PlayStation 3

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3 logo (2008)
PlayStation 3 logo (2009)

Official PlayStation 3 logos

PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3 installed vertically, along with the PlayStation 3 Slim with associated DualShock 3 - game pad , also placed upright
Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type stationary game console
generation 7th generation of consoles
JapanJapan November 11, 2006
United StatesUnited States November 17, 2006
EuropeEurope March 23, 2007
Main processor Cell broadband engine processor clocked at 3.2 GHz
Graphics processor Nvidia RSX clocked at 500 MHz
Storage media CDs , DVDs and Blu-ray Discs , SACDs (depending on version)
Controller DualShock 3 , PlayStation Move
Online service PlayStation Network (PSN)
Units sold approx. 87.4 million (as of March 31, 2017)
Most successful game Grand Theft Auto V.
predecessor PlayStation 2
successor PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 3 (official abbreviation : PS3 ) is a stationary game console , which was first presented by Sony Computer Entertainment in May 2005 at the E3 game fair in Los Angeles as the official successor to the PlayStation 2 . The PlayStation 3 is the fourth game console from the PlayStation brand .


The launch of the PlayStation 3 was in Japan on November 11, 2006 in North America on 17 November 2006 and in Europe on March 23, 2007. As a seventh-generation console, she stood in direct competition with Nintendo's Wii and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft .

In addition to its function as a video game platform, the PS3 is also able to play audio CDs , DVDs and Blu-ray discs . Additional music, image and video files in different formats can be played and copied from the internal hard drive, an external medium or a DLNA- compatible media server via the network connections.

In September 2009 a slightly redesigned slim version of the PlayStation 3 was released, which was lighter, thinner and cheaper than the original version. A super slim version, again a visually and technically revised model of the PlayStation 3, was released in September 2012.

The PlayStation 3 had a comparatively difficult sales start at the beginning. However, sales increased no later than the introduction of the slim model in 2009. As of March 31, 2017, around 87.4 million copies of the PS3 had been sold worldwide, roughly the same as the Xbox 360 sales. After Sony Interactive Entertainment officially stopped selling the PlayStation 3 in the USA in October 2016, production of the console was finally ended in Japan on May 29, 2017.

The successor, the PlayStation 4 , was presented in February 2013 and released in Europe on November 29, 2013.

Since the official presentation in 2006, different versions of the PlayStation 3 have appeared. The latest version is the PlayStation 3 Super Slim . It mainly differs from the older versions, which are no longer manufactured, due to a smaller housing (for all differences, see section Model overview ).

The PlayStation 3 Slim has officially been priced at € 299 (US $ 299.99, ¥ 29,980) since its launch in September 2009. It is delivered with a DualShock 3 controller and a 120 GB hard drive. The hard disk can be exchanged for a standard 2.5-inch S-ATA hard disk; a special Sony product is not necessary.

The image signal from the PlayStation can be output digitally via an HDMI connection (version 1.3). In the same way, the console outputs the signal as composite video , S-video or component video ; an adapter plug supplied is sometimes required for this. The sound is output either via HDMI or via an optical digital output. The console can also play some content (via HDMI) in stereoscopic 3D from firmware version 3.50 . This includes 3D games and some films on Blu-Ray Disc. However, a 3D-capable TV set is required for 3D playback.

The console has system software that can be expanded to include new functions through updates. Sony provides these updates, which also fix known errors, at irregular intervals. The current version (since August 28, 2019) is 4.85.

In 2017 the production of the PlayStation 3 was stopped. In September 2018, Sony began shutting down the servers for several games. From March 2019, the free games from PS Plus were discontinued. At the end of April 2019, PlayStation Japan announced that it would end the repair service for the PlayStation 3 on May 31, 2019.

Hardware version history

Rear view with connections from left to right: HDMI , Gigabit LAN , optical audio output , AV, 230 V with main switch

The first two models of the PlayStation 3 came out almost simultaneously in Japan and the USA; a 60 GB version and a slimmed-down version with 20 GB. In Japan, the 20 GB model did not come onto the market, as announced, for 59,800 yen (around 375 € or 610 CHF), but for only 49,980 yen (around 315 € or 510 CHF). The 20 GB version of the console does not have connections for Memory Stick Duo, SD and CompactFlash cards and no IEEE 802.11 b / g interface ( WLAN ). However, missing functions can be retrofitted with additional devices via the USB ports.

The PS3 was originally supposed to be backwards compatible with all PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games , which was also guaranteed by the first versions in Japan and the USA. The first version available in Europe already had a hardware change: downward compatibility was now ensured by a hardware-software combination. While both chips ( Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer) of the PlayStation 2 were used in the first version of the PlayStation 3, only the "Graphics Synthesizer" was installed. However, many older games did not work at all or only to a limited extent. Whether a certain game title is compatible with the console can only be looked up in an unofficial compatibility list after the official list previously made available by Sony is no longer available on the Sony website. Sony wanted to improve compatibility with regular firmware updates . In addition to this limited compatibility, the first European model had a 60 GB hard drive and cost € 599.

On July 9, 2007, Sony announced that it would immediately reduce the price in the US from US $ 599 to US $ 499 and offer a new version with an 80 GB hard drive, which was sold for US $ 599 along with the MotorStorm game . At the same time, the remaining stocks of the 60 GB version were sold off there.

The second version for Europe had a 40 GB hard drive and now completely dispensed with PS2 backward compatibility. According to Sony, the aim was to save secondary production costs, but primarily to encourage customers to buy new PlayStation 3 software titles. In addition, this version only had two USB ports (instead of the original four) and no longer contained a card reader. The recommended retail price was € 399 / CHF 649. This version was announced by Sony on October 5, 2007 and was only available in Europe as of October 10, 2007. The previous 60 GB model, which was last sold as a starter pack with two games and a second controller, cost only € 499 from October 12th and was no longer available after the devices produced up to that point were sold out.

