Sony have announced details of their forthcoming PlayStation 3 console, setting the release date for Spring 2006, during their pre-E3 press conference held at their Culver City based Sony Studios.

Sony PlayStation 3 console

As announced previously the machine will use the 54GB capacity Blu-Ray disc format for game distribution, and will feature the IBM designed Cell chip which will run at 3.2Ghz, allowing the machine to deliver some 2.18 Teraflops of performance.

The new console will support a range of memory formats, with a detachable 2.5 inch hard drive being paired up with slots for Sony Memory Stick Duo, Compact Flash and Secure Digital cards which will allow for the transfer of data from digital cameras and MP3 players.

Six USB ports will allow for further expansion, whilst an impressively high speed gigabit ethernet port will allow for broadband connectivity - far faster than most home networks, yet alone internet connections. 802.11b and g wireless will also feature in the machine to give wifi users an easy way to link their console up to their existing network.

Sony PlayStation 3 console

HDTV appears to be as important to Sony as it is to Microsoft with their Xbox 360, and possibly somewhat more so when it comes to the PlayStation 3 which will have two 1080p resolution High Definition MultiMedia Interface (DVI) ports, which would appear to open up the possibility for games to be split across two screens giving double the screen space.

Seven wireless controllers will be able to interact with the machine, with transmission based on the bluetooth wireless radio system, which is typically found in mobile phones. Control will also be possible by using Sony's PSP handheld via the built-in wifi connectivity.

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