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Gaming

Photos: PlayStation 3 unmasked

It's sleek, speedy and comes in three colors. But how does Sony's new console compare with the Xbox 360?

PlayStation 3 unmasked

In a glitzy event Monday at Sony's Los Angeles film studios, the company unveiled its PlayStation 3 and released eagerly anticipated details about the console. The device will reach store shelves in spring 2006, said the company, which hasn't yet released pricing information.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

People crowded outside the event, which featured Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, who demonstrated the new device.

Credit: Richard Shim

Crowd outside the PlayStation 3 event

PlayStation 3 unmasked

Kutaragi holds the new PlayStation 3. Also pictured is Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Ken Kutaragi and Kazuo Hirai

PlayStation 3 unmasked

The PlayStation 3 will come in white, silver and black. The console is built around a new chip touted as being at least as fast as those in the most powerful PCs on the market today. The chip, called Cell, was developed by IBM and Toshiba.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

Sony said the new console will have wireless controllers, a detachable 2.5-inch hard drive, slots for compact flash and Sony's memory stick media, and a built-in Wi-Fi connection for linking up to the PlayStation Portable. Click here for a full list of specs.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

The new console was showcased a week after Microsoft revealed details of its forthcoming Xbox 360 in an MTV special. (Click here for photos of the Xbox 360.)

Sony's device will support games made for previous generations of PlayStation systems, company executives said.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

At the core of Sony's new game machine is the Cell chip. With a radical new design that includes nine separate processors, with one controlling "brain" that will divvy up tasks among the other eight, the Cell has been touted by developers as a middle ground between the traditionally separate graphics processors and central processors, with advantages over both.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

Out of the box, PlayStation 3 will have the capability to support seven Bluetooth controllers, which will be usable for nearly 24 hours before recharging is needed, according to GameSpot. A typical boomerang-shaped controller will have six USB slots for peripherals, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity to the PSP, which will be usable as a remote screen or controller.

Credit: Sony

The PlayStation 3's controller

PlayStation 3 unmasked

Sony gave its slim new console a convex look--the opposite of Microsoft's mildly concave design for the Xbox 360.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 unmasked

The new device is relatively slim.

Credit: Sony

PlayStation 3