The controller, the date and the prices...oh, that
At their E3 press conference today, Sony has revealed some long-awaited info about their upcoming next-gen console, which is of course the PlayStation 3. Among the announcements, players now know when they can get their hands on the system, how much it will cost and what will be replacing the much-loathed “boomerang” controller showcased before. Unlike previous events of this sort, the PS3 wasn’t the same silver color shown alongside the old controller. Instead, Sony announced that “clear black” will be available at launch.
As for when that launch will be, well, it is a pretty decent “global launch,” with North American gamers able to get their hands on the PS3 on November 17th, though the cost is something a little more complicated. Like the Xbox 360 before it, gamers will have a choice as to how much the system will set them back, as Sony has divided it into two different packages, a 20GB and 60GB hard drive. The 20GB will cost $499 (USD) and the 60GB will cost $599. Europe and Australia will also get the console on November 17th, and in the same 20GB and 60GB packages, selling for 499 euros and 599 euros respectively. And in Japan, they will also get the same packages, but at a different time – November 11th – and for different prices. The 20GB package in Japan will run 59,800 yen, but the 60GB will have a “open price,” which will leave consumers there at the mercy of the stores, who can set that version at what ever price they see fit!
Finally, Sony revealed the “new” controller (pictured) for the PS3...which looks surprisingly like the old, DualShock controller from the PS2. However there are some differences, most notably the lack of a rumble effect (most likely due to the Immersion lawsuit). There's also a small black button in the middle, which most likely is nothing more than the “home” buttons that seem to have made their way to every next-gen controller including Nintendo's. And speaking of Nintendo, the PS3 controller also features motion-sensing capabilities, and a demo of the upcoming game Warhawk even showed an aircraft being controlled through the mimicked movements.
Be sure to check back for our continuing coverage on this and many other stories developing during E3 2006!
Update: Since this story was originally posted, we've learned some additional details about the differences in PS3 pricing. According to Gamesindustry.biz, Sony's latest spec sheet for the PlayStation 3 points out more differences than merely the price between the company's $499 20GB version and $599 60GB version. The 20GB version is somewhat crippled in other ways besides storage space, as it lacks slots for memory sticks, SD or flash compact cards. Additionally, the cheaper version will not offer any Wi-Fi options or HDMI output.
The 60GB version has also trimmed down a bit, with only one HDMI port (instead of the two found on last year's prototype), one Ethernet port (versus the three originally shown), and four USB ports (six were originally planned).
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