While Microsoft broadcast the news of its latest console to the world via MTV, Sony's approach couldn't be more different. In a press conference behind closed doors that saw key journalists being turned away, Sony unveiled what it believes will be the winning card in the next-generation console wars.

In the press conference at the gaming convention E3 in Los Angeles, Sony has confirmed that its new console will after all the rumours and speculation be called nothing more exciting than simply the “PlayStation 3”. The company also confirmed the new console will use Sony's Blu-Ray discs as its media format.

It will also support CR-ROM, CDR+W, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R making it very much an entertainment machine rather than just a console.

Unlike Microsoft and the Xbox 360, Sony also confirmed the machine would be backwards compatible with both the PS2 and surprisingly the original PlayStation launched 10 years ago.

However like the Xbox 360 the controllers will be wireless, this time via Bluetooth support with up to seven wireless controllers.

Sony also laid out the technical specs of the device. The PlayStation 3 will feature the much-vaunted Cell processor co-designed with IMB and Toshiba, which will run at 3.2 Ghz. The console will sport 256mb XDR main RAM, a detachable 2.5 inch HDD slot, six USB 2.0 ports, Memory Stick Duo, a SD slot, a compact flash memory slot, 2 hdmi outputs, 1 av multi out, 1 SPDIF optical output, and 1-gigabit Ethernet built in port

To match digital consumer electronics and computer technology, PS3 supports high quality display in resolution of 1080p(*) as standard, which is far superior to 720p/1080i of the Xbox 360.

The PlayStation 3 will also sport some hefty multimedia features, such as video chat, internet access, digital photo viewing, digital audio and video.

"PS3 truly is the system to be placed in the center of living rooms in homes around the world," Ken Kutaragi, the head of Sony's game unit, said at a press event.

Sony has also confirmed that it will launch the console in 2006.

The specs in full:

CPU Cell Processor PowerPC-base Core @3.2GHz 1 VMX vector unit per core 512KB L2 cache 7 x SPE @3.2GHz 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs 7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE * 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance : 218 GFLOPS

GPU RSX @550MHz 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-base processing)

Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz

System Bandwidth Main RAM 25.6GB/s VRAM 22.4GB/s RSX 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read) SB 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

System Floating Point Performance 2 TFLOPS

Storage HDD Detachable 2.5" HDD slot x 1

I/O USB Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0) Memory Stick standard/Duo, PRO x 1 SD standard/mini x 1 CompactFlash (Type I, II) x 1

Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2) Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

Controller Bluetooth (up to 7) USB2.0 (wired) Wi-Fi (PSP®) Network (over IP)

AV Output Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p HDMI HDMI out x 2 Analog AV MULTI OUT x 1 Digital audio DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

Disc media * read only CD PlayStation® CD-ROM PlayStation®2 CD-ROM CD-DA CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW SACD SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD DualDisc DualDisc (audio side),DualDisc DVD side)