$499 PlayStation 3 lacks HDMI output, Wi-Fi

Sony appears to have clarified the differences between the $499 and $599 PlayStation 3 models. According to a Word document on the company's website, both versions will have 512 MB of total onboard memory, as well as four USB ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.0 support, 1080i/1080p HDTV output, and a 2X Blu-ray drive. On top of those features, the $499 version of the console will add a 20 GB hard drive, while the $599 version will have a 60 GB drive plus 802.11b/g Wi-Fi support, a MemoryStick/SD/CompactFlash card reader, and an HDMI output. Sony also says its new wireless gyroscopic controller will ship "as standard," likely meaning both $499 and $599 versions will include it.

This pricing appears to be $100 above the Xbox 360, whose "Premium" $399 system also has a 20GB hard drive, lacks HDMI output and a card reader, and only offers Wi-Fi support in the form of a separate $99.99 adapter. Sony's $599 PS3 will end up costing twice as much as the Xbox 360 "Core" system, however, which trades the "Premium" system's wireless gamepad, hard drive, and headset for a $299 price point. Thanks to Joystiq for the tip.

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