It’s been a few hours since we’ve heard some new bad press rumblings about Sony’s seemingly ill-fated PS3, so let’s fill that void… This time, it’s not-so-unbiased blogger Ozymandias, a.k.a. gaming strategist for Microsoft Andre Vrignaud. He reports on some technical details of the PS3’s Blu-Ray drive, pointing out that its read speeds, even for standard DVD discs, will be slower than those on the already-released Xbox 360.
At GDC Europe last year Sony mentioned in their presentation that the PS3 Blu-ray drive would have sustained peak transfer rates of 36 MBit/s (4.5 MB/s) at 1x speed. Since then it appears that the drive has been upgraded to a 2x drive, which would enable transfer rates of 9 MB/s. Assuming a full 50 GB Blu-ray disc, at this speed you’d need just over 90 minutes to read the entire disc through memory. Of course, you can’t fit all of that data into system memory at the same time, so you’ll either be streaming a great deal (hard even with faster optical drives) and/or caching data to the hard drive. There’s a reason the PS3 is so expensive - once Sony committed to Blu-ray as a corporate strategy, they were also forced to bundle the hard drive in every box to help mitigate slow disc data transfer rates.
For comparison, the Xbox 360 uses a 12x DVD drive, which can load at about 16 MB/s, making Microsoft’s read speeds about 2x greater. In recent days, this has lead to an online blogging argument, between Ozy at MS and Mark Deloura at Sony, about the importance of this comparison. Still, they seem to agree on the fundamentals of the mathematics.
“Admittedly, Blu-Ray looks dicey from several non-capacity angles. Blu-Ray movies require a 1.5x Blu-Ray drive, or 54Mbits/second. Sony announced that PS3 uses a 2x BD drive, which is 72Mbits/second or 9MB/second. The Xbox360 uses a 12x DVD, which should give it about 16MB/second. That is significantly faster for games and will result in shorter load times. And that 12x DVD drive should be a whole lot cheaper. (Note that the PS3 drive will do 8x DVD, and even that is faster than 2x BD.)”
First the official Playstation magazine editor states she doesn’t want the PS3, now former Sony execs are agreeing that the PS3 is too slow?? What’s next—Kaz Hirai admitting that Dead Rising is his favorite game ever?!?
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