Front view of the CECHCxx with card reader, 4 USB ports, 3 card reader LEDs, hard drives and W-LAN LED

The third version for Europe was released in August 2008. In contrast to the second European version, however, this one had an 80 GB hard drive. Otherwise it was identical to the 40 GB model. The 40 GB model was discontinued. With the release of the PAL 80 GB model, the console also comes with a DualShock 3 controller instead of the Sixaxis . The price remained stable at € 399.

At the Games Convention 2008 Sony announced a fourth version for Europe, which was released at the end of October 2008. This was identical to the previous versions except for an even larger hard drive of 160 GB and was limited to the Christmas business. This variant also included a voucher worth € 70 for downloadable content from the PlayStation Store.

In August 2009, Sony announced a smaller version (slim) of the PS3 at gamescom . This was released on September 1, 2009 for 299 € and is 32% smaller, 36% lighter and requires 34% less electricity. It also uses a new 45 nm version of the Cell , which has a lower power consumption. It has now been confirmed by various sources that installing games to the hard drive on the PS3 Slim does not take as long as it does on the traditional PS3. In contrast, some games on the PS3 Slim should have longer loading times than the original model. The console's HDMI interface has also been expanded to include DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD audio bitstreaming. A new HDMI controller chip from the Panasonic brand also caused a slight noise in the console's HDMI signal.

Super slim version

On July 6, 2010, Sony announced the release of another console revision. This differs from the previous model in the size of the hard disk, which is either 160 GB or 320 GB. The 160 GB model will also be released in white. On August 17, 2010, Sony announced at the gamescom press conference that both the 160 GB and 320 GB models would be released in Europe, but only in black. At the press conference during the Tokyo Game Show on September 19, 2012, Sony announced that a new, also optically revised model will be released on September 28, 2012. The version called Super-Slim is again smaller and differs from its predecessors, among other things, in that a top loader is used instead of a slot-in drive. The Super-Slim is available with three different hard drive sizes, one with a 500 GB hard drive, one with a 250 GB hard drive and one with 12 GB flash memory. The 500 GB version appears worldwide, the 250 GB version only appears in NTSC areas and the 12 GB version only in PAL areas. For the version with 12 GB flash memory it is possible to purchase a 250 GB hard drive. If this is used, the internal 12 GB flash memory is switched off.

Removed support for other operating systems

Since the slim version it is no longer possible to install Linux or other operating systems on the PS3. Even owners of previous hardware versions can no longer use this feature after updating to firmware version 3.21. Users who refuse the firmware update are exposed to significant functional restrictions: for example, they can no longer install new games or play online. In the United States, several lawsuits are pending against Sony as a result of this incident, as the company is withdrawing a feature from customers after purchasing the product.

Model overview

xx = region Japan North America Australia Great Britain Europe / Middle East Korea Singapore Taiwan Russia unused unused South America Hong Kong
number 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
Big models
Initial release November 2006 November 2006 March 2007 August 2007 October 2007 August 2008 October 2008
Hard drive size 20 GB
( NTSC )
60 GB
60 GB
( PAL )
80 GB
40 GB
80 GB
160 GB
Maximum electr. Power consumption 190 W 150 W 116 W
Disc recording Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in
USB 2.0 ports 4th 4th 4th 4th 2 2 2
Colours black black black black Black, White (Japan only) black black
IEEE 802.11 b / g - W-LAN No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flash card reader No Yes Yes Yes No No No
Chrome plated No Yes Yes Yes No (silver) No (silver) No (silver)
SACD player Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
PS2 - Compatibility hardware hardware software software No No No
Linux compatibility Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15) Yes (up to FW 3.15)
All models including Blu-ray / DVD / CD drive, HDMI 1.3a , Bluetooth 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet
Slim models
Model no. CECH-20xxA
(Slim) "J"
(Slim) "J"
(Slim) "K"
(Slim) "K"
Initial release September 2009 October 2009 March 2010 March 2010 July / September 2010 July / September 2010 July 2011 October 2011
Hard drive size 120 GB
250 GB
120 GB
250 GB
160 GB
320 GB
160 GB
320 GB
Maximum electr. Power consumption 96 W. ? 74 W
Disc recording Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in Slot-in
USB 2.0 ports 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Colours black black ? ? Black, Blue, White (Japan only) black black Black, White, Red, Silver, Blue (Japan only)
IEEE 802.11 b / g - W-LAN Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flash card reader No No No No No No No No
Chrome plated No No No No No No No No
SACD player No No No No No No No No
PS2 - Compatibility No No No No No No No No
Linux compatibility No No No No No No No No
LEDs on the eject and on / off buttons Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
All models including Blu-ray / DVD / CD drive, HDMI 1.3a , Bluetooth 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet
Super slim models
Rear view of the super slim version
Model no. CECH-40xxA
(super slim)
(super slim)
(super slim)
Initial release September 2012 October 2012
Hard drive size 12 GB
flash memory (PAL)
250 GB
500 GB
Maximum electr. Power consumption 80 W
Disc recording Top loader Top loader Top loader
USB 2.0 ports 2 2 2
Colours black black Black / blue / red
IEEE 802.11 b / g - W-LAN Yes Yes Yes
Flash card reader No No No
Chrome plated No No No
SACD player No No No
PS2 - Compatibility No No No
Linux compatibility No No No
LEDs on the eject and on / off buttons No No No
All models including Blu-ray / DVD / CD drive, HDMI 1.3a , Bluetooth 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet

However, all PS3 models are backwards compatible with PS1 games .

