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August 21 2007


Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces New Features and Enhancements For PLAYSTATION®3 Folding@Home Application

PS3™ Users Continue to Help Stanford University Further Medical Research

FOSTER CITY, Calif., August 21, 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) today announced a Folding@home™ application update (v1.2) for PLAYSTATION®3 PS3™) users, further demonstrating the company’s continued commitment to the Stanford University distributed computing project. This latest update provides PS3 users with added functionalities and features, including support for Remote Play for PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), added protein simulations and visuals, as well as a screensaver mode which enables PS3™ to consume slightly less power and increases the performance of protein-folding simulations.

User participation by the PS3™ community continues to be very strong—in just five months more than 536,000 PS3™ users worldwide have downloaded the Folding@home application. PS3™ users have delivered up to 600 teraflops, making the Folding@home program one of the fastest distributed computing networks in the world. Thanks in part to the ultra-fast processing power found in PS3™, the Folding@home project is closer to its goal of achieving a petaflop, an important milestone.

Updated features and functionalities that are part of this latest application update (v 1.2) include:

  • Support for Remote Play for PSP™ - Now Folding@home can be remotely operated through PSP™ utilizing the Remote Play feature of the PS3™ system. With this feature, PS3™ users are able to view on their PSP™ the exact same Folding@home information that is viewable on their PS3™, complete with the map of the world and the protein that their particular system is simulating.
  • More Support for Additional Protein Simulations – Additional computation cores are now supported allowing Folding@home for PS3™ to support a wider range of protein-folding simulations which further enhances the science needed to be performed to research diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Screensaver Mode – A screensaver mode can now be activated via the Settings menu in the Folding@home application, allowing PS3™ users to consume slightly less power and to increase performance of protein-folding simulations.
  • Link to Project Description – A link has been added to the Information menu in the Folding@home application allowing users to quickly obtain additional information about the specific research project they are currently contributing to.
  • Protein Visualization Enhancements – All visualization modes have been enhanced with improved shading, highlighting and focus effects, including: “Tapioca” displays the protein as a smooth surface with improved shading and depth; “Caviar” displays the protein as a smooth surface with defined edges; “Licorice” displays only the protein’s bonds and “Backbone” which emphasizes specific sections of the protein that are of the most scientific interest to researchers.
  • Advanced Participation Mode – Advanced participation mode allows Stanford University to send simulations of varying computational lengths to PS3™ users. Because the simulations in this mode can take significantly longer, Advanced Mode is only recommended for contributors who run Folding@home for at least eight hours per day.

“We take a lot of pride in the fact that more than half a million PS3™ users worldwide have dedicated a portion of their machine’s capabilities towards helping Stanford University and their Folding@home team research many of the diseases that inflict our society today,” said Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA. “It is one thing for us to provide the technology to make this possible; it is quite another to have gamers from all over the world proactively sign up for this program to make a difference in our global community. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results we have seen to date in this collaborative effort.”

Folding@home is a distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and related diseases. Because the process of folding proteins is so complex, groups of computers are used to perform simulations to study the process.

Thanks to PS3™’s Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.), researchers are now able to tabulate the simulations much faster, speeding up the research process. PS3™ users can download the updated version of the application (v1.2) by simply restarting the Folding@home application. New Folding@home users can join the program by simply clicking on the Folding@home icon within the Network menu of the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) or can optionally set the application to run automatically whenever the PS3™ is idle (*1).

About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system and its online and network services the PLAYSTATION®Network and PLAYSTATION®Store

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2™ computer entertainment system and the PSP™ system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

(*1) To run the application automatically in idle state, PS3™ must be connected to the network with both the main power switch and power button turned on. Option setting must also be changed as this automatic feature is off at default.

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