 22, 2006, Sony announced that it would include an HDMI port on the 20 GB system, but a chrome trim, flash card readers, silver logo, and Wi-Fi would not be included.Also, the launch price of the Japanese 20 GB model was reduced by over 20%,[and the 60 GB model was announced for an open pricing scheme in Japan. During the event, Sony showed 27 playable PS3 games running on final hardware.

Launch

The PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006 at 07:00. According to Media Create, 81,639 PS3 systems were sold within 24 hours of its introduction in Japan.

Soon after its release in Japan, the PS3 was released in North America on November 17, 2006. Reports of violence surrounding the release of the PS3 include a customer shot,campers robbed at gunpointcustomers shot in a drive-by shooting with BB guns, and 60 campers fighting over 10 systems.

The console was originally planned for a global release through November, but the European and rest-of-the-world's release was delayed "until March" at the start of September. With it being a somewhat last-minute delay, some companies had taken deposit-based pre-orders, to which Sony informed customers that they were eligible for full refunds or could continue the pre-order.On January 24, 2007, Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 would go on sale on March 23, 2007 in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and New Zealand. The system sold about 600,000 units in its first two days. On March 7, 2007, the 60 GB PlayStation 3 launched in Singapore with a price of S$799. The console was launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007 in a single version equipped with an 80 GB hard drive and IPTV.

Models

Original model

The original PlayStation 3.

There are five PlayStation 3 hardware models, which are commonly referred to by the size of their included hard disk drive: "20", "40", "60", "80" and "160" GB. The only difference in the appearance of the first five models was the color of the trim. All retail packages include one or two Sixaxis controllers and/or a DualShock 3 controller (beginning June 12, 2008), one miniUSB to USB cable (for connecting the controller to the system), one composite video/stereo audio output cable, one ethernet cable (20, 60, and CECHExx 80 GB only) and one power cable. All models support software emulation of the original PlayStation,but support for PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility has continually diminished with later models.Compatibility issues with games for both systems are detailed in a public database hosted by the manufacturer.All models, excluding the 20GB model, include 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi. In addition to all of the features of the 20 GB model, the 60 GB model has internal IEEE 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, multiple flash card readers (SD/MultiMedia Card, CompactFlash Type I/Type II, Microdrive, Memory Stick/PRO/Duo), and a chrome colored trim. In terms of hardware, the 80 GB model released in South Korea is identical to the 60 GB model released in the PAL regions, except for the difference in hard drive size.

Like the South Korean and European models, the North American 80 GB model also excludes the PlayStation 2 "Emotion Engine" CPU chip.However, it still keeps the "Graphics Synthesizer" GPU.Due to the elimination of the "Emotion Engine", the level of compatibility was reduced. The 40 GB, 80 GB (2008), and 160 GB models have two USB ports instead of the four USB ports on other models, and do not include multiple flash card readers, SACD support , or any backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 games.This was due to the removal of "Graphics Synthesizer" GPU, which stripped the units of all PlayStation 2 based hardware.

No official Wi-Fi or flash memory card readers have yet been released by Sony for the 20 GB system, although plans for such add-ons are in place. Nevertheless, as the model features four USB 2.0 ports, wireless networking and flash memory card support can already be obtained through the use of widely available external USB adapters.

It was rumored that the Cell processors in the third-generation PS3s (40 GB) would move from a 90 nm process to the newer 65 nm process,which SCEI CEO Kaz Hirai later confirmed,and later to 45 nm. This change lowers the power consumption of the console and makes it less expensive to produce.

Slim model

The redesigned slim PlayStation 3.

Following speculation that a 'slim' model was in the pipeline Sony officially announced the PS3 CECH-2000 on August 18, 2009 at the Sony Gamescom press conference.The PS3 slim (officially called the PS3 CECH-2000) will feature an upgradeable 120GB hard drive and is 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% less power than previous models. The cooling system has been redesigned and Cell processor has moved to a 45nm manufacturing process.