Marketing and sales figures

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced on July 13, 2007 that it did not want to lower the retail price for the PS3 in Europe. From the beginning of August, however, a “starter pack” will be offered which, in addition to the console, will contain two controllers and two “bestseller” games. This corresponds to an additional value of at least 150 euros. SCEE President David Reeves said that by the time of the announcement, around 1.2 million PS3 had been sold in Europe, although there is only one version on the market. According to media reports in August 2007, around 1.08 million consoles had been sold in Japan, around 1.78 million in the USA and 1.25 million in Europe. The global market share was given in these reports as 16.7 percent. Jack Tretton , President of Sony Computer Entertainment America, expected worldwide sales of around 11 million PS3s by the end of March 2008, which would correspond to the original plan. The new model and pricing policy in the USA will help to achieve this goal.

There has been an increase in sales since the less expensive 40 GB version was launched. By the beginning of 2008, a total of around 3.87 million copies were sold in America, over 1.93 million in Japan and around 4.24 million in the rest of the world market. The total number of units worldwide in February 2008 was at least 10.03 million. At the end of January 2009 that number had risen to over 20 million, of which about 8.1 million copies were in Europe, 7.75 million in America and 2.8 million in Japan.

Number of remote consoles
year worldwide Germany
2006 1,252,040 n / A
2007 9,174,095 387,000 a
2008 19,378,853 501,000 a
2009 32,376,827 677,000 a
2010 46,388,642 661,000 a
2011 61,095,333 3,339,726
2012 72.527.213 3,995,358
2013 80.800.487 4,416,872
aSales figures in Germany according to information from GfK

Official accessories

SIXAXIS controller

SIXAXIS controller

The SIXAXIS controller of the PlayStation 3 is visually similar to the DualShock controller of the PlayStation 2, but it is a new development without the previously known, switchable "shake" function, with a semi-transparent housing and without fixed cabling. Later models got a non-transparent case again. The connection to the console is now either wireless via Bluetooth or a USB cable. The energy for Bluetooth operation is taken from an internal battery that can be charged via the USB cable. In contrast to the DualShock, the L2 / R2 shoulder buttons have a significantly greater range of motion, similar to the shoulder buttons on the Xbox 360 gamepad , so that the pressure level can be determined much more precisely. The remaining buttons and the two analog joysticks are largely unchanged. A major innovation of the controller, which is also the namesake, is a sensor that registers movements of the controller across all axes and transmits them to the console as control data. In addition, the SIXAXIS uses a so-called PS button with which the system can be switched on and off, controllers can be registered and renumbered and a system menu can be called up. Up to seven such controllers can be registered for a console. The four LEDs indicate the controller number and the respective status. In April 2008, Sony stopped production of the Sixaxis. The DualShock 3 then became the standard controller for the PS3.

DualShock 3

Comparison of Sixaxis and DualShock 3 controllers

Sony introduced the successor to the DualShock 2 controller in Japan in November 2007 , which, unlike the Sixaxis , has a vibration function again. The DualShock 3 has been available in Europe since July 2008 . Since the controller also masters the Sixaxis functions of its predecessor, both the DualShock 3 and the Sixaxis lettering can be found on the controller . The strength of the shaking effect is the same as that of the DualShock 2 , as the same motors are used. The battery life is shortened depending on the use of the shake function, but is still around 27 to 31 hours. When the DualShock 3 was launched on the market , some games (e.g. Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction or Burnout Paradise ) already offered support for the shake function, and in some cases it was also submitted as part of a software update ( e.g. at MotorStorm ). Firmware version 1.94 (or newer) is required to support the DualShock 3 .

PlayStation Move

On September 15, 2010, a motion-sensitive controller called PlayStation Move was added to the PlayStation product family, which offers functionality similar to the remote control of the Wii . On April 15, 2011, Sony announced that approximately 8 million units of the motion-sensitive controller had been sold since the release of Move.

Bluetooth remote control (BD Remote)

Bluetooth remote control

As with the PlayStation 2, there is also a remote control for the PlayStation 3 to control the system (primarily video playback). This is connected to the system via Bluetooth, while its predecessor controlled the PlayStation 2 via infrared . It has all the usual functions for playing DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but also controls the playback of all other formats such as. B. Photos and MP3 files. Apart from the two analog sticks and the inclination sensors, it also contains all the buttons on the SIXAXIS controller, which makes it possible to use the remote control to a limited extent. If you use them, the number of controllers that can be registered is reduced to six, since the remote control is registered as "Controller 7".

PlayStation Eye

PlayStation Eye

Sony has introduced the PlayStation Eye as the successor to the well-known EyeToy camera . It is a USB camera with a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels at 60  Hz and 320 × 240 at 120 Hz. Compared to its predecessor, the new development has a significantly improved light sensitivity and a four-capsule microphone, which enables intelligent voice recording from every direction. In addition, a zoom function was added, which allows two zoom settings. On October 24, 2007, the EyeCreate software was made available for free download, with which images, videos and audio recordings can be saved on the hard drive, exported and given various effects. In future, the camera will not only be used in camera-controlled games such as EyeToy, but also as an add-on for games such as. B. SingStar, in PlayStation Home and in video chat with other PlayStation owners. In future game developments it will be possible to transfer the face of the player to the character in the game (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08) by scanning the player in three dimensions. In addition, the game "EyePet" was released in September 2009, in which a virtual animal is displayed. This “animal” can be “raised, fed and played” via the camera. The PlayStation Eye was released on November 21, 2007.

Buzz! Wireless buzzer

Wireless buzzer

For the quiz game Buzz! Sony introduced its own game controllers for the PlayStation 2. It was a set of four wired buzzers, which are connected together to a USB port on the console. The buzzer has a large, round, illuminable buzzer and four colored answer buttons on the top. The wireless buzzers offered by Sony and produced by Namtai since July 2008 are compatible with both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 2. Wired buzzers can also be used for the PS3 version of Buzz! to be used. A USB stick with receiver and four wireless buzzers are supplied in a storage bag. The same radio technology is used as with wireless keyboards and mice (no Bluetooth). The buzzers are the "Buzz!" And "Buzz!" Junior “series. Up to eight players can take part with two sets.

