The Sony PlayStation 3 is a gaming console with a library of game titles across different genres. Over the years, four generations of PS3 consoles have been released. In each generation of PS3 consoles, there are two or more models, and though every model is compatible with PS3 games, some models include additional features and hardware.
The first generation of PS3 consoles was released in 2006 to North American markets. Hardware features include four USB ports and a built-in wireless transceiver and all models in this generation included a Sixaxis controller. The first generation PS3s are the only models to include hardware-based PlayStation 2 emulation, which allowed gamers to play their PS2 games on their PS3s. There were two models released in this generation: the 20 gigabyte model, which was available in black with black trim, and the 60 gigabyte model, which included a flash memory card reader and was available in black with chrome trim.
The second generation of PS3s replaced hardware PS2 emulation with a software-based implementation. This generation was available in 60 and 80 gigabyte configurations and included a Sixaxis controller with the retail package. This generation of PS3 consoles is the last models to include a flash memory card reader. All second generation PS3s were only available in black with chrome trim.
The third generation of PS3s completely removed support for PS2 gaming and also reduced the number of USB ports from four to two. This generation was available in 40, 80 and 160 gigabyte configurations and added silver and white to the list of available console colors. Additionally, a special bundle that included a grey 160 gigabyte PS3 and a copy of "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" was also available for purchase.
The fourth generation of PS3 consoles is the only generation with the new "slim" console form factor. Slim PS3s were available in 120, 160, 250 and 320 gigabyte configurations and added support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio. Slim PS3s are available in several colors, including the classic black, blue, pink and white. All slim PS3s were bundled with a DualShock 3 controller. As of May 2011, the 160 and 320 gigabyte configurations are the only PS3 models still in production.
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