Console Development

Sony PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as a part of the PlayStation series.

The PlayStation 3 features a slot-loading 2x speed Blu-ray Disc drive for games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, CDs and other optical media. It was originally available with hard drives of 20 and 60 GB (20 GB model was not available in PAL regions) but various sizes up to 320 GB have been made available since then (see: model comparison). All PS3 models have user-upgradeable 2.5" SATA hard drives.

The PlayStation 3 uses the Sony, Toshiba, IBM-designed Cell microprocessor as its CPU, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields. Only six of the seven SPEs are accessible to developers as the seventh SPE is reserved by the console's operating system. Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', which can output resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080p HD. The PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR DRAM main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX.

The system has Bluetooth 2.0 (with support for up to 7 bluetooth devices), gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 built in on all currently shipping models. Wi-Fi networking is also built-in on all but the 20 GB models, while a flash card reader (compatible with Memory Stick, SD/MMC and CompactFlash/Microdrive media) is built-in on 60 GB and CECHExx 80 GB models.


Microsoft Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft and the successor to the Xbox.

Some major features of the Xbox 360 are its integrated Xbox Live service that allows players to compete online, download arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, music and movies and its Windows Media Center multimedia capabilities.

The main unit of the Xbox 360 itself has slight double concavity in matte white or black. The official color of the white model is Arctic Chill. It features a port on the top when vertical (left side when horizontal) to which a custom-housed hard drive unit can be attached in sizes of either 20, 60, 120 or 250 GB. Inside, the Xbox 360 uses the triple-core IBM designed Xenon as its CPU, with each core capable of simultaneously processing two threads, and can therefore operate on up to six threads at once. Graphics processing is handled by the ATI Xenos, which has 10 MB of eDRAM. Its main memory pool is 512 MB in size.

XNA Community is a feature whereby Xbox 360 owners can receive community-created games, made with Microsoft XNA Game Studio, from the XNA Creators Club. The games are written, published, and distributed through a community managed portal. XNA Community provides a channel for digital videogame delivery over Xbox Live that can be free of royalties, publishers and licenses.


Nintendo Wii

The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006.

A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and detects movement in three dimensions. Another distinctive feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.

The Wii Remote is the primary controller for the console. It uses a combination of built-in accelerometers and infrared detection to sense its position in 3D space when pointed at the LEDs within the Sensor Bar. This design allows users to control the game using physical gestures as well as traditional button presses. The controller connects to the console using Bluetooth and features rumble as well as an internal speaker. The Wii Remote can connect to expansion devices through a proprietary port at the base of the controller. The device bundled with the Wii retail package is the Nunchuk unit, which features an accelerometer and a traditional analog stick with two trigger buttons. In addition, an attachable wrist strap can be used to prevent the player from unintentionally dropping or throwing the Wii Remote. Nintendo has also offered a stronger strap and the Wii Remote Jacket to provide extra grip and protection. The Wii MotionPlus was announced as a device that connects to the Wii Remote to supplement the accelerometer and Sensor Bar capabilities and enable actions to be rendered identically on the screen in real time. Nintendo also revealed the Wii Vitality Sensor, a fingertip pulse oximeter sensor that connects through the Wii Remote.