The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The successor to the PlayStation 2, it is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed primarily against Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc technology as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console.
The PlayStation 3 began development on March 9, 2001 when Ken Kutaragi, then the President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, announced that Sony, Toshiba, and IBM would collaborate on developing the Cell microprocessor. At the time, Shuhei Yoshida led a group of programmers within this hardware team to explore next-generation game creation. By early 2005, focus within Sony shifted towards developing PS3 launch titles. Sony officially unveiled PlayStation 3 to the public on May 16, 2005, at E3 2005, along with a boomerang-shaped prototype design of the Sixaxis controller. A functional version of the system was not present there,nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although demonstrations (such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) were held at both events on software development kits and comparable personal computer hardware. Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was also shown (notably a Final Fantasy VII tech demo).
At E3 2007, Sony was able to show a number of their upcoming video games for PlayStation 3, including Heavenly Sword, Lair, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Warhawk and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune; all of which were released in the third and fourth quarters of 2007. It also showed off a number of titles that were set for release in 2008 and 2009; most notably Killzone 2, Infamous, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, LittleBigPlanet and SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation. A number of third-party exclusives were also shown, including the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, alongside other high-profile third-party titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5. Two other important titles for PlayStation 3, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, were shown at TGS 2007 in order to appease the Japanese market.
In December 2008, the CTO of Blitz Games announced that it would bring stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie viewing to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with its own technology. This was first demonstrated publicly on PS3 using Sony's own technology in January 2009 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Journalists were shown Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in 3D as a demonstration of how the technology might work if it is implemented in the future. Firmware update 3.30 officially allowed PS3 titles to be played in 3D, requiring a compatible display for use. System software update 3.50 prepared it for 3D films. While the game itself must be programmed to take advantage of the 3D technology, titles may be patched to add in the functionality retroactively. Titles with such patches include Wipeout HD, Pain, and Super Stardust HD.
PlayStation 3 console protects certain types of data and uses digital rights management to limit the data's use. Purchased games and content from the PlayStation Network store are governed by PlayStation's Network Digital Rights Management (NDRM). The NDRM allows users to access the data from up to 2 different PlayStation 3's that have been activated using a user's PlayStation Network ID. PlayStation 3 also limits the transfer of copy protected videos downloaded from its store to other machines and states that copy protected video "may not restore correctly" following certain actions after making a backup such as downloading a new copy protected movie.
The error code displayed was typically 8001050F and affected users were unable to sign in, play games, use dynamic themes, and view/sync trophies. The problem only resided within the first- through third-generation original PS3 units while the newer "Slim" models were unaffected because of different internal hardware for the clock.
PlayStation Portable can connect with PlayStation 3 in many ways, including in-game connectivity. For example, Formula One Championship Edition, a racing game, was shown at E3 2006 using a PSP as a real-time rear-view mirror. In addition, users are able to download original PlayStation format games from the PlayStation Store, transfer and play them on PSP as well as PS3 itself. It is also possible to use the Remote Play feature to play these and some PlayStation Network games, remotely on PSP over a network or internet connection.
PlayStation Plus (commonly abbreviated PS+ and occasionally referred to as PSN Plus) is a premium PlayStation Network subscription service that was officially unveiled at E3 2010 by Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA. Rumors of such service had been in speculation since Kaz Hirai's announcement at TGS 2009 of a possible paid service for PSN but with the current PSN service still available. Launched alongside PS3 firmware 3.40 and PSP firmware 6.30 on June 29, 2010, the paid-for subscription service provides users with enhanced services on the PlayStation Network, on top of the current PSN service which is still available with all of its features. These enhancements include the ability to have demos and game updates download automatically to PlayStation 3. Subscribers also get early or exclusive access to some betas, game demos, premium downloadable content, and other PlayStation Store items. North American users also get a free subscription to Qore. Users may choose to purchase either a one-year or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus.
The PlayStation Store is an online virtual market available to users of Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) game consoles via the PlayStation Network. The Store offers a range of downloadable content both for purchase and available free of charge. Available content includes full games, add-on content, playable demos, themes and game and movie trailers. The service is accessible through an icon on the XMB on PS3 and PSP. The PS3 store can also be accessed on PSP via a Remote Play connection to PS3. The PSP store is also available via the PC application, Media Go. As of September 24, 2009[update], there have been over 600 million downloads from the PlayStation Store worldwide.
Home featured places to meet and interact, dedicated game spaces, developer spaces, company spaces, and events. The service underwent a weekly maintenance and frequent updates. At the time of its closure in March 2015, Home had been downloaded by over 41 million users.
On April 20, 2011, Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity for a prolonged interval, revealing on April 23 that this was due to "an external intrusion on our system". Sony later revealed that the personal information of 77 million users might have been taken, including: names; addresses; countries; email addresses; birthdates; PSN/Qriocity logins, passwords and handles/PSN online IDs. It also stated that it was possible that users' profile data, including purchase history and billing address, and PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. There was no evidence that any credit card data had been taken, but the possibility could not be ruled out, and Sony advised customers that their credit card data may have been obtained. Additionally, the credit card numbers were encrypted and Sony never collected the three digit CVC or CSC number from the back of the credit cards which is required for authenticating some transactions. In response to the incident, Sony announced a "Welcome Back" program, 30 days free membership of PlayStation Plus for all PSN members, two free downloadable PS3 games, and a free one-year enrollment in an identity theft protection program.
Although its PlayStation predecessors had been very dominant against the competition and were hugely profitable for Sony, PlayStation 3 had an inauspicious start, and Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer initially could not convince investors of a turnaround in its fortunes. The PS3 lacked the unique gameplay of the more affordable Wii which became that generation's most successful console in terms of units sold. Furthermore, PS3 had to compete directly with Xbox 360 which had a market head start, and as a result the platform no longer had exclusive titles that the PS2 enjoyed such as the Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy series (regarding cross-platform games, Xbox 360 versions were generally considered superior in 2006, although by 2008 the PS3 versions had reached parity or surpassed), and it took longer than expected for PS3 to enjoy strong sales and close the gap with Xbox 360. Sony also continued to lose money on each PS3 sold through 2010, although the redesigned "slim" PS3 cut these losses. 2b1af7f3a8