SingStar microphones

SingStar wired microphones with USB converter

As with SingStar for the PS2, the PS3 version of the karaoke game also comes with optional microphones. These exist in a wired and a wireless version. The wired microphones are the same as those of the PlayStation 2. These are mono microphones and are connected to the supplied USB converter, which is connected to the USB port on the PlayStation. It is easily possible to operate the microphones on a normal 3.5 mm jack connection. The USB converter is - connected to a PC - recognized as a microphone under Windows XP and Ubuntu and installed automatically, whereby the two jack connectors each work as a stereo channel. Stereo recordings on the computer are possible with the two connected Singstar microphones.

Wireless SingStar microphones

The wireless SingStar microphones, which were announced long in advance, have been available in Germany since March 25, 2009. The microphones will also be sold in a bundle with the SingStar Pop Edition at a later date. A USB converter supplied is still required for the connection . As with the wired microphones, this is connected to a USB port on the PlayStation. In contrast to the wired version, the connection from the converter to the microphones is now established wirelessly. There is no way to connect the microphones directly to the PlayStation 3 via Bluetooth. This ensures that the microphones are backwards compatible with the PlayStation 2.


A wireless controller in the form of a Les Paul guitar was developed for the Guitar Hero III game . There are five colored keys on the fingerboard that must be pressed in the correct combination for the music being played, while at the same time a spring-back rocker arm - instead of strings - is struck.


On September 17, 2008, “PlayTV” was introduced in Germany, a DVB-T double tuner that is connected via USB. It comes with software that adds a new icon to the PlayStation menu. Thanks to a double tuner, PlayTV is able to record a TV program on the internal hard drive while another TV channel is being viewed. The system also has an electronic program guide that can be used to program recordings.

Bluetooth headset

The Bluetooth headset is compatible with all PlayStation 3 systems and with most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones. Talk time is up to 8 hours and standby time is up to 300 hours. The charging time is approx. 3 hours. The functional range of the headset is around 10 meters.

Bluetooth keyboard

A wireless keypad can be plugged into a controller for easier text entry. It has a touchpad mode that turns the main buttons into a kind of mouse. The keypad has Bluetooth 2.0 and works up to 10 meters away. However, a keyboard with a more conventional appearance can be purchased instead.

PlayStation Network

PlayStation Network logo

The "PlayStation Network" is Sony's free online service for the PlayStation, which was first introduced with the launch of the PlayStation 3 in November 2006 and expanded to the other Sony consoles. It thus represents the counterpart to Microsoft's Xbox Live for the Xbox family. The PlayStation Network serves to network the PlayStation players with each other (e.g. for free multiplayer games) and as an online sales platform for games and various other services.

As in PC operating systems , every PlayStation 3 user must create a user in the console menu. In this, the user can create an online ID for the PlayStation Network in the console menu and link (activate) it with the user name on the console.

  • An online ID can be activated on two consoles at the same time, making it possible to use downloaded and purchased content on several consoles at the same time. However, an online ID cannot be logged into PlayStation Network more than once at the same time.
  • If multiple users are created on one console, e.g. For example, for family members or flatmates, all users can have access to the content that someone else has installed on this console.

It is thus possible to play game X purchased and downloaded from online ID A on console 1 with online ID A and on console 2 with online ID B at the same time, as long as online ID A is activated on console 2 (available) is. Activation of an online ID is linked to the serial number of the console. If a console is given for repair, exchanged or sold, the online ID should be deactivated beforehand.


Various PS3 games on the 2007 Taipei IT Month

Launch title

The following video games appear for the release of the PlayStation 3 [1] :

  • Call of Duty 3
  • Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WW2
  • Def Jam: Icon
  • Enchanted Arms
  • Fight Night Round 3
  • Formula One Championship Edition
  • Full Auto 2: Battlelines
  • Genji: Days of the Blade
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight
  • MotorStorm
  • NBA Street Homecourt
  • NHL 2K7
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
  • Need For Speed: Carbon
  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Ridge Racer 7
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
  • Tony Hawk's Project 8
  • The Godfather: The Don's Edition
  • Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
  • Virtua Tennis 3
  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • World Snooker Championship 2007

Special features and modifications

In contrast to the previous models, Sony is trying to market the PlayStation 3 not only as a game console, but also as a full-fledged PC replacement and player for Blu-ray discs . The versatility should u. a. through the numerous interfaces that the device z. B. make Internet-compatible, and the use of the Linux operating system can be achieved. With firmware 3.21, however, the ability to use Linux as an alternative operating system has been removed.

Blu-ray player

Blu-ray standard logo

The two American trade magazines Home Theater Magazine and Ultimate AV gave the console's integrated Blu-ray player very good ratings in tests and found, among other things, that the playback quality surpasses that of many Blu-ray disc players. The Convergence Panel of the European Imaging and Sound Association named the PS3 the best media center product in 2007/2008.

With firmware update 2.20, the PS3 became the first Blu-ray playback device to support the BD-Live feature.

In addition, the console can play Blu-ray discs via HDMI in both 1080p24 and stereoscopic 3D, provided that the video material was recorded in these formats on the Blu-ray discs and the output device (TV / projector) also supports such playback. In contrast to other Blu-ray players, a firmware update was sufficient for both, as the required hardware was already built into the console (24p playback since firmware 1.80; 3D playback since firmware 3.50). If the output device does not support 24p playback, the console converts the signal into a 60 Hz signal using a 3: 2 pull-down method before playing the Blu-ray Disc .


Consoles are usually closed systems. The manufacturers strictly control which software can run on the machine. This is an integral part of the business model in order to recoup any hardware subsidies via license fees . In addition to the official developers, there are always attempts by interested third parties, especially the so-called homebrew community, to get non-system software up and running. The same applies to additional hardware.

