Sony reveals PlayStation 3 launch date, price

In a press conference at E3 on Monday, Sony Computer Entertainment finally announced the launch date and pricing for its upcoming PlayStation 3 console. SCE America President and CEO Kazuo Hirai said the console would launch in two flavors on November 11 in Japan and on November 17 in North America and Europe. The cheapest version of the console will feature a 20GB hard drive and will retail for $499 in the U.S., €499 in Europe, and $549 in Canada. A variant with a 60GB hard drive will also ship for $599 in the U.S., €599 in Europe, and $659 in Canada. Hirai did not mention any differences other than the extra storage space between the $499 and $599 flavors.

In addition to the launch and pricing information, Sony also revealed the PlayStation 3's new "redesigned" controller. The company showcased a boomerang-shaped controller at last year's E3, but the final version sports a look very similar to the existing PlayStation 2 DualShock gamepad. Despite the similarity, the new PS3 controller features an internal gyroscope that allows players to control game movement with six degrees of freedom by simply tilting the controller. SCE Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison was quick to add that the gamepad also did not need external sensors to function—a requirement for the Nintendo Wii's motion-sensing controller. The PlayStation 3 can't detect the input device's position in a 3D space, though, unlike the Wii.

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