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PS2 from Sony

"You've Got to Wait until Fall"

Sony's long anticipated PlayStation 2 hit the streets of Tokyo on March 4th with as much excitement as an incoming 30-foot tsunami. Combining ultra-high resolution, 3D processing and the ability to play DVDs, audio CDs, and connect to the Internet, the PS2 has set a new benchmark in performance for Sega, Nintendo and Microsoft.The new system is backwards compatible with original PlayStations, and is undoubtedly the pacesetter for a new generation of gaming enter-tainment consoles.
Unfortunately, for the North American market, buyers will have to wait until fall 2000 to get their hands on it. We will show you the box's insides and outs.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. launched its long awaited and much anticipated PlayStation 2 in Tokyo on March 4th, selling 20,000 consoles shy of its one million goal during the first 48 hours that the product was available. The PS2 incorporates a quantum leap in technology over all other existing gaming consoles, in which games, music and movies are merged within a single computer entertainment product offering.


Design Rating: WOW


 Sony PlayStation 2

  Processor: 300 MHz, 128 Bit
                     "Emotion Engine"
  RAM:          32 MB (Rambus)
   Graphics Processor:

                    150 MHz
      Internal DVD/CD
     2 x USB, 1 x IEEE 1394
     Type III PCMCIA Card Slot

     2 memory card slots
     2 controller ports

Availability:  in U.S.  Fall 2000

  Price:  anticipated in the range
              of $299 to $350

     Today's Street Price: $1,000!!

Supporting both audio CD and DVD-Video formats, PS2 is equipped with a 128-bit "Emotion Engine" CPU which comprises a 300 MHz system clock and 32 MB Direct Rambus memory. The memory bus bandwidth is an impressive 3.2 GB per second. The system's I/O Processor is intentionally configured with the original PlayStation's core processor to allow for backward compatibility with all existing PlayStation games.

Probably the most standout capability of PS2 is its phenomenal capability to process and provide animation to 3D graphic images. Using a technique called Bezier surfacing, PS2 internal programming analyzes how many 3D object pieces - or polygons - are required to render a generated object with real-time, smoothed surfaces to provide as lifelike an image as possible. As a comparison, PS2 can process around 20 million polygons a second versus Dreamcast's approximate 3 million polygons a second, Nintendo 64's approximate 150K polygons per second, and the original PlayStation's approximate 360K polygons a second. The end results are incredible images in which flags flutter in the breeze, and hair flows in the wind.

The PS2 console also incorporates a new laser spindle technology for the DVD drive, which allows the unit to read both CD-formatted discs as well as DVD-format discs. While most of the original offering of games will be in CD format, this will transition to DVD discs as games of this media format continue to be developed on a widespread basis. To further ensure compatibility with existing original PlayStation owners, PS2 accepts all original memory cards and controllers, including the PocketStation.

Anticipated hardware peripherals for PS2 include a new analog controller (termed "Dual Shock 2"), a PS2 8-MB memory card, and a PS2 "Multitap" and hard drive - to allow for downloading of movies, music and games from the Web. As for the picture quality of PS2, Sony executives have gone on record to state that DVD video presentation rivals that of dedicated high-end DVD-Video players. While most dedicated DVD-Video players employ a hardwired video decoder chip, the PS2 processes DVD-Video in software to present an interlaced scanning video presentation.

Sony intends to add much-enhanced progressive scan (525p) output capability to PS2 within the next six months, which will make the console a technology competitor with the very top-end existing DVD-Video players. Using software processing will likewise make distribution of any anticipated upgrades a relatively easy process for PS2 owners.

The down side: You are going to have to wait to get the product here in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that the product will be available in Fall 2000, with most insiders believing that the U.S. release will occur in September.

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Last updated:12-Apr-2000

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