Playstation 2 comes alive with 'best ever' graphics

Playstation 2 comes alive with ‘best ever’ graphics
David Manners Sony has released more details on its forthcoming next generation Playstation video games console which insiders say offers astounding graphics performance. The Playstation features cutting edge chip technologies and a main processor designed for photorealistic graphics. “I wish I could describe the incredible graphics performance,” said Jon Peddie, head of US market research firm Jon Peddie Associates, who recently returned from Japan where he saw the Playstation prototype. “In all my 30 plus years of viewing graphics systems, this is by far the best graphics performance I have ever seen.” Peddie estimates the graphics performance at being three times better than a 500MHz Pentium III workstation, with a performance in excess of six gigaflops. “Sony has achieved this performance by having ten floating point units, a Risc microprocessor and other processing units in a chip running at 300MHz,” said Peddie. He added that the performance of the 128-bit next generation Playstation is between five and ten times better than Sega’s rival Dreamcast. Nintendo has yet to announce its 128-bit system, and potentially, Peddie pointed out, it could try to leap frog the Sony system. Having photorealistic graphics will make it more challenging to develop games titles for the Sony system. “Sony is developing middleware tools that will help in programming but it will take time before there are titles available,” said Peddie. Sony, however, has made sure that the next Playstation is backwards compatible with the current model. The details released also indicated that the next system could double as the heart of a sophisticated entertainment system. The next Playstation features a DVD player, hardware based MPEG-2 decoding, as well as USB and IEEE 1394 digital interfaces. This means that in addition to playing videogames, it could also communicate with computers and the Internet, play DVD movie and audio titles, and support a six-speaker stereo system.

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