The PS3 slim will also include support for BRAVIA Sync allowing control of the console over HDMI and will run quieter than previous models but no longer has the ability to install third party operating systems such as Linux. The PS3 slim will be priced at $299 United States/€299 European Union/£249 United Kingdom/R$549 Brazil/AU$499 Australia/NZ$629 New Zealand/MXN$3,999 Mexico/ P 10,000 Russia/¥29980 Japan and is scheduled to be released on September 1, 2009 in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009 in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.Amazon.com, Best Buy, and GameStop have started to sell the PS3 slim on August 25, 2009. FCC filings also reveal a second slim model, the 250GB CECH-2000B.

Model comparison

HDD Size ↓ Model number(s) [a] ↓ Specific features ↓ Available colors ↓ First available ↓ In production ↓
20 GB
(NTSC)
CECHBxx Hardware-based PS2 emulation
4 USB ports
SACD playback
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
(no trim)
2006-11-01November 2006 No
60 GB
(NTSC)
CECHAxx Hardware-based PS2 emulation
4 USB ports
SACD playback
802.11b/g WiFi
Flash memory readers
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
(chrome trim)
2006-11-01November 2006 No
60 GB
(PAL)
CECHCxx Software-based PS2 emulation
4 USB ports
SACD playback
802.11b/g WiFi
Flash memory readers
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
(chrome trim)
2007-03-01March 2007 No
80 GB
(NTSC)
CECHExx Software-based PS2 emulation
4 USB ports
SACD playback
802.11b/g WiFi
Flash memory readers
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
(chrome trim)
2007-08-01August 2007 No
40 GB
(PAL, NTSC)
CECHGxx
CECHHxx
CECHJxx
2 USB ports
802.11b/g WiFi
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
Ceramic White
Satin Silver
Gun-Metal Gray
(all have satin silver trim)
2007-10-01October 2007 EU AU
November 2007 NA JP
No
80 GB
(PAL, NTSC)
CECHKxx
CECHLxx
2 USB ports
802.11b/g WiFi
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
Ceramic White
Satin Silver
(all have satin silver trim)
2008-08-01August 2008 NA EU AU
October 2008 JP
No

Still selling remaining models

160 GB
(PAL, NTSC)
CECHPxx 2 USB ports
802.11b/g WiFi
Third-party OS install
Piano Black
(satin silver trim)
2008-10-01October 2008 EU
November 2008 NA
No

Still selling remaining models

120 GB
(PAL, NTSC)
CECH-20xxA 2 USB ports
802.11b/g WiFi
Bravia Sync XMB control
Smaller form factor
Charcoal Black
2008-08-011 September 2009 NA EU

3 September 2009 AU NZ JP

Yes
All models excluding Satin Silver, Gunmetal Gray and Slim have a glossy finish
All models include: Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive, HDMI 1.3a, Bluetooth 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T), PlayStation One backward compatibility through software emulation.

^ a Model numbers differ by region. See PlayStation 3 hardware – model numbers for details.
^ b Ceramic white model available in Asia and Japan only.
^ c Satin silver model available in Asia and Japan only.
^ d Gun-Metal Gray model is only available as part of the MGS4 bundle.

Sales and production costs

Region Units sold First available
Canada 520,000 as of August 1, 2008 November 17, 2006
Europe 10 million+ as of August 18, 2009 March 23, 2007
Japan 3 million as of April 17, 2009 November 11, 2006
United Kingdom 2 million as of March 5, 2009 March 23, 2007
United States 9 million+ as of August 18, 2009 November 17, 2006
Worldwide 24.6 million as of August 5, 2009 November 11, 2006

The PlayStation 3's initial production cost is estimated to have been US$805.85 for the 20 GB model and US$840.35 for the 60 GB model However, they were priced at US$499 and US$599 respectively, meaning that every unit was sold at an estimated loss of $250, contributing to Sony's games division posting an operating loss of ¥232.3 billion (US$1.97 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2007.In April 2007, soon after these results were published, Ken Kutaragi, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced plans to retire. Various news agencies, including The Times[ and The Wall Street Journa reported that this was due to poor sales, whilst SCEI maintains that Kutaragi had been planning his retirement for six months prior to the announcement.

