The King is back...
Good:Originally Posted by 1up.comSony held its PlayStation Business conference in Tokyo today and 1UP's correspondents were on hand to report back all of the details.
Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, took center stage and delivered the big news: PlayStation 3 will not release until November 2006, as previously reported earlier today.
However, he also revealed that Sony plans to release the system in Japan, North America, and Europe simultaneously this November. That's right, the PS3 will be in stores before the end of the year - within the first 10 days of November, to be exact. According to the company, it will have a production capacity of 1 million units a month to attempt to keep up with the demand. 6 million units are estimated to be shipped by the end of March 2007.
Kutaragi stated that the purpose of today's meeting was not to show any new hardware or games, it was to offer an apology. He wanted to give the world an update since it was now Spring. He stated issues over the finalization of copy protection technology related to the Blu-ray disc drive were the cause for the delay. But Kutaragi also mentioned that the delay would allow for the latest HDMI (high-definition connection, essentially) support.
He did offer some tantalizing new details about the system, though. PS3 will include a 60GB hard drive (which is upgradeable) with Linux preinstalled. According to Kutaragi, developers should create games for the PS3 with assumption the hard drive will be present in the system (his slide was titled "HDD is required!"). He also revealed that the system will be backwards compatible with the entire PS1 and PS2 libraries, and that games will be displayed in high-definition resolutions when played on the PS3 (similar to what the Xbox 360 does with compatible Xbox 1 titles).
Kutaragi described the shift to the PS3 as a move into the 4D world. The 8/16 bit era with 2D sprites was refered to as "Plane", the PS1/PS2 era with 3D graphics was described as "Space", and the PS3 era was with its, according to him, 4D worlds, was described as "Live" (Space + Time). Some of this concept is surely lost in translation. http://www.1up.com/media?id=2756739 http://www.1up.com/media?id=2756741
(Images courtesy of Watch Impress)
Kutaragi also revealed details on the online service Sony is planning for the PS3 called the "PlayStation Network Platform". Beginning at the system's November launch, the service will feature such functions as matchmaking, messaging, rankings, friends lists, voice/video chat, in-game shopping, and game downloads to the hard drive. Best of all, the service will be free (as of right now, it isn't clear on whether there will also be a paid tier of service similar to Xbox Live Gold). The service will also allow for publishers to connect their own game servers. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), makers of such online games as EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies, is provided the infrastructure and GameSpy is providing tools and middleware. Kutaragi also mentioned that the PS3 can serve as a wireless access point for the PSP.
Final PS3 controllers and development kits are going to be sent to the development community by May. This will include the final specs for Cell, the final RSX graphics chip, the final Blu-ray specs, and will be at a cost close to that of a PS2 development kit.
Kutaragi also had a few big announcements that pertained to the PSP, the most immediate being a price drop to $199 for the basic pack at the end of March in the U.S. This spring will also see a browser upgrade that will include Macromedia Flash 6.0 support. Kutaragi gave details on some later technology enhancements to look forward to this fall as well: RSS support, video and voice-over-IP, and a USB GPS receiver that will interface with new games (a version of Hot Shots Golf was mentioned for this). A PSP EyeToy camera will release in September and will feature a version of EyeToy Play and video chat.
Interestingly, Kutaragi also discussed an "E-Distribution" strategy for the PSP which will include downloading classic PS1 games to a PSP's Memory Stick. Users will be able to boot games directly off of the Memory Stick and the games will play under emulation.
More PSP features including PS1 emulator.
Definite PS3 launch date
HDD included and required!
PS3 online service
Hi-Def and Blu-Ray support
Worldwide launch. Sony has never had enough systems to please one region, let alone the world. And what if the first batch has technical problems like the 360's? There's no test region to limit defective units.
Sony says, "It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!"