Ubuntu on the PS3

In the past, software pirates and homebrew hackers often joined forces to gain access to the systems. Sony anticipated this and integrated the installation of a “different system”. However, this option was removed with the release of the PS3 Slim (CECH-2000). For older hardware revisions of the console, this capability can only be used up to FW 3.15. Sony and IBM have added the necessary support to the Linux kernel . Many PowerPC -capable Linux distributions can thus be installed, especially since the necessary extensions are now available in the standard kernel . So you can use the PlayStation 3 like a desktop PC or a multimedia center PC with a USB or Bluetooth keyboard and the image and sound output devices. If the PlayStation 3 runs under an alternative operating system, however, direct access to the graphics processor is not possible, for example. Instead, Sony only allows writing to the image memory via a hypervisor . Hardware acceleration via the graphics card is not possible in 2D, 3D or OpenGL , which prevents graphically demanding applications under the Linux surface. In the meantime, however, there was a loophole with certain firmware versions that made the first porting of the Nouveau driver possible. In addition, an OpenGL driver based on Gallium3D is in the works that uses the special features of the Cell processor for graphics acceleration. In addition to this, a framebuffer-supported driver is also being developed, which also uses the cell processor as a replacement for the missing hardware acceleration. Nevertheless, developers of graphically complex applications or games require a license agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment.

Several Linux distributions have now appeared that can run on the PlayStation 3. The company Terra Soft Solutions published version 5.0 of its PowerPC Linux distribution Yellow Dog Linux for the PlayStation 3 even before the console was launched in Europe ; this Linux distribution is officially supported by Sony. With the release of version 6.1, Yellow Dog Linux was the first distribution to support the use of the 256 MB graphics card memory as a swap partition, which improved the usability of the PlayStation 3 as a desktop platform. In the meantime, this extension has also found its way into the Linux kernel 2.6.29 and can therefore also be used in other PS3-compatible distributions. A live CD with Debian 4.0 is also available, which runs without a hard disk installation and is based on the 2.6.16 kernel and offers a 2.14 Gnome desktop and version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser . An installation and an update are possible as usual. Likewise run is openSUSE 11 in the compiled for PPC version. From firmware 1.60, Ubuntu from version 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) is also compatible with the PlayStation 3.

Phil Harrison, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, said about the possibility of using Linux on the console: "The PlayStation 3 with its Linux operating system is a full-fledged computer, a PC is superfluous." As the console compared to most today The computers used have relatively small RAM, however, there may be limitations in some areas of application.

With the firmware update 3.21, which came out on April 1, 2010, the possibility of using an additional operating system such as Linux was removed. If you do not install this update, you will no longer be able to log into the PlayStation Network. It is also a prerequisite for new PS3 games and Blu-ray movies. Sony wants to protect itself against copyright infringement .

Since August 2010 there has been a jailbreak for the PlayStation 3, which enables the execution of unofficial software. The console is put into debug mode with the help of USB dongles , iPod touch , iPhone or various HTC mobile phones . Since black copies damage the game industry, Sony has been preventing the use of the USB jailbreak since firmware version 3.42.

On December 29, 2010, at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, the hacker team "fail0verflow" announced that the PlayStation 3's encryption system had been cracked. In particular, it has been discovered that Sony always uses the same random number for digital signatures. This made it possible to calculate the private key for the Elliptic Curve Algorithm ( ECDSA ) used. You can now sign all files (with the exception of games) on the PS3 with the same validity as Sony.

Since firmware 4.81 there is a new jailbreak method that is not traditionally carried out via a hardware device called "E3-Flasher". This method allows the user to flash his Playstation 3 via the browser. After executing the exploit , the Playstation 3 has to be restarted, and a USB stick can then be used to load custom firmware via the normal system update. This method, like the E3-Flasher method, only works on Playstation 3 models that are compatible with the 3.55 firmware. If you run the exploit on incompatible models (newer Slim and Superslim models), the console will be hardbricked. The exploit uses WebKit to exploit the vulnerability.

In addition to the method of flashing the Playstation 3 via the browser to install custom firmware, another method was developed to jailbreak the Playstation 3. The user is not given the opportunity to install CFW via the system update. With this method, a homebrew enabler is installed, with this program you can install and run homebrew applications on official firmware. The special thing about this method is that it is compatible with every Playstation 3 model, but you have to note that not all homebrews are compatible.


The system hardware of the PlayStation 3 is based on a concept named by Sony Open Platform , which, from the company's point of view, should simplify access to system components compared to the previous models. The hard drive can be upgraded by the user in a similar way to a notebook. Thanks to third-party accessories, it is now possible to operate 3.5-inch hard drives up to 750 GB using a SATA cable. Special boards allow you to switch between external hard drives and the internal 2.5-inch hard drive, and offer USB 2.0 support for copying data to and from this drive.

Technical specifications

The PlayStation 3's cell broadband engine processor achieves a theoretical computing power of 230.4 Giga - FLOPS , which in purely mathematical terms more than doubles the computing capacity of the Xbox 360 developed by Microsoft . The actual useful power depends heavily on the application and the optimization effort. In the prime discipline, matrix multiplication with single precision, eight Synergistic Processing Units actually achieve around 201 GFLOPS with a theoretical peak of 204.8 GFLOPS. With double accuracy, however, the performance is reduced by a factor of 14 to around 15 GFLOPS. If you compare the results of the LINPACK benchmark with double accuracy, the Cell with 14.63 GFLOPS is roughly on par with an Intel Pentium 4 clocked at 3.6 GHz . The drop in performance can be explained by the lack of support of the SPEs for calculations with double precision. With appropriate optimization, however, the performance of the Cell can be increased to up to 100 GFLOPS ( Double Precision ) under LINPACK.

In a test under Linux, the PS3 Cell was compared to a Core 2 Duo with 2.4 GHz. The open source library " OpenCV ", which was used for the test, came from the development of Intel Corporation. The result was up to 27 times faster calculations with the Cell compared to the 2.4 GHz dual core CPU from Intel.

