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PlayStation 3 3 screen shots

Broken Promises: A Closer Look at the PS3

Just how many features did the PlayStation 3 lose? And is it still worth its $499-$599 asking price? These photographs, comparing the 2005 PS3 mock-up and the 2006 redesign, tell the tale.

Now that the dust from E3 has settled, one thing is clear: the PlayStation 3 will not include many perks Sony initially promised last year at E3 2005.

Part of this story's inspiration comes from a forum post that compared the design of the PS3 unveiled last year to the latest photographs Sony released this year.

But we wanted to go even deeper. The truth is, in several cases, the differences between the old PS3 and the new PS3 are sweeping. By our count, as many as five features disappeared from the PS3 from 2005 to 2006.

The most notable example is HDMI output, a feature Sony was keen to promote at E3 2005 but now only appears in the high-end $599 model. Furthermore, neither model supports dual-HDMI video output, a feature Sony made sure to hype in their press announcements last year. Dual-display support may still be possible on the $599 60 GB PS3 model, given the presence of an HDMI port and an audio/visual multi-out port, but that's unconfirmed.

Top to bottom: Old PS3, 20 GB PS3, 60 GB PS3. Note the missing HDMI support, fewer ethernet ports, and no USB

Top to bottom: Old PS3, 20 GB PS3, 60 GB PS3. Note the missing HDMI support, fewer ethernet ports, and no USB

The gaming press has known about another sacrifice for months -- the loss of the built-in internet router technology first promised in 2005. Oddly, Sony's PS3 head, Ken Kutaragi, said that the compromise would only eliminate router functionality, meaning the PS3 would still have multiple ethernet ports and function like a standard ethernet hub. Those features never made it into the PS3 at all -- it features just one ethernet port. What happened?

Another interesting development is that the PS3 has lost two USB 2.0 ports. We're currently confirming this fact with Sony representatives, but judging by what we currently know, players will have four USB ports, not the six shown in the 2005 images. And only the high-end $599 model will have integrated Wi Fi support and memory card reader, though users can add these by buying seperate peripherals and connecting them via the PS3's USB ports.

The 2005 PS3 had virtually no vents, but the slightly thicker 2006 model is loaded with ventilation

The 2005 PS3 had virtually no vents, but the slightly thicker 2006 model is loaded with ventilation

Another change is more aesthetic in nature: judging by the latest images of the PS3, the final version will be quite a bit thicker than the 2005 E3 mock-up. Perhaps there was some truth to the rumors that Sony was having a hard time fitting the PS3 hardware into its chassis?

comments [ 19 ] - post your comment subscribe to this feed RSS subscription


Posted at: 05/18/06 at 17:59 PM PST

this is just carzy how could they do that well i geuss they thougth no one would notice it doesent matter to me i'm getting the 60 GB verison but still

ETito ETito

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 18:53 PM PST

If they didn't take the "extras" out, the price of the PS3 would have been crazy. Sony did it to stay competitive.

htown4life htown4life

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 19:00 PM PST

who is Sony?? Whats a PS3???

rhlin88 rhlin88

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 19:01 PM PST

AH... Firefox failed me from releasing my rampage onto gamepro with their bias ignorance over a good deal system. So ill due a summary since i'd figured no one would've read the original copy before. Dual HDMI - no one in their sane mind would buy 2 HDTV's within the next 2 years b/c it's not worth it at the time unless you're just rich. Minus 2 ports- could connect one of those USB hubs to one of the 4 current USB ports to increase number of ports and playing an 8 player game is ridiculus if you cut the screen into 8 corners...ridiculus Router- pretty sweet but necessary to keep prices down and for Sony to not lose as much money as they would have. same with above comments gamepro staff did not forget to notice the increase of ventilation on the last picture of the ps3 which is probably because of current overheating problems of the XBOX 360 and sony knows not to have the same problems. For those who complained about the price - 3 words: Get A Job. budget yourself if you really want it. Hypocrites to those who have ridiculously expensive gadgets such as the Ipod nano 4 GB for $249 and Ipod Video 60 GB for $399 which can't do half the amount of stuff as ps3 Ps3- really is cheap compare to other blu-ray components such as Blu-ray burner from Panasonic costing $999 and blu-ray player costing just over $1000. for the gamepro staff to even say "And is it still worth its $499-$599 asking price?" is utterly ridiculous considering that they don';t get their facts straight or know anything at all makes them as bad as the reuters at e3 reporting that the Wii boothe did much better than anyother booths. Which proves the point that it is cheap considering your'e getting more than next-gen dvd player but a game system that could play music and videos in HD online capabilities and probably more. Basically what I'm saying is that Gamepro is overly bias that overlooks basic facts who are basically forcing a change in opinions for those readers.

rhlin88 rhlin88

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 19:04 PM PST

the change of the blu-ray slot could be because of the blu-ray disc's structure. They used to be all in cartridges until tdk created a new bad-ass resin which makes the disc more resilient than current-gen disc. Basically little to no scrathes when cleaning, dropping, or w/e else we do that magically create's scratches on our discs.

kalell kalell

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 22:14 PM PST

I would like to have the router, but I'm not too upset about the other missing features.