In January 2008, Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, suggested that the console may start making a profit by early 2009, stating that, "the next fiscal year starts in April and if we can try to achieve that in the next fiscal year that would be a great thing" and that "[profitability] is not a definite commitment, but that is what I would like to try to shoot for".However, market analysts Nikko Citigroup have predicted that the PlayStation 3 could be profitable by August 2008. In a July 2008 interview, Hirai stated that his objective is for the PlayStation 3 to sell 150 million units by its ninth year, surpassing the PlayStation 2's sales of 140 million in its nine years on the market. In January 2009 Sony announced that their gaming division was profitable in Q3 2008.

Since the system's launch, production costs have been reduced significantly as a result of phasing out the Emotion Engine chip and falling hardware costs.The cost of manufacturing Cell microprocessors has fallen dramatically as a result of moving to the 65 nm production process, and Blu-ray diodes have become cheaper to manufacture. As of January 2008, each unit cost around $400 to manufacture; by August 2009, Sony had reduced costs by a total of 70%, yielding about $250 per unit.

Hardware and accessories

Hardware

The PlayStation 3 is convex on its left side, with the PlayStation logo upright, when vertical (the top side is convex when horizontal), and has a glossy black finish. PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto stated that the Spider-Man font-inspired logo "was one of the first elements SCEI president Ken Kutaragi decided on and the logo may have been the motivating force behind the shape of PS3".

The PlayStation 3 features a slot-loading 2x speed Blu-ray Disc drive for games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, CDs, and other optical media. It was originally available with hard drives of 20 and 60 GB (only the 60 GB model was available in PAL regions). An 80 GB model has since been introduced in NTSC regions,and a 40 GB model has been introduced in all regions. All PS3 models have user-upgradeable 2.5" SATA hard drives.

The PlayStation 3 uses the Sony, Toshiba, IBM-designed Cell microprocessor as its CPU, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs).The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields.Only six of the seven SPEs are accessible to developers as the seventh SPE is reserved by the console's operating system. Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', which can output resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080p HD.The PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX.

The system has Bluetooth 2.0, gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.3a built in on all currently shipping models.Wi-Fi networking is also built-in on the 40, 60 and 80 GB models while a flash card reader (compatible with Memory Stick, SD/MMC, and CompactFlash/Microdrive media) is built-in on 60 GB and CECHExx 80 GB models. The system supports up to 7 controllers that are connected via Bluetooth 2.0 technology.

The PS3's hardware has also been used to build supercomputers for high-performance computing. Terra Soft Solutions has a version of Yellow Dog Linux for the PlayStation 3,and sells PS3s with Linux pre-installed, in single units, and 6 and 32 node clusters.In addition, RapidMind is pushing their stream programming package for the PS3. Also, on January 3, 2007, Dr. Frank Mueller, Associate Professor ofComputer science at NCSU, clustered 8 PS3s. Mueller commented that the 256 MB of system RAM is a limitation for this particular application, and is considering attempting to retrofit more RAM. Software includes: Fedora Core 5 Linux ppc64, MPICH2, OpenMP v 2.5, GNU Compiler Collection and CellSDK 1.1.

On March 22, 2007, SCE and Stanford University released the Folding@home project for the PlayStation 3.This program allows PS3 owners to lend the computing power of their consoles to help study the physical process of protein folding.

Accessories

Numerous accessories for the console have been developed including the wireless Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers, the BD Remote, the PlayStation Eye camera and the PlayTV DVB-T tuner/digital video recorder accessory.