With a video transcoding tool from Fixstars, the processor achieved a performance of 29 FPS . The Cell processor is clearly ahead of Intel's Core i7 965 XE with around 18 FPS and roughly on par with an Nvidia Geforce GTX-285 in combination with the CUDA encoder Badaboom.


  • Cell Broadband Engine Processor , consisting of:
    • a Power Processor Element (PPE, General Purpose CPU)
    • seven active Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE, Stream Processing)
    • an element interconnect bus (EIB, connects SPEs, PPE, memory controller and I / O controller with each other)
  • PPE:
  • Each SPE has:
    • Synergistic Processing Unit (SPU): RISC core with 128-bit SIMD architecture
    • 128 × 128 bit register file
    • 256 KB local storage (local store)
    • Memory flow controller (MFC), consisting of DMA controller, MMU and bus interface
    • 4 calculations in parallel (a total of 24 calculations in parallel with 6 active SPEs)

One of the total of eight SPEs is deactivated in order to increase the production yield. One of the SPEs runs in a special mode under the control of the hypervisor . Six SPEs are therefore still freely available for games or Linux .

Graphics processor

  • Nvidia RSX ("Reality Synthesizer") with 500 MHz
  • Based on Nvidia's GeForce 7800 GTX (NV47)
  • Versatile programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines
  • Supports S3 Texture Compression (DXT1-5)
  • Shader Model 3.0 Compatible, based on Nvidia's CG Shader Language
  • 24 pixel shader pipelines (5 operations per cycle per pipeline)
  • 8 vertex shader pipelines (2 operations per cycle per pipeline)
  • Theoretically up to 192 G FLOP per second
    (pipeline is prone to stalls during texture access)
  • 128 bit pixel precision (32 bit per RGBA channel) (theoretically, possibly too little memory bandwidth)
  • Multisample anti-aliasing is combined with the frame buffer (usually used for such setups LogLUV or RGBM HDRR ) executable
  • 300.4 million transistors (manufactured in 90 nm; since 2008 in 65 nm and since 2010 in 45 nm)
  • 128 bit wide bus to local storage
  • Access to both graphics and main memory (512 MB RAM in total)
  1. In contrast to the information from May 2005, a downclock of the graphics processor by 50 MHz can be assumed. This results from information on the computing power per cycle and the total throughput.
  2. a b Since both the RSX and the Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX can execute up to 136 shader operations per clock cycle, the RSX uses the same number of pixel and vertex shader piplines.

Originally, a second cell processor was to be used for graphics calculations. In the course of development, however, Sony decided to use a dedicated graphics processor from Nvidia . In order to increase the chip yield below 90 nm, 4 of the 28 ALU pipelines were deactivated, and only 8 of 16 render output units are active. The Reality Synthesizer is generally considered to be less powerful than the Xbox 360 graphics processor.

Random Access Memory

The operating system originally reserved 120 MB of RAM. With later firmware updates, Sony continuously reduced the OS footprint to 50 MB (as of February 2010).

processor random access memory Graphics memory
Cell (reading) 25.6 GB / s 16 MB / s
Cell (writing) 25.6 GB / s 4 GB / s
RSX (read) 20 GB / s 20.8 GB / s
RSX (write) 15 GB / s 20.8 GB / s

Playback media and speeds

  • 2 × Blu-ray Disc : PlayStation-3-BD-ROM, BD-Video (BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE)
  • 8 × DVD : PlayStation-2-DVD-ROM (first models only), PlayStation3-DVD-ROM, DVD-Video (DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD + R, DVD + RW)
  • 24 × CD : PlayStation-1-CD-ROM, PlayStation-2-CD-ROM, CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW, DualDisc, SACD and SACD HD (not for the Europe 40 GB version)


  • 2 × (4 × only with the 60 GB model and the American 80 GB MGS4 model) USB 2.0 on the front
  • 1 × Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
  • 1 × W-LAN ( IEEE 802.11b / g, not for the American 20 GB model)
  • Card reader for Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Pro Duo, SD and CompactFlash cards (only for the 60 GB model and the American 80 GB MGS4 model)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

1 The video output of 576i and 576p occurs only with PAL models, 480i and 480p are only output with NTSC models or with PAL models if the video signal supplies 60 Hz and the device is therefore in PAL-60 mode (if from Output device supported), e.g. with Blu-ray Discs (unless a higher resolution is activated).

Supported file formats

The PS3 supports the following file formats:

  • music

The console is also capable of ripping audio CDs and can optionally create MP3, AAC or ATRAC files in an adjustable bit rate with suitable title and album information from the Internet.

Audio specifications

  • Dolby Digital
    • plus
    • 5.1 channels
  • DTS 5.1 channels (from FW 2.30)
  • LPCM 7.1 channels
  • AAC

The sound is optionally transferable in 2.0, 5.1 and 7.1. However, this depends on the type of output. It is only possible to output 2.0 sound via the AV MULTI OUT ( SCART ). Output in 2.0 and 5.1 sound is possible via the optical digital output. 7.1 sound can only be output via the HDMI output. However, the sound system must support linear PCM for 7.1. Otherwise the sound is output in 5.1 at most. Output in DTS-HD has only been possible since firmware version 2.30.

Housing dimensions and power consumption

The console has multiple vents, a single large fan, and heat pipes . It weighs about 5 kg. Its external dimensions are (height × width × depth) 98 mm × 325 mm × 274 mm. The power supply is integrated in the system and uses a three-pole IEC - appliance plug at the base of the housing, the Slim and super-slim models use due to the lower power a two-pole appliances plug the IEC 60320-C7-standard. All current PS3 power supplies are designed as universal power supplies (100–240 V / 50–60 Hz) that can be used worldwide. The labels attached to the outside refer only to the respective marketing region.

