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
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
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?