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 included. Hands-on accounts describe the controller as being noticeably heavier than the standard Sixaxis controller, and capable of vibration forces comparable to the DualShock 2. It was released in Japan on November 11, 2007, in North America on April 15, 2008, in Australia on April 24, 2008, in New Zealand on May 9, 2008, in Europe on July 2, 2008, and in the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 4, 2008. During E3 2009, Sony unveiled plans to release a motion controller in 2010.

Software

Operating system

Sony has included the ability for the operating system, referred to as System Software, to be updated.The updates can be acquired in several ways:

  • If the PlayStation 3 has an active Internet connection, updates may be downloaded directly from the PlayStation Network to the PS3 and subsequently installed. Systems with active Internet will automatically check online for software updates each time the console is started.
  • Using an external PC, a user may download the update from the official PlayStation website, transfer it to portable storage media, and install it on the System.
  • Some game discs come with system software updates on the disc. This may be due to the game requiring the update in order to run. If so, the software may be installed from the disc.
    Photo Gallery is a space to view, create and group photos from the PS3.

The PlayStation 3 also includes the ability to install other operating systems, such as Linux. This ability has been removed with the introduction of the new slim model and will not be available in any future hardware revisions.

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery is an optional application, which is installed separately from the system software at 105MB. It was introduced in system software version 2.60 and provides a range of tools for sorting through and displaying the system's pictures. The key feature of this application is that it can organize photos into groups according to various criteria. Notable categorizations are colors, ages, or facial expressions of the people in the photos. Slideshows can be viewed with the application, along with music and playlists.

Graphical user interface

The PlayStation 3 version of the XrossMediaBar (pronounced Cross Media Bar, or abbreviated XMB) includes nine categories of options. These are: Users, Settings, Photo, Music, Video, Game, Network, PlayStation Network, and Friends (similar to the PlayStation Portable media bar). The PS3 includes the ability to store various master and secondary user profiles, manage and explore photos with or without a musical slide show, play music and copy audio CD tracks to an attached data storage device, play movies and video files from the hard disk drive, an optional USB mass storage or Flash card, or an optical disc (Blu-ray Disc or DVD-Video), compatibility for a USB keyboard and mouse, and the web browser supporting in/compatible file download function. Additionally, UPnP media will appear in the respective audio/video/photo categories if a compatible media server is detected on the local network. The Friends menu allows mail with emoticon and attached picture features and video chat which requires an optional PlayStation Eye or EyeToy webcam The Network menu allows online shopping through the PlayStation Store and connectivity to the PlayStation Portable via Remote Play.

VidZone

VidZone is a music video download service accessible from the Music category on the XMB

VidZone is an online music video service, which allows for free streaming of music videos from the VidZone.tv website. The VidZone catalogue encompasses over 1.5 million tracks, 25,000 music videos and 15,000 realtones, including full access to catalogues from Sony BMG and EMI.

On June 11, 2009, VidZone’s service was extended to the PlayStation 3 video game system in Europe and Australia, allowing users to watch music videos for on their PS3 or streamed to their PSP via Remote Play.

PlayStation Network

Official logo of the PlayStation Network

Sony announced a unified online service for the PlayStation 3 system at the 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing meeting in Tokyo.Sony also confirmed that the service will always be connected, free,and include multiplayer support.When the network launched, the registration interface could only be accessed through the PS3 or PSP system interfaces.This has been changed since to allow users to sign up from the PlayStation Network website.

At the Tokyo Game Show on September 21, 2006, it was revealed that users will be able to download some of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles from the PlayStation Network for about US$5–$15, starting with those with the smallest game data.

On May 8, 2007 Sony Computer Entertainment announced PlayStation Network Cards,a form of electronic money that can be used with the Store. PlayStation Network Tickets, available in units of 1,000, 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 yen, can be purchased at convenience stores throughout Japan. Each ticket contains a 12 alphanumeric code which can be input on the PlayStation Network to place credits in the virtual wallet. The tickets are available through electronic kiosks at 26,000 convenience stores, including Lawsons, Family Mart, Daily Yamazaki, Ministop and Sunkus.They are also available at 26,000 post office ATMs, although registration is required first at a special mobile website.

