Sony has exhibited its new PlayStation 3 console offering real time cinematic images as its contribution to the next generation of video games.
Head of Sony's games unit Ken Kutaragi has said: "PS3 truly is the system to be placed in the centre of living rooms in homes around the world".
The machine is due to go on sale in spring 2006 at an as yet unknown price. Microsoft has already shown off its new Xbox 360, while Nintendo is to reveal details of its own new console, codenamed Revolution.
What do you think of the PlayStation 3 and will you be buying it? Do you think it's better than its competitors?
Send us your comments.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
When they have games as addictive as "Streets of Rage" and "Shinobi" like they did on the master system, then I may start to get excited about the new consoles. The graphics do not look real, they never will, at not one point in playing FIFA2005 did I actually think I was at Highbury. So stop concentrating on the graphics, and develop the game play more!
Scott Hemphill, London, England
I like the look of the PS3, although it looks undeniably large. I personally want to see more of the Nintendo Revolution before I make any more judgements based on looks.
I like my PS2 and have been wondering for a while when the PS3 would make an appearance. It does make me think though, just how advanced can Sony and Microsoft make consoles before the technology starts to level off? Is the game-play going to be really so much better that I need to spend another few hundred on the next generation of console? Probably not, but I (and loads of other people) will anyway. Parents: prepare yourself for Xmas 2006.
I'm going to start saving now so hopefully by the time it comes out, I'll have enough money to buy it!
Disappointed that no DVD writer is included. After the PSX died I was hoping the PS3 would take its place. Until Sony produces a true entertainment centre I'll be sticking with my PC to play games! My wish list for the PS3X is a system that is capable of watching/recording TV, playing games, MP3 playback, internet streaming, and finally a DVD writer to back up stuff!
Andy Birch, Toronto, Canada
I don't care if it can harnesses the power of the sun, compute the definitive answer to Pi, is controlled via mental telepathy, or can clean my flat. If the games aren't there then it's just a thing that comes in a box.
Stephen T, Vancouver, Canada
I will get one of the PS3 or Xbox 360 a few years down the line when developers have got to grips with it, when the network play is truly something rewarding rather than isolating, and well after the (very probably) cheaper and more innovative Nintendo Revolution. I am far more interested in my Nintendo DS than either my PS2 or Xbox at the moment because it is the only console with any innovative titles at the moment.
Matt S, York
This is a serious step back in terms of looks when side by side with the old PS2. It looks like an air conditioner or something. I also have reservations about the controller shape, the PS2 one being functional and uncluttered. I'll buy the Xbox 360 first or maybe see what Nintendo have to offer.
Mark, Wigan, UK
This generation of consoles look like they'll be able to compete in the PC market (if only for a few months). Although the PS3 does look more like an 80s video player it is better than the 360's shuttle PC look.
Chris Burton, York
Game-play isn't everything - as both Sony and Microsoft know all too well. Just wait till Microsoft actually play their trump card regarding how easily the 360 will connect with Windows PCs to play back MP3s/videos/photos - then the PS3 will become second fiddle, just as the Walkman has. Sony, you have been way too complacent.
Peter, Amsterdam, Netherlands
What have Sony done? It looks awful. I have to say that after being involved in the fiasco of the PS2 launch I won't be buying a PS3 from day one. I'm sure they will wow enough people with pure graphics to keep them ahead in this round of consoles (remember how bad Kill Zone 1 was?) but it's Microsoft that seem to have the better overall package to me.
Graham Bell, Milton Keynes
Since both consoles are pretty well matched, I think that there will be no clear winner. PS3 has the games and Xbox 360 has the coolness that everyone wants in a console. Hopefully Nintendo will bring some competition this time.
Daniel P, Winston, USA
I always thought that the Xbox was the better console. The Xbox has nearly every PS2 game (including Grand Theft Auto) but has exclusives like Halo, Forza and Project Gotham. I always thought that the analogue stick should be where the d-pad is on the PS2. Sony have completely ruined the controller, while Microsoft has the same type of controller for the 360. I reckon people will buy the PS3, but the Xbox 360 will always be the better console.
Tim Vann, Cheltenham
The PS3 certainly isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the last and I remain unconvinced that its new cell processor is really faster than the processors in the Xbox 360. I'm looking forward to the new Nintendo and of course Zelda.
It definitely looks like a must buy console! With its outstanding graphics display, Sony PS3 shall surely dominate the console market, and the minds of many.
Karim Bayoumy, Egypt
I thought that with last week's announcement, Microsoft would be victors of the next-gen console wars with their Xbox 360. That was until I saw the details of the PS3. Judging by the early graphics and tech-demo screenshots and videos, Sony have come along, ruined Microsoft's party and blown the 360 out of the water before it's even released. Admittedly though, I'll still be buying both! It's a great time to be a gamer!
Nick, Barwell, UK
I'm deeply disappointed by the looks, the design is so 90s! The same can be said of the Xbox 360 which doesn't look much better. Why, when it's designed as a product to put on display in the living room, have they designed it to look so bad? I hope the games more than make up for it!
