With the launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft made a huge song and dance about its Internet functionality. Well, as you might have guessed from the built in Wi-Fi and Ethernet, Sony isn’t planning to concede any ground here either. The PS3 will have its own marketplace like Xbox Live where demos can be accessed, additional games content downloaded and products bought. Video calls can also be made using a high definition camera it said, without specifying if it with would be offering this additional hardware itself or via third parties.
Finally, like we said with the Xbox 360, the PS3 will live and die by its games. The back catalogue of PS and PS2 titles does it no harm at all (especially in the eyes of upgraders), but it will be the new software that determines its future. We don’t think Sony will be too worried, however, with the new versions of fabled series such as Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Tekken and Unreal 3 already well underway.
Sony has demoed some of these games live, but many were pre-rendered sequences which gave little insight into the console itself. The big exception was Unreal 3, which offers a truly stunning flyby sequence. The engine is going to be the mainstay for a lot of the first PS3 games so if you want to read more about it check it out here. A grab of one of its incredible renderings is at the top of the page. We've created two mosaics of other shots issued by developers above and below.
Is Microsoft worried about the PS3? It’s planning to target the release of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 against the launch of the PS3, so I’ll let you decide for yourselves...
We know we are going to get asked this question, so let’s head it off at the pass. Which do we think will win out? There is room for both, but if forced to pick one we have to side with the PS3 for raw power and Sony's console pedigree. Either way, gaming just got one hell of a lot more interesting in the last few days.
We can't wait, and we suspect neither can you?