PS3 Details Emerge

Yesterday Nintendo unveiled more details about their innovative gaming approach and today I bring you the first official details of the PS3. Game-wise, Sony put up an excelent show. For me, the most impressive trailer, period, of E3 was the Metal Gear Solid 4 one, however there were also many other great ones.

Now onto the details!

Launch Date and Packages

The first important aspect of the PS3, is it launch date, for Sony will attempt to beat Microsoft’s month-long worldwide release, and will attempt to release it in all parts of the world simultaneously within one week. First in Japan, at November 11, and then America, Europe and Australia on November 17th.

Similar to the XBox 360, there will be two PS3 packages, one with a 20GB disk, and another with a 60GB one. The 20GB package will cost 59,800 Yens. That’s around $540 USDs at the current rates, however, in America it will probably cost $500 and â?¬500 in Europe. The 60GB version will cost $100/â?¬100 more.

The Controller

After a lot of bashing against the now known only as the “boomerang controller”, Sony decided to go back to it’s roots and release a slightly altered Dualshock controller, however this time they actually made some real changes to it (I found the PS2’s controller very disappointing compared to the controllers of all the other consoles.

The controller is now lighter and wireless and uses Bluetooth to communicate with the console, but, it has the option of connecting to the PS3 via USB (thank God they didn’t make another proprietary port) and also recharges with it. After the positive feedback that Nintendo got after they unveiled their controller Sony decided to do something similar for their Dualshock and added a similar function to their controller. Though it isn’t a full 3D sensor, it can sense tilting and is adequate for games in which you drive or pilot a flying ship (as demonstrated in the Warhawk playable demo).

The battery of it lasts for approximately 24 hours, which is average for similar devices.

Another difference which you will quickly notice in the new controller is that the L2 and R2 buttons have been remade and have finally been made “trigger like” which will greatly improve the playability of many games, particularly racing and shooting games.

You will also be able to use your PSP as a game controller for the PS3. By hooking them up you can use the PSP and it’s screen to provide access to more options (A-la Nintendo DS). In E3 they showed the PSP being used as a rear-view mirror in a Formula 1 game.

Media and Connectivity

You wouldn’t be able to call this a next-gen console if it didn’t feature media functions or was compatible with a large array of formats. The PS3 will support all known DVD and CD formats, plus, the new Blu-Ray disk which almost has the capacity of the PS3’s largest disk, fitting 54GB of data on a single disk.

Another difference besides the harddrive between the 20 and 60GB versions is that the later will feature many more ports than the first. Those being:

front-slot-loading Blu-ray optical disc drive, four USB ports, and a memory stick, as well as compact flash and SD readers to provide for an absurd level of media connectivity

The later one once again will also have an HDMI port, which the 20GB will not have.

As for network connectivity, it will have built-in Wifi and one Ethernet port (Wifi will only be in the 60GB version). Bottom line is that the PS3 has everything to become a very powerful media device.

Too bad there are not many details about the interface or the gaming network platform they are developing but they should surface very soon.

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