A similar PlayStation Network card system based on actual cards instead of tickets was introduced in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in Summer 2007 and in Spring 2008 in North America.

PlayStation Home

PlayStation Home is a virtual community-based service for the PlayStation Network, announced during the 2007 Game Developers Conference. Home allows users to create a custom avatar, which can be made to suit the user's liking.Users can decorate their avatar's personal apartment ("HomeSpace") with default, bought, or won items. Users can shop for new items to express themselves more through their avatars or HomeSpace.Users interact and connect with friends and customise content in a virtual world.Home also acts as a meeting place for users that want to play multiplayer games with others.

A closed beta began in Europe from May 2007 and expanded to other territories soon after.Home was delayed and expanded several times before initially releasing.The Open Beta test was started on December 11, 2008. Home is available directly from the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar. Membership is free, and only requires a PSN account.

Home is the host to avatars, a virtual economy, personal spaces and clubs. It features places to meet and interact, dedicated game spaces, developer spaces, company spaces, and events. The service undergoes a weekly maintenance and frequent updates. Xi, a once notable feature in Home, is the world's first console-based Alternate Reality Game. Adventures, puzzles and spaces were set up to continuously puzzle those who participated in finding clues. The meaning of Xi and the mysterious character "Jess" were the objects of study in this game. As of August 2009, Home has been downloaded by 7.5 million users.

PlayStation Portable connectivity

Playing a PlayStation 3 game on the PSP

The PlayStation Portable can connect with the PlayStation 3 in many ways, including in-game connectivity. For example, Formula One Championship Edition, a racing game, was shown at E3 2006 using a PSP as a real-time rear-view mirror.In addition, it is possible to download original PlayStation format games to the PlayStation 3 from the PlayStation Store. These games were not originally playable on the PS3. They could only be sent to a PSP, and played using the PSP's PlayStation Emulator. Sony added support for playing original PlayStation format titles on PS3 on April 18, 2007, with the update to firmware revision 1.70.

Sony has also demonstrated the PSP playing back video content from the PlayStation 3 hard disk across an ad-hoc wireless network. This feature is referred to as Remote Play located under the browser icon on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable. Remote play has since expanded to allow remote access to the PS3 via PSP from any wireless access point in the world.

Games

The PlayStation 3 launched in North America with 14 titles, with another three being released before the end of 2006. After the first week of sales it was confirmed that Resistance: Fall of Man from Insomniac Games was the top-selling launch game in North America.The game was heavily praised by numerous video game websites, including GameSpot and IGN, both of whom awarded it their PlayStation 3 Game of the Year award for 2006.Some titles missed the launch window and were delayed until early 2007, such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, F.E.A.R. and Sonic the Hedgehog. During the Japanese launch, Ridge Racer 7 was the top-selling game, while Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire also fared well in sales, both of which were offerings from Namco Bandai. The PlayStation 3 launched in Europe with 24 titles, including ones that were not offered in the North American and Japanese launches, such as Formula One Championship Edition, MotorStorm and Virtua Fighter 5. Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm were the most successful titles of 2007, and both games subsequently received sequels in the form of Resistance 2 and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.

At E3 2007, Sony was able to show a number of their upcoming video games for the PlayStation 3, including Heavenly Sword, Lair, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Warhawk and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune; all of which were released in the third and fourth quarters of 2007. They also showed off a number of titles that were set for release in 2008 and 2009; most notably Killzone 2, Infamous, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, LittleBigPlanet and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. A number of third-party exclusives were also shown, including the highly-anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,alongside other high-profile third-party titles such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5. Two other important titles for the PlayStation 3, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, were shown at TGS 2007 in order to appease the Japanese market.

