As we reported yesterday, Sony held its PlayStation Conference in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon and shared some extremely important news regarding the impending release of the PlayStation 3.
Sony Computer Entertainment President Ken Kutaragi explained that the conference wasn’t a platform to reveal new hardware or games, but rather to present an apology for not providing information up to this point. He mentioned that issues over the finalization of copy protection technology related to the Blu-ray disc drive were the cause for the delay. Bly-ray will be present on the PS3 and will allow for a high image quality at a high bit rate.
Kutaragi then went on to drop a few tasty nuggets.
- The PS3 will launch simultaneously in Japan, North America and Europe within the first ten days of November 2006.
- Six million PS3 units will be ready for shipment between November 2006 and March 2007.
- Production capacity will be 1 million units per month to keep up with demand.
- The PS3 will ship with a standard 50GB hard drive.
- Gamers will be able to upgrade the hard drive.
- Linux will be preinstalled.
- The system will be completely backwards compatible with the entire PS and PS2 library of games.
- PS and PS2 games will be played in high definition when played on the PS3.
- Final PS3 controllers and development kits are going to be sent to the development community by May/June. The kit will include the final specs for the Cell processor, the final RSX graphics chip, and the final Blu-ray specs. The cost will be similar to PS2 dev kits.
- The console will be compatible with a wide lineup of TVs, from standard-definition to full high-definition.
During the conference, he also revealed Sony’s online model called “PlayStation Network Platform” which will allow rankings, matchmaking, messaging, friend lists, voice and video chat, in-game shopping, and game downloads to the hard drive. This service will be free and available with anything from a high-speed broadband network through Gigabit Ethernet. There was no mention of a paid online service much like Microsoft’s Xbox Live, but we expect to learn more soon.
Exciting news for gamers, even though some may be disappointed by the delay. Rumors were rampant that Sony would launch a sneak attack this spring with the PlayStation 3, but that’s now been laid to rest. All we need to know now is price, launch titles and where to pre-order this bad boy! Stay tuned for CCC for more info as it happens.