TGS 2006: PS3 System Preview
In a special press event held outside the TGS grounds, SCEE Executive Vice President Phil Harrison previewed the PS3 Media Cross Bar and several other hardware features. Although it's still a "work in progress," PSP users will quickly recognize the interface: it's essentially identical in the PS3, featuring Profiles, Settings, Images, Music, Video, Games, Friends, and Web.
The system will hold several different user profiles, so in this way, it's similar to the Xbox 360's format. The settings bar is pretty self-explanatory; you'll find all the technical options and specifications in here. And speaking of settings, the demo was shown in glittering 1080p HD, and Harrison went through a series of examples using slideshows and photo animations.
There's a music visualizer in the cross bar, but beyond some colorful blobs of light, the preview didn't actually include music. They moved quickly along to the Games icon, which includes a network option to download any content available for the inserted game (nice!). Harrison made a point of saying this function would become "increasingly important" in regards to the download hub for the PSP. The Friends icon featured the expected friends list, data, and voice/video chat via either a letter pad or optional USB keyboard.
Harrison then provided viewers with a first look at the web browser, quickly bringing up the TGS home page and Google, and concluded by showing a brief early version of NBA '07. Thus far, it's one of the most in-depth Sony presentations at TGS, so it looks like they're finally heating up. Keep checking back for more updates.
9/23/2006 Ben Dutka