According to Sony, the power consumption of the first generation of consoles is 150–200 watts during operation. The maximum power consumption stated is 380 watts. Measurements show a real power consumption of 1.0 watt in standby , 179.0 watt in idle state and 203.0 watt in operation.

By shrinking the Cell processor from 90 nm to 65 nm, the power consumption was reduced to approx. 135 W. The PS3 slim version (since September 2009) has further savings in consumption: 79–103 W in operation and 0.5 W in standby. Another revision of the model at the beginning of 2010 (internal "CECH-2100A") with 40 nm technology still consumes 78–83 W.

The weight of the slim version is 3.2 kg and the dimensions are (height × width × depth) 65 mm × 290 mm × 290 mm.

The weight of the super slim version (CECH-4000 series) is 2.1 kg and the dimensions are (height × width × depth) 60 mm × 290 mm × 230 mm.

Criticism and known issues

One of the main defects on the console is colloquially referred to as "Yellow Light of Death" (usually called "YLOD" for short) - analogous to the previously known problem of the Xbox 360 with a similar cause, the " Red Ring of Death " (RROD). After switching on, the power LED lights up briefly green, then yellow, then flashing red after three beeps. This is the general error message that the self-test failed. It is usually caused by the same error: Occasional overheating has made the soldered connections of the graphics processor brittle. There are several workarounds on the internet and blanket repair offers for this problem. The graphics processor is made accessible by opening the console and the contacts are re-fused using an infrared soldering system. For more extensive repairs, the graphics processor is first desoldered and then re-soldered using new solder balls. Attempting to repair the console with a heat gun can damage the processors and the mainboard so severely through uneven heating that further repair is impossible.


A research facility of the United States Air Force operates a cluster of 1,760 PS3 as a supercomputer and uses the so-called Condor cluster for data analysis.

The open source project RPCS3 is trying to develop an emulator that will emulate the PlayStation 3.

