PlayStation 3

Original PS3 and "Slim" model.

The PlayStation 3 or PS3, is the successor to the PlayStation 2, released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, and November 17, 2006 in North America. The PS3 is superseded by the PlayStation 4.

The PlayStation 3 uses a proprietary CPU co-developed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM called the Cell Broadband Engine. The GPU uses an Nvidia-based chipset called the "RSX Reality Synthesizer". The PS3's system memory was split into two pools of 256MB each, with one pool going to the CPU and the other to the GPU; the split memory made programming for the PS3 more difficult compared to the technically-inferior Xbox 360, especially when creating multi-platform ports.

Unlike the PlayStation 2, whose online services were supported by the individual game publishers and developers for each online capable game, online services for the PlayStation 3 were unified under the PlayStation Network, which launched concurrently with the console. Unlike Xbox Live, which requires a paid subscription, online gaming for the PS3 is free on the PlayStation Network; however, Sony launched a paid tier, PlayStation Plus, in 2010 and offers certain benefits such as free games, store discounts, and cloud backups of game saves.

The PlayStation 3 is backwards compatible with the original PlayStation, and early models were also backwards compatible with the PlayStation 2. PS2 backwards compatibility was initially achieved by using the PS2's native Emotion Engine CPU and Graphics Synthesizer GPU; however, subsequent motherboard revisions removed the hardware-based solution in favor of software emulation, and support for physical PS2 discs was eventually removed, mostly to reduce costs and partly due to the PS2 being concurrently sold as a budget console during the first half of the PS3's lifespan. Certain titles were later emulated and offered under the "PS2 Classics" line, including games from the GTA III Era. It was also the only seventh-generation console to offer region-free games. The console underwent two major redesigns, the "Slim" model in 2009 and "Super Slim" model in 2012; the Super Slim removes the slot-loading optical drive in favor of a top-loading, sliding door mechanism.

The PlayStation 3 was discontinued in March 2016 in PAL regions, October 2016 in North America, and May 2017 in Japan; however, online services via the PlayStation Network remain available.

Grand Theft Auto Games on PS3

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