AlmightRa AlmightRa

Posted at: 05/18/06 at 23:13 PM PST

I agree all systems have design changes when they are close to come'n out for sell..If it's missing certian things it's ok...I think some of the staff are undercover XBox360 owners..iHey it's possible.I know i'm geetign that 60 GB with no drama

darqness darqness

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 00:27 AM PST

This was NOT about staying competitive as Etito stated, nor is it some super special delicious bargain as rhlih88 likes to states. This article illustrates simply what Sony does best... talks a HUGE game upfront and then delivers much less than promised. I am not a Sony-hater or Xbox360 fanboy, and I will at some point have all 3 machines. They were trying to "Dreamcast" 360 sales, by promoting target renders, and FMV at last E3. And DO NOT sugar coat the fact this thing is more than half way to a THOUSAND DOLLARS.

darqness darqness

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 00:55 AM PST

Hypothetically speaking.... What happens to console prices, and disc production cost if Blu-ray in a couple of years ends up on the losing end of the format wars??? Wooooo... scary! The PS3 is one sexy biznotch of a machine, but I would just like Sony to stop the smoke and mirrors, and try honesty with the press and gaming public. Man-up about your shortcomings(a la Nintendo), and let the games begin... literally! PS: To you grammar snobs.... "stateS" was a typo. And BTW... I like using ellipses. ;)

vtgamer1017 vtgamer1017

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 07:12 AM PST

Hard to imagine how much it would have cost if it had included all those features...

rahimlee54 rahimlee54

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 09:39 AM PST

If the PS3 sells then Blu-ray wont end up on the losing end of the format wars since the gamers will buy the movies because what gamer doesnt like a good star trek in HD (besides me). Pretty much if the PS3 sells like the PS2 Blu-ray will be the next gen if not whoever gets a PS3 is screwed that is just how it goes. But from what gamepro has posted about the HD-DVD drive it is going to cost 200-300 dollars for the add on so no XBOX owner will really be buying that. A positive about the $600 price tag if you want to count one.

Elixer45 Elixer45

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 13:41 PM PST

Um... long live the Wii?

ViciousSid ViciousSid

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 15:01 PM PST

I think Sony should have skipped announced the 60 GB model. What does that even achieve? Put HDMI in the 20 GB model, and make the 60 GB model (with integrated Wi FI, Memory Card slots, and maybe another treat) a launch-day surprise. As it is, everyone's reporting that PS3 costs $600, which isn't entirely accurate. But it is bad press for Sony.

Murder17 Murder17

Posted at: 05/19/06 at 20:51 PM PST

I think Sony was just throwing things out at E3 05 to what people like and don't like. First of all 1080p HDMI tvs just came out so NO ONE is going to have two of them anytime soon. Plus I hear the HDMI cables cost a $100. Second of all I read in the interview with Phil Harrison on Gamepro that he said both versions will support 1080p and you can't even tell the difference between the HDMI and analog 1080p screens.

VGgamer VGgamer

Posted at: 05/20/06 at 04:57 AM PST

I don't think E3s are the best way to find out what people like and don't like. They should probably do that beofrehand. Just a suggestion/guess.

giovonni giovonni

Posted at: 05/20/06 at 08:17 AM PST

Well, to give you all my opinon on this. There is no way Sony can make it justifiable for their system to cost this much. Every one says " Well people buy computers at that price" Lets be clear people. Computers do more then a ps3 you can do more productive stuff on a computer then you could a ps3. A ps3 is for pure entertaiment a computer is more well rounded. I mean if I'm going to pay 600 dollars for a machine it better do what a computer does plus more. I better be able to do my taxes, write turn papers web surf, buy tickets to the Knicks game. pay my cell phone bill while downloading boot leg music. Not with a PS3 though. when it all comes down to it all the people are thristy for the games. Not once have I heard anyone say "man I can't wait until MI3 is in bluray format." King Kong will look breath taken in bluray. why, because the majority will use it to play metal gear 4. I mean lets really think about what we spending six hundred dollars on.

Murder17 Murder17

Posted at: 05/20/06 at 09:02 AM PST

You can't get a computer with the PS3 specs for $600. All I use a computer for is to surf the web, chat with friends, store and play music, pics, and videos. PS3 will be able to do all of those. So for me PS3 is well worth $600 compared to a $1,400 Dell.

AlmightRa AlmightRa

Posted at: 05/24/06 at 09:21 AM PST

You do have a point giovonni ..But u can't front for what we are planning to shell out for the PS3 it better get in tip top shape for the lanuch..Cuz I know how it feels to get screwed by the companies.."Sega Cd" Owners knoww hat i'm talkin about ..I want my money's worth for 600 beans with no bs'n...Well only time will tell from here to to Nov.

Arbiter Arbiter

Posted at: 05/25/06 at 15:33 PM PST

I am not surprised. i knew it was all hype, and now I can feel even better about my purchase of not one, not two, but THREE Xbox 360's. Sure i sold two of them, but now i know I was giving my customer's the best of the best.