iSuppli Corp.’s dissection reveals the PlayStation 3 is an engineering masterpiece that sets a new high mark for computing price/performance—even when considering it is more expensive than its nearest rival, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft Corp. The combined materials and manufacturing cost of the PlayStation 3 is $ 805.85 for the model equipped with a 20Gbyte HDD, and $ 840.35 for the 60Gbyte HDD version. This total doesn’t include additional costs for elements including the controller, cables and packaging. At these costs, Sony is taking a considerable loss on each PlayStation 3 sold. Materials and manufacturing costs for the 20Gbyte model exceed the suggested retail price of $ 499 by a total of $ 306.85. For the 60Gbyte version, costs exceed the $ 599 price by $ 241.35. PlayStation 3’s inclusion of a power supply that packs a whopping 400-watts—yet uses a very compact, low-profile design. At $ 37.50, this power supply costs about twice as much as an average unit found in a PC.

iSuppli Corp.’s dissection reveals the PlayStation 3 is an engineering
masterpiece that sets a new high mark for computing price/performance—even when
considering it is more expensive than its nearest rival, the Xbox 360 from
Microsoft Corp. The combined materials and manufacturing cost of the PlayStation
3 is $ 805.85 for the model equipped with a 20Gbyte HDD, and $ 840.35 for the
60Gbyte HDD version. This total doesn’t include additional costs for elements
including the controller, cables and packaging. At these costs, Sony is taking a
considerable loss on each PlayStation 3 sold. Materials and manufacturing costs
for the 20Gbyte model exceed the suggested retail price of $ 499 by a total of
$ 306.85. For the 60Gbyte version, costs exceed the $ 599 price by $ 241.35.
PlayStation 3’s inclusion of a power supply that packs a whopping 400-watts—yet
uses a very compact, low-profile design. At $ 37.50, this power supply costs
about twice as much as an average unit found in a PC.

Some of the more advanced features of the PlayStation 3’s design include:

  • The dual Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), i.e. the RSX Reality
    Synthesizer from Nvidia Corp. and the Emotion Engine & Graphics Synthesizer
    from Toshiba Corp. The RSX Reality Synthesizer delivers cutting-edge
    high-definition graphics—while the Emotion Engine provides backward
    compatibility with PlayStation 2 game titles. With their design wins, Nvidia
    and Toshiba control 12 percent and 11 percent of the total PlayStation 3
    materials and manufacturing costs respectively.
  • The Cell Broadband Engine from IBM, which serves as the central processing
    unit of the PlayStation 3, provides the equivalent computing power of eight
    individual microprocessors. The Cell is what endows the PlayStation 3 with its
    supercomputer-like power, Rassweiler observed. IBM’s Cell processor accounts
    for 11 percent of the PlayStation 3 costs.
  • The use of four Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. 512Mbit DRAMs that employ
    high-speed memory interface technology from Rambus Inc. This marks the first
    use of the advanced XDR DRAM technology that iSuppli has detected. Samsung’s
    memory represents 11 percent of PlayStation 3 costs. Samsung and Elpida Memory
    Inc. are dual sources for the XDR DRAM.