Sony have since launched their budget range of PlayStation 3 titles, known as the Greatest Hits range in North America, the Platinum range in Europe and The Best range in Japan. Among the titles available in the budget range include Resistance: Fall of Man, MotorStorm, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call Of Duty 3, Assassin's Creed and Ninja Gaiden Sigma. As of July 2009 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Devil May Cry 4, Army of Two, Battlefield: Bad Company have also joined the list. When they are put on the "Greatest Hits" list the new unused copies retail for $30 USD and are re-shipped in a new red case.

As of March 31, 2009, there have been 174.9 million games sold for the PlayStation 3.

Stereoscopic 3D

In December 2008 the CTO of Blitz Games announced that they would bring stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie viewing to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with their own technology. According to Blitz Games, SCE confirmed that they intend to support stereoscopic 3D games and Blu-ray movies and that the functionality will be introduced to the PlayStation 3 via a firmware update in 2009. This technology was first demonstrated publicly on the PS3 in January 2009 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Journalists were shown Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in 3D as a demonstration of how the technology might work if it is implemented in the future.

Reception

A silver PS3 on showcase in 2006

Early PlayStation 3 reviews soon after launch were critical of its high price and lack of quality launch games, but commended the system's hardware capabilities and potential. However, after a series of price revisions, Blu-ray's victory over HD DVD, and the release of several well received titles, the system received better reviews. IGN judged the PlayStation 3 to have the best game line-up of 2008, based on their review scores in comparison to those of the Wii and Xbox 360.

The PS3 was given the number-eight spot on PC World magazine’s list of "The Top 21 Tech Screwups of 2006," where it was criticized for being "Late, Expensive, and Incompatible".GamesRadar ranked the PS3 as the top item in a feature on game-related PR disasters, asking how Sony managed to "take one of the most anticipated game systems of all time and — within the space of a year — turn it into a hate object reviled by the entire internet", but added that despite its problems the system has "untapped potential".Business Week summed up the general opinion by stating that it was "more impressed with what [the PlayStation 3] could do than with what it currently does".

Developers have also found the machine difficult to program for. In 2007, Gabe Newell of Valve said "The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it's really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted". He continued "I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a Do Over. Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it'".Doug Lombardi VP of Marketing for Valve has since stated that they are interested in developing for the console and are looking to hire talented PS3 programmers for future projects. However he stated, "Until we have the ability to get a PS3 team together, until we find the people who want to come to Valve or who are at Valve who want to work on that, I don't really see us moving to that platform". He also expressed disappointment with how the PS3 version of The Orange Box turned out calling it a "stepchild" version of the game.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has criticised the PS3’s high development costs and inferior attach rate and return to that of the Xbox 360 and Wii. He believes these factors are pushing developers away from working on the console. In an interview with The Times Kotick stated "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform". He continued, "It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation". Kotick also claimed that Activision Blizzard may stop supporting the system if the situation is not addressed. “[Sony has] to cut the [PS3’s retail] price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.” However, this has gotten Kotick some heavy criticism about the validity of the statement and whether such a statement, or such a move, would even be appropriate, with Bioware even calling the statement "silly".

Despite the initial negative press, several websites have given the system very good reviews. CNET United Kingdom praised the system saying, "the PS3 is a versatile and impressive piece of home-entertainment equipment that lives up to the hype [...] the PS3 is well worth its hefty price tag".CNET awarded it a score of 8.8 out of 10 and voted it as its number one "must-have" gadget, praising its robust graphical capabilities and stylish exterior design while criticizing its limited selection of available games.

In addition, both Home Theater Magazine and Ultimate AV have given the system's Blu-ray playback very favorable reviews, stating that the quality of playback exceeds that of many current standalone Blu-ray players.

Hexus Gaming reviewed the PAL version and summed the review up by saying, "as the PlayStation 3 matures and developers start really pushing it, we’ll see the PlayStation 3 emerge as the console of choice for gaming". At GDC 2007, Shiny Entertainment founder Dave Perry stated, "I think that Sony has made the best machine. It's the best piece of hardware, without question". A second review of the PS3 by Ars Technica in June 2008 gave the console an overall mark of 9/10, while the original launch review marked only 6/10