Jake Mascarenhas, Portadown, N Ireland
Still displaying on a conventional TV, these consoles have half the resolution of a monitor on a computer. What you save on the console you fork out on the games - prices for games are predicted to rise 15% over the next 12 months - and that's for a game that has a play life of a few hours. Consoles are a fad. Buy a PC.
Russell Long, UK
This is a crucial battle which will give Sony a chance to grab the new digital home entertainment empire from Microsoft. If they fail, little hope remains to stop Microsoft, but with this machine they look like they are giving it their best shot. If they open it up to other types of software being developed for it beyond game this could be the decline of the Microsoft's dominance of home computers in general.
Richard Murphy, London, UK
Unless Sony's online community is as strong as Microsoft's Xbox live service then I can see the Xbox 360 becoming more of an attraction than the PS3.
Neil Price, UK
I think the main difference in this generation is the experience they will offer gamers. The 360 seems more about the overall, all encompassing experience with the improved Live service. It seems like Sony has been caught somewhat off guard by the success of Live, so slipped into their press conference that they will be offering "PlayStation World", yet gave absolutely no details of it. I think this will be the critical factor in the success or failure of this generation as the specs actually line up pretty competitively with each other once you cut through the hype.
Simon T, Bristol, UK
It is far too early to comment on how the games will look and perform at this stage. The technology used in the PS3 is so new, developers have yet to get to grips with the cell processors full potential. This could lead to the Xbox 360 performing very well at first, graphically, and a couple of years later seeing the PS3 far surpass it.
Martin C, Altrincham, Cheshire
I'm sure the PS3 will sell by the lorry load, but is does look like a futuristic sandwich toaster. I think the X-Box 360 has won that round.
Dan Harcombe, Aberdeen
I was a very enthusiastic PS1 fan, less so with the PS2 and can't see me buying another console, however, good unless they finally make some decent games to play on the thing. It's a bit like cable TV - lots of channels but very little product to show on them.
Graham Thomas, London, UK
I've just got rid of my PS2 in favour of my Xbox. The PS2 was good in its day, but the Xbox is far better as a system to play games on. Sony as failing to keep the imagination of the general gamer. I feel that the Xbox 360 will clean up in the next round of fighting and Sony will simply fade into gaming history, like the zx81.
Peter Law , Peterborough
The amount of time people put into playing and discussing console games is worrying. Before we decide whether this console is better than any other we should really take a good long look at what is happening to society as a whole. Me, I'm gonna stick to my guitar, it's a whole lot more rewarding than something that, at the end of the day, achieves nothing other than wasting a lot of time.
Tom, Norwich, UK
I much prefer the Xbox 360 to the PS3. The reality is that both machines have the same hardware power under the bonnet, so it is mostly about image, and on that aspect I will much rather go for the Xbox. The PS3 looks like a trouser press from a laundry to me!
I'm a big PlayStation fan and the new console looks awesome. Its good to hear that it can play PS1 and PS2 games as well as I've got heaps of them. I like the Bluetooth technology used for the joy-pads and the power that the console can do. Let's hope there are a lot of decent games coming out when the console is released in the UK.
I sincerely hope that Nintendo come up with a genuine revolution. So far we've had more of the same from Sony and Microsoft, and I'm bored.
I honestly don't understand what Sony are thinking style-wise. It's hideous. It looks more like a certain well known boxer-sponsored burger grill than a next gen console. Nintendo's Revolution is by far the prettiest console of the three big hitters.
Marcus Evans, Bolton
Having read the specs of the Cell processor, I am very impressed. If what they say is true, the PS3 will become a truly formidable and revolutionary piece of kit.
Ian Jones, Swindon
Oh dear what have Sony done, they have changed the tried and tested controller and the console looks like a bin lid. Lets just hope the power switch isn't on the back. Xbox 360 for me please.
It's all hype - I'll wait until there are at least a dozen games that I want to play before committing to any system. Including Nintendo.
Jonathan Harris-Small, Luton, UK
No mention of game-play in those specs? 3.2GHz is all quaint but PS2 has hardly lived up to the legacy of PS1 on game-play. EA sold out quality gaming for selling games off the back of hype and movie licenses. Give me a SNES or PS1 any day.
Joseph Farrow, Crawley
As an Xbox die-hard I have to say the PS3 specs look good. At the moment the Xbox walks all over the PS2 because of the increased power, but as long as the PS3 gets a few killer games and not just the factory line shoot 'em ups etc that the PS2 churns out then Sony may continue to dominate for the next ten years too. Role on Xbox 3/720/Whatever
I think the PS3 will blow away the competition in the second year after the game developers figure out how to design for the cell chip. 360 will have a much needed head start, but will eventually need to go back to the drawing board to compete. Nintendo should stay with the younger market. They are treading on thin water.
