Playstation 3 to launch on 17 Nov for $500

Los Angeles (CA) - In an otherwise rather underwhelming presentation of its next-generation game console and upcoming software titles, Sony unveiled during the E3 opening keynote the launch date and price of the Playstation 3: The console will be available just in time for the holiday season and be available in two versions for $500 and $600 (500 and 600 Euro, respectively) - and will include a motion-sensitive controller.

Sony's multi-billion dollar investment is inching towards its launch later this year. And after Sony had delayed its E3 keynote for almost an hour and demonstrated what appeared to be sometimes very rough and early demos of next-generation gaming titles for more than an hour, SCAA president and chief executive officer Kaz Hirai revealed what everybody in the audience was waiting for: The availability and price of the PS3.

According to Hirai, the console will be introduced on 17 Nov of this year. The PS3 will come standard with a hard drive - in combination with a 20 GB version, the console will cost $499 (499 Euro); with a 60 GB version, the price climbs to $599 (599 Euro). Hirai promised that there will be two million consoles available at launch. Another two million will ship until 31 Dec 2006. Two more million - for a total six million consoles - will have shipped until 31 March 2007, Hirai said.

Included with the PS3 will be a new controller that very much looks like current PS2 controller but does not only integrate Bluetooth wireless capability, but can also sense hand movements: Instead of pushing buttons, players can simply move the controller to control characters on the screen. In a demonstration of "Warhawk," a flight simulation, a plane's flight direction was determined simply by the physical movement of the controller. It does not take much to see that this new controller holds by far the most potential for true game innovations on Sony's new game console - aside from more pixel resolution and surround sound.

Join our discussion on E3 2006

There's more: Read all E3 2006 stories on TG Daily