TOKYO, March 2, 1999 — Sony Computer Entertainment is pleased to announce the completion of its research and development project to design the successor to the PlayStation that was first introduced during 1994 in Japan. The advanced technology of the next generation system provides the basis for an exciting new era of in-home digital entertainment.
With over 50 Million units shipped to date, the original PlayStation game console radically changed the landscape for computer entertainment with the introduction of real-time 3D graphics which significantly enhanced the possibilities for creative expression over conventional 2D graphics-based systems.
The next generation PlayStation massively increases the quality and performance of graphics technology to the maximum level that can be enjoyed on a television set through the innovative design of its new Graphics Synthesizer. The new Graphics Synthesizer will give software experiences for the next generation PlayStation unparalleled graphic quality and detail. The next generation PlayStation technology combines this richly detailed graphics quality with the revolutionary ability to generate worlds, characters, behaviors and complex physical simulations in real-time via the massive floating-point processing power of the system.
This powerful combination allows for new types of computer entertainment to be created. For example, the hair and clothing of a character can be effected by a digital wind calculated and processed in real-time. Other examples include the dynamic simulation of real-world physical attributes such as gravity, friction, mass and accurate simulation of different materials such as water, wood, metal, and gas. This will change the future of computer entertainment forever.
This concept is called “Emotion Synthesis” which allows the system to simulate not just how the images look, but how the characters and objects in a game think, act and behave. This concept requires a computer system with a massive floating-point mathematical calculation capability far beyond the current state-of-the-art workstations and approaches the performance of large-scale super computers used for scientific simulation.
The next generation PlayStation has at its heart a CPU with data processing capabilities far exceeding those of today’s state of the art PCs and with a rendering processor that has greater performance than that of the highest level graphics workstations. This allows for unparalleled real-time computer graphics expressions and techniques to be used in software for the first time. Imagine walking into the screen and experiencing a movie in real-time…this is the world we are about to enter.
In addition to the technology of conventional CD-ROM, the new system also adopts the future generation of disc media, DVD-ROM, to allow for the storage of massive amounts of data and large programs. Because the calculation performance of the new system can reduce the requirement for massive data structures on the disc, we believe that the capacity of conventional CD-ROMs will be appropriate for certain applications. However, in the future, we anticipate the need for larger, high capacity storage mediums required by the new forms of digital entertainment created by Emotion Synthesis.
In addition, the new system employs MPEG2 image decompression technology, widely used today for image-based DVDs. This allows for the storage of compressed image data for texture maps and background data that can then be decompressed in real-time as required by the application. The resulting image quality not only matches the computer graphic quality generated by the system but is also of the highest quality available for in-home use.
In the vital area of sound processing, we have gone beyond the capabilities of the current PlayStation to allow for even more complex digital enhancement and processing of sound effects and music. Software generated sounds, using the massive calculation performance of the system and complex enhancements to the sound processor allows for the encoding and processing of advanced 3D digital sound techniques such as AC-3 and DTS. With this leap forward in technology, we anticipate a New World of digital entertainment that will surpass the experience of conventional video and music CDs.
With over 3,000 titles currently available for the current PlayStation worldwide, we have designed the new system to be backward compatible, therefore, allowing consumers to continue to enjoy their library of software. This was made possible by integrating a new I/O Processor that uses a 32-bit core identical to the current PlayStation system, permitting the accurate interchange of data and programs with the rest of the new system.
Sony Computer Entertainment will incorporate this new technology into the next generation PlayStation that is planned to be released into the Japanese market during the fiscal year ending March 2000. An overseas introduction is planned to follow in the fall of 2000. To allow software developers to begin developing new titles to take advantage of this powerful new technology, development systems will be made available starting this spring.
The next generation PlayStation system announced here is a significant part of Sony Computer Entertainment’s mission to create “a new form of entertainment beyond games” via the integration of innovative computer technology with digital AV technology.
AC-3 and DTS are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Next Generation PlayStation Basic Specification and Features
CPU 128 Bit “Emotion Engine”
System Clock Frequency 300 MHz
Cache Memory Instruction: 16KB, Data: 8KB + 16KB (ScrP)
Main Memory Direct Rambus (Direct RDRAM)
Memory Size 32MB
Memory Bus Bandwidth 3.2GB per Second
Co-processor FPU (Floating Point Unit)
Floating Point Multiply Accumulator x 1,
Floating Point Divider x 1
Vector Units VU0 and VU1
Floating Point Multiply Accumulator x 9,
Floating Point Divider x 3
Floating Point Performance 6.2 GFLOPS
3D CG Geometric Transformation 66 Million Polygons per second
Compressed Image Decoder MPEG2
Graphics “Graphics Synthesizer”
Clock Frequency 150MHz
DRAM Bus bandwidth 48GB per Second
DRAM Bus width 2560bits
Pixel Configuration RGB:Alpha:Z Buffer (24:8:32)
Maximum Polygon Rate 75 Million Polygons per Second
Number of Voices ADPCM: 48ch on SPU2 plus definable, software programmable voices
Sampling Frequency 44.1 KHz or 48 KHz (selectable)
IOP I/O Processor
CPU Core PlayStation (current) CPU
Clock Frequency 33.8MHz or 37.5MHz (Selectable)
Sub Bus 32 Bit
Interface Types IEEE1394, Universal Serial Bus (USB)
Communication via PC-Card (PCMCIA)
Disc Device CD-ROM and DVD-ROM