PS3 'worldwide' in November
Well, the analysts, industry insiders, developers, press and gaming community had been predicting it for some time, and Sony have this week finally conceded that the Playstation 3 console won't be out in Japan this spring, announcing the delay at a press conference in Tokyo. For Japanese Playstation fans, this will no doubt be disappointing news, despite its predictability given the lack of word from Sony on their launch plans. There is a certain sweetener however for the rest of the Playstation world beyond Sony's home-turf, with the company revealing that they are now targeting a Microsoftesque worldwide debut for the system in November of this year.
The November debut mooted will currently cover Japan, North America and Europe, which means the PS3 could very well be out earlier than many had predicted in foreign markets, especially Europe, which it was widely predicted might have to wait until 2007.
Update: Further news continues to trickle in from Ken Kutaragi's PS3 press conference in Tokyo, revealing that the November launch is set to cover Asia, Europe, North America and Australia, such an expansive launch, if simultaneous, would be even more all-encompassing than the Xbox 360's 'worldwide' debut in 2005. Kutaragi also revealed that the PS3 will support all previous PSone and PS2 titles, which will also work in high-definition.
The conference also revealed that all PS3 games will come on the new Blu-ray format, and that a hard-drive will be part of the system, weighing in at 60gb. This drive will be upgradeable and will come pre-loaded with a special version of the Linux OS. The PS3 will, we're told, act as a home server, providing media to other compatible devices.
The PS3 Online service, which sounds like it'll be broadly similar to Xbox Live, will offer premium downloadable software, voice chat, game matching and more, and will include a 'basic' free mode comparable with Xbox Live's Silver service. Kutaragi stated that Sony hope to ship six-million units by March 2007.
Developer's should receive final hardware in June to play with, and Sony's pre-E3 conference now appears to be the next port of call for further official details on the new console. More as we get it, then.