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PS3 Launch Details Announced 796

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-lot-of-quarters dept.
Sony's conference offered up reassurance that a number of their titles will be playable at this year's E3. The controller will sense movement, allowing the player to move an onscreen avatar 'naturally'. They also released the system's launch details. The North American PS3 launch will occur on Nov. 17th, 2006. The 20GB HDD version will retail for $499, and the 60GB HDD version will go for $599. They promise 4 million launch units by December 31st. Update: 05/09 03:57 GMT by Z : Apparently, not only does the $499 system have a smaller harddrive, but it has fewer features as well.
My two cents:

1.) I'm honestly surprised they're this far along with these titles. They may actually make the November launch.
2.) Even through an internet feed, it was obvious the only truly next-gen title there was Heavenly Sword (from the great folks at Ninja Theory). The EyeToy stuff looked cool, but isn't something I'm likely to try out any time soon. Most of the games could have been 360 or even late-lifetime Xbox titles.
3.) I won't be able to review games for this system at the launch price. There's no way I'm dropping $599 for a game console.
4.) The controller orientation thing is ... I don't have the words. Awkward? Cash-in? Cynical? Whatever their intent, it just seems like a bad idea.

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PS3 Launch Details Announced

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  • by MaverickUW (177871) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:54PM (#15289787)
    Wow, Sony as ever shows their originality. I mean, a motion-sensing controller? Who in the hell would have thought of that brilliant idea? Wasn't this one of the same companies who wrote off Nintendo's idea as a gimmick? Wow, ironic the innovation that Sony comes up with. Let's hope for their sake that they didn't take too much away from Nintendo's idea... last thing they need is another company suing them over technology theft in their controllers. BTW, I wonder if Immersion could claim this Dual Shock like controller in violation of their patent too.

    As much as the patent system needs to go, companies like Sony almost make you want to have it.
  • $499? $599? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hirschma (187820) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:54PM (#15289788)
    Sony, say hello to third place. Consumers, say hello to an emergency price drop scheduled for Spring 2007.
  • by Suddenly_Dead (656421) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:56PM (#15289799)
    The motion-sensing demo was hilarious. The guy's ship was shaking like crazy, and it was comical seeing him try to keep both hands on the controller while twisting it around. There's a good reason the Wii controller looks like a remote.

    The Sony guy also said that they had their hands on the tech for a couple of weeks, suggesting they havn't been working on the feature for a large duration of development. (*hint* *hint*)
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jfern (115937) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:02PM (#15289832)
    I wonder how many people get the cheaper model and add their own Hard Drive?
  • by GreenPlastikMan (881184) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:05PM (#15289852)
    Considering that at least 5 out of the 10 announced launch titles are games coming out for the 360, there's not much new here. All the online features are straight out of XBOX live. The controller is Wii ripoff. Dev's have already said, that there will be a LOT of overlap in games between PS3 and the 360, since exclusive titles don't make much economic sense when games have similar capabilities. Some very highly respected devs have said that the capabilities of the PS3 is not SO much higher than that of the 360, that it would require them to create a better version for that system, rather than just making ports for each system.

    All the EA games will look the same, Band of Brothers trailer looks the same. Sonic looks the same. Stranglehold looks the same. See the trend?

    Do I think the PS3 is more powerful than the 360? Yes, but I'm not sure if the margin of capabilities is worth $500 for the smaller of the two, and $600 for the larger one. This is especially true since I'm certain that the 360 premium bundle will drop $100 down to $299. Also those prices don't include accessories. And currently devs are making games on DVDs and don't need the larger capability. Not even the 360 games come even close to maxing out their DVDs. Furthermore, most game devs have reported that they are targetting their games for both systems at 720p, so the 1080p advantage is really not all that substantial.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin@lGIRAFFE ... minus herbivore> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:06PM (#15289853) Homepage
    Well, the Live "rip-off" isn't really much of a rip-off anymore, since Xbox has had it for four years already. At this point if you DON'T have a Live-like service with your console, you're not gonna sell. (Even Nintendo's going that route with the -nameless system-.)

    $500 ($550 CDN for me) IS a harsh sting... but compared to the $400 (non-crippled model) Xbox 360, it DOES have a Blu-ray drive, which is a nice bonus. (I may not have an HD set right now, but I will get one eventually.)

    But still, I wanna see what Nintendo's gonna offer-up tomorrow.
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roguelazer (606927) <Roguelazer@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:06PM (#15289859) Homepage Journal
    Except you don't install the game onto the drive, the drive is just for updates, saves, and your personal ATRAC3 collection. Haven't you ever used a console?
  • Re:controller (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krotkruton (967718) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:08PM (#15289870)
    RIP sony

    First off, I think the PS3 is overpriced. However, most consoles are more expensive than the previous generation of consoles, depending on how you define a generation. Demand in a growing market and inflation both affect the price here. RIP for overpricing? How about RIP for only have 4 million consoles in the first month.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin@lGIRAFFE ... minus herbivore> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:12PM (#15289887) Homepage
    "Revolution" being the keyword.

    I imagine this controller was slapped together in about 3 months, seeing as there were no actual games that supported it, aside from a demo that they openly admitted they modified in the three weeks since they got the new controller.

    Not unexpected at all, but still quite shameless.
  • by cornface (900179) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:16PM (#15289911)
    The Sony guy also said that they had their hands on the tech for a couple of weeks, suggesting they havn't been working on the feature for a large duration of development.

    Yeah, that was very telling. This was an obvious last minute effort to confuse the market. As sparse as the clapping was throughout the rest of the presentation I almost expected them to get booed when they pulled out the controller.
  • by samkass (174571) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:34PM (#15290026) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one here who really likes what he sees? Great HD graphics, Blu-Ray, hard disk standard on ALL models, online, wireless controllers, PS2 and PS1 full compatibility... this is a nice system. I know it might be expensive for some of you, and you'll have to wait to be able to afford it, but in the long run it'll be nice to have all those features in the baseline system so game authors can design around them. This definitely looks like the best-of-breed for this generation to me.
  • by maynard (3337) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:52PM (#15290122) Journal
    For those who already own an HDTV, and who plan to purchase HD movies, it would be cheaper than buying the 360 with HD-DVD. It would be much cheaper than buying a 360 and a Blu-Ray player.

    Feh. So what.

    I've got two HDTVs and I'm not excited by this price point, the featureset, or