Pete Casimir, New York, USA
Everyone underestimates the Nintendo Revolution (now the official name) simply because the GameCube was poorly received. The Revolution is not quite as powerful as PS3 or the Xbox 360 but it can play DVDs, GameCube games, such as the up coming Legend of Zelda title, and its own games. The PS3 seems to me to be just too big for too little inside it, while the Xbox 360 is smaller than the Xbox, and the Revolution is slightly bigger than three DVD (or game) cases on top of each other. Despite the PS2's popularity, the Revolution's style and the Xbox 360's sheer power, as well as games such as Halo 3, Legend of Zelda and Call of Duty 2, will swamp it. Nintendo was right. Change is needed in more places than graphics and speed.
Will Buxton, Harpenden, England
I don't like where this is heading? When will we stop toying with the unknown. Before you know it, an unstoppable machine revolution will take over the world. Bring back my Atari 64
Stefan Chojnicki, Oxford, UK
It depends on the developers (mostly EA as it's the biggest) and which they will make the games for. Basically its power vs development costs vs number of potential buyers, that is the rule developers will use, and that will decide the winners and losers.
Patrick Corrigan, Armagh, Ireland
Yeah it looks ok, but come on I've been disappointed with the PS2. Microsoft have all the experience they need to make a great console and they are already one step ahead on how to design an online service. PS3 looks good but watch out Sony, Xbox 360 is moving in for good.
Karl Weedon, Basingstoke
There's so much hype surrounding the unveiling events at this time of year. I'm going to wait till the fan-boy noise dies down to make a decision. To be honest, both seem similarly outfitted, and I think the main difference will come in the software. Plus, there is still Nintendo's Revolution. I will probably end up getting the PS3 and Nintendo's next console, because most of the Xbox games of the past simply don't appeal to me. And from the initial line-up, I see nothing I want to play.
Brinstar, Fairfax, VA, USA
I despair! As if our young people weren't fat enough. We will never recapture the sporting glories of my youth if we keep on giving youngsters all these new fangled toys. Give them a ball and get them to kick it!
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sony's games empire looks set for a rough time with the 360 on the way. Yet this offering delights the eyes and boggles the mind with its power and potential. Time will prove everything, but most importantly, it will prove who dominates games for the next 5 years. The wars have started - bring on the revolution.
Jamie D, Lonan, Isle Of Man
Estimated release date of Spring 2006? I suspect we'll get it over here by Christmas 2006 - by that time we'll be nearing Xbox III - Revenge of the Microserfs!
Tim, Wilmslow, UK
Xbox 360 will be good but PS3 will rule the roost. Xbox is heading for more PC graphics and game play whereas PlayStation are sticking to their roots, with smooth graphics and better game play.
Mark Dodd, Burnley, UK
I personally think the PlayStation 3 is going to beat the Xbox 360 as the play station is an essential in most homes. I also think that many eager fans will prefer the PS3 as Sony have spent more time developing it carefully where as Microsoft have just done their console so to increase sales at Christmas. Overall, I would much rather buy the Sony PlayStation 3.
Aasimah Altaf, Birmingham
Amazing how similar the appearance is to the Xbox 360, I think a certain mp3 player has a lot to answer for. The Cell processor could well be the beginning of a performance revolution in home entertainment systems, we will just have to see how it matches up to the 3 Power PC cores in the new Xbox. Either way competition will ensure that we will never have had so much power so cheaply!
I can't help feeling that Sony is leaning heavily on the "hype" button. Looking at the specs, it is obvious that some of the hardware is very powerful and could - in isolation - deliver massive performance. But the internal bandwidth is no better than the Xbox 360's. How Sony imagine these figures stack up is beyond me, and I suspect there will be little difference in performance.
Andy H, Manchester, England
I'll be buying it. Adrenaline flowed when I was reading about it.
I'm sure the PlayStation 3 will dominate the digital world, let's hope, at not too high a price.
P O'Brien, Belfast, N. Ireland
All we have seen is photos, renders and supposed in-game footage so far. It is far too early to judge whether it will be any good or better or worse than Xbox 360. Christmas time will be when we will have a better idea. However, from the early indications, it'll knock the socks off Xbox 360, even if released afterwards.
Bob, Brighton, UK
I won't be buying a game console of any flavour until all games will run on all consoles... I suppose that means never.
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand
I notice the BBC has bought the Sony spin on the power of the machine. 2.18 Teraflops include the processing power of the NVidia graphics processor. The Cell processor itself is rated at about 1Teraflop - the same as the Xbox 360's PowerPC processor. I wouldn't be surprised if the ATI graphics processor within Xbox 360 would be of similar performance to Sony's giving them in reality comparable processing power. I'm glad to see that Sony has said that they will include BlueRay support. I will probably end up buying both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 as I did with the previous round of consoles.
Laura Collins, Newcastle Upon Tyne
The machine looks nice... not particularly any nicer than the new Xbox, and both appear to be very similarly specced (Sony hype notwithstanding). Let's hope it's not like the PS2 and doesn't drop to bits after six months. I won't be buying a PS3 until we start to see some interesting, involving and exciting games, something which has on the whole been sadly lacking on all consoles over the last five years.
The PS2 showed that hardware is mostly irrelevant, as it comes down to the quality of the games at the end of the day. I won't even bother comparing until I get to play on either. I have to say I prefer the looks of the Xbox 360 though.