Sony’s PlayStation Business conference in Tokyo took place around 1AM EST today and all the game sites have been updated with the news on Sony’s plans for the PS3, PS2 and the PSP for the next year.
First, the big news that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise is that the PS3 will not make the spring launch Sony had originally wanted because the final spec for the copy protection in Blu-Ray DVDs hadn’t been finalized until just recently, but on the bright side this means the PS3 will have the latest HDMI support. To make up for the delay Sony will be pulling a Microsoft and attempt a world-wide simultaneous release within the first 10 days of November for North America, Europe and Asia. No price point has been set yet other than a very generalized statement of “less than 50,000.00 JP YEN” which converts to around $425. Other highlights from the conference included:
- The PS3 will come with a 60GB upgradeable hard drive with Linux preinstalled and developers have been told to assume that every PS3 will have a hard drive.
- Sony plans to produce 1 million units a month after launch with a goal of six million units in Fiscal Year 2006.
- The PS3 will be 100% backwards compatible and Sony promises that “all legacy titles played on the system will be displayed at high-definition resolutions.”
- The hard drive will act as a home server for various user media.
- All PS3 games will come on Blu-Ray discs only to deter piracy and allow for up to 50GB of storage on a dual layer disc.
- The PS3 will have an online service similar to Xbox Live that will include lobby matching, voice chat, and commerce features from bootable software on the hard drive. The basic service will be free. No word on what the advanced service will offer, if there is one.
- Final dev kits will be sent to developers by the end of May/start of June.
Beyond the PS3 news there was also some announcements regarding the PS2 and PSP machines. First, sales of the PS2 remain strong enough that Sony has no plans for a price drop anytime soon and, if the price point for the PS3 is $400+, I’d expect the PS2 to stay at the $149 level even after the PS3’s launch. The PSP “base unit” will finally be offered in the States for $199 and there are plans for a E-Distribution feature that will allow your PSP to boot from Memory Sticks without the use of hacks as well as download classic PkayStation titles to play on your PSP. Over the course of the next year the PSP will see new peripherals and functionality added to it including an EyeToy type camera allowing for video and voice-over-IP, GPS functionality, an updated web browser with eventual Flash support, and RSS functionality. Final word on the PS3 price point is expected at the upcoming E3 show in May while more details on some of these announcements is likely during Phil Harrison’s GDC keynote.
Hopefully this will put some of the rampant rumor mongering about the PS3 to rest for now. At least other than whether or not it’ll perform as well as as the hype claims it will. Mark your calendars and start saving your pennies for November.
Announcement roundup info courtesy of Joystiq.