Web links

Commons : PlayStation 3  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. TechU4ria: 10 Best Selling PS3 Games of All Time. October 18, 2016, archived from the original on May 1, 2017 ; accessed on April 30, 2017 (English).
  2. Sony Acknowledges Slow PS3 Sales in 2007. December 4, 2007, accessed on April 30, 2017 (English).
  3. Game Consoles - Best-selling console worldwide through December 2018. Accessed May 1, 2019 .
  4. Sony says goodbye to the PlayStation 3. April 30, 2017, accessed on April 30, 2017 (2017-03-18).
  5. ^ Dan Ackerman: At long last, end of the line for the Sony PlayStation 3. In: CNET . CBS Interactive , May 30, 2017, accessed August 31, 2017 .
  6. PS3 system software. Retrieved August 27, 2018 .
  7. a b c d You will soon have to say goodbye to your PS3 for good. May 22, 2019, accessed May 23, 2019 .
  8. Unofficial backward compatibility list from PS3 to PS1 and PS2 titles , accessed February 25, 2010, English
  9. PlayStation 3: European models cropped February 27, 2010, accessed February 25, 2010.
  10. Europe model with 60 GB March 22, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  11. Report on October 19, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  12. "Experience entertainment like never before" October 5, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  13. 40 GB version is replaced by 80 GB version July 17, 2008, accessed February 25, 2010.
  14. Limited 160 GB version announced ( Memento from September 18, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) August 21, 2008, accessed February 25, 2010.
  15. PS3 Slim announced August 18, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010.
  16. PS3 slim uses 45nm cell processor ( Memento from August 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) August 20, 2009, February 25, 2010.
  17. Installation process faster than before September 2, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010.
  18. PS3 Slim Slower Than PS3? August 30, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010.
  19. Digital Foundry vs. HDMI video , accessed July 15, 2011.
  20. New PS3 Bundles for Europe (
  21. PS3 "Super Slim" officially announced - in stores from September 28th (, September 19, 2012, accessed September 19, 2012)
  22. Further images show the new 'PS3 Super Slim' - price of the external 250 GB storage expansion known (, September 19, 2012, accessed September 19, 2012)
  23. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Sony steals feature from your PS3 , March 30, 2010.
  24. New PS3 model coming in two colors at new price ( Memento from October 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) September 10, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  25. PS3 serial numbers ( Memento from July 19, 2012 in the web archive ) Status: December 17, 2009, accessed February 25, 2010.
  26. PS software playable on PS3 October 29, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  27. PS3 User Manual (French) (PDF; 4.6 MB) accessed February 25, 2010.
  28. PS3 User Manual (Korean) (PDF; 1.6 MB) accessed February 25, 2010.
  29. a b Consoles: Large differences in power consumption (, November 26, 2008, accessed April 26, 2010.
  30. a b PCGH test: PlayStation 3 Slim versus PS3 80/60 GByte November 5, 2009, accessed April 26, 2009.
  31. New PS3 Model Now More Eco-Friendly July 30, 2010, accessed November 29, 2010.
  32. play³ 02.2013: page 89
  33. "Xbox 360 soon only in second place" August 13, 2007, accessed February 25, 2010.
  34. ^ "Sony Cuts PlayStation 3 Prices as Many Xboxes Fail" ( The New York Times on July 9, 2007, English)
  35. "Sony's PS3 Passes 20 m Units Worldwide: How Well Is It Really Doing?" ( Memento from February 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) ( on February 5, 2009, English)
  36. Global 2013 Platform Sales , accessed May 9, 2014.
  37. PlayStation 3 switches from Sixaxis to DualShock 3 from April 3, 2008 (accessed October 26, 2018)
  38. Test of the DualShock 3 at
  39. Release date of the DualShock 3 at
  40. Firmware 1.94 requirement for the rumble function ( Die Presse )
  41. Release, prices and bundles revealed at E3 (June 16, 2010, accessed November 30, 2010)
  42. Sony reports 8.0 million sales ( Memento from May 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (April 15, 2011, accessed April 15, 2011; PDF; 64 kB)
  43. Wireless Buzz! Buzzer. (official PlayStation information in July 2008)
  44. Singstar - Sony issues press release. In: March 16, 2009, accessed August 27, 2018 .
  45. PlayTV: TV for Sony's PlayStation 3 ( Memento from December 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  46. Product information Bluetooth headset (official American PlayStation website)
  47. Product information Bluetooth keypad (official American PlayStation site)
  48. Product information Bluetooth keyboard (official German Playstation site)
  49. Sony is promoting PlayStation 3 as a computer
  51. Chris Chiarella: Sony PlayStation 3 . In: Home Theater Magazine . Primedia Magazines, Inc .. December 2006. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  52. Shane C. Buettner: PlayStation3 Blu-ray Disc Player . Primedia Magazines, Inc. p. 4 of December 6, 2006. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  53. ^ Sony PlayStation 3. In: EISA Awards. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008 ; accessed on August 27, 2018 (English).
  54. Firmware 2.20 for the PlayStation 3 with "BD Live" available
  55. List of firmware updates for the PS3 and the newly added functions with each update (English)
  56. RSX. In: psDevWiki. Archived from the original on February 24, 2011 ; accessed on August 27, 2018 (English).
  57. More details about Yellow Dog for the PlayStation 3
  58. Yellow Dog Linux 6.1 uses the graphics memory of the PlayStation 3 ,, November 20, 2008
  59. ( Memento from July 8, 2012 in the web archive )
  60. debian-live, keshi. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013 ; accessed on August 27, 2018 (English).
  61. openSUSE website
  62. Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Release ( Memento from September 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  63. WinFuture: Sony: PlayStation 3 will make the PC superfluous , Roland Quandt, June 2, 2006 ; Retrieved December 7, 2016 .
  64. Bye Linux - PS3 firmware 3.21 is there on , accessed on April 1, 2010.
  65. PlayStation 3: New firmware against jailbreak ( Memento from December 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  66. heise online: Playstation 3 security system levered out
  67. The PS3Xploit Team. Retrieved July 25, 2019 .
  68. PS3 - PS3HEN: A Homebrew ENabler (& more) for SuperSlim & all nonCFW PS3 Consoles !!! Retrieved July 3, 2020 (American English).
  69. cf. Drive modding: the Xecuter PS3 Hyperdrive ( Memento from May 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  70. Holy Chip! (English), January 30, 2006, accessed June 15, 2011.
  71. Cell Broadband Engine Architecture and its first implementation (English), November 29, 2005, accessed June 15, 2011.
  72. Cell BE processor - all-rounder or hype? , October 19, 2006, accessed June 15, 2011.
  73. Exploiting the Performance of 32 bit Floating Point Arithmetic in Obtaining 64 bit Accuracy (PDF; 227 kB), July 31, 2006, accessed June 15, 2011.
  74. Article: PS3 up to 27 times faster than Core2Duo ( Memento from July 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  75. Results Linux benchmark OpenCV PS3 / Core2Duo @ 2,4Ghz ( Memento from May 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) PDF document (English)
  76. PS3 accelerates encoding of H.264 videos (German) , accessed on June 16, 2011.
  77. PS3 as a crack station - proof of performance (November 29, 2007)
  78. Martin Linklater. "Optimizing Cell Core". Game Developer Magazine, April 2007: pp. 15-18. "To increase fabrication yields, Sony ships PlayStation 3 Cell processors with only seven working SPEs. And from those seven, one SPE will be used by the operating system for various tasks, This leaves six SPEs and 1 PPE for game programmers to use."
  79. a b c d e f Sony Introduces Playstation 3, to launch in 2006 (English), May 16, 2005, accessed December 4, 2010.
  80. Game Developers Conference 2006 (Japanese), accessed January 30, 2011.
  81. New PS3 Tools (English), January 30, 2006, accessed January 30, 2011.
  82. Fuad Abazovic: PS3's RSX is sort of Shader Model 3.0. In: TheINQUIRER. September 6, 2005, accessed August 27, 2018 .
  83. NVIDIA Tegra K1 A New Era in Mobile Computing , accessed February 10, 2014.
  84. Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 in the PCGH technology check May 1, 2009, accessed January 3, 2012.
  85. RGBM color encoding , accessed June 13, 2011.
  86. PS3 Graphics chip 65nm Goes (english) in case ( Memento of 27 August 2010 at the Internet Archive in December), June 26th 2008, called 4, 2010.
  87. The New Guts of the PlayStation 3 , April 26, 2010, accessed December 4, 2010.
  88. Slide: Graphics - RSX , 2006, accessed February 22, 2014.
  89. PlayStation 3: Inside and Out. In: GameSpot . October 26, 2006, accessed August 27, 2018 .
  90. Tech Focus: Next-Gen Consoles vs. The Age of Austerity , May 9, 2012, accessed March 21, 2013.
  91. Wii U graphics power finally revealed , February 5, 2013, accessed February 22, 2014.
  92. a b c d e Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Research & Development Division (English), 2009, accessed February 22, 2014.
  93. 70MB of additional RAM unlocked for PS3 developers (English) ( Memento of 27 January 2015, Internet Archive ), February 23, 2010 called July 29, 2013.
  94. a b c d e f PS3 hardware slow and broken (English), June 5, 2006, accessed March 21, 2013.
  95. cf. PS3 format (English)
  96. a b c heise online PlayStation 3 plays DivX films after firmware update
  97. User manual: CD audio import
  98. Sony Computer Entertainment technical requirements ( Memento from August 25, 2011 on WebCite ) (PDF; 34 kB)
  99. AV 機能 を 試 す (Japanese) ( Memento from February 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  100. Sony Japanese website
  101. ComputerBase article on power consumption
  105. Dimensions of the PS3 slim version in its operating instructions , p. 106 (PDF)
  107. US Air Force relies on supercomputers made up of 1,760 PlayStation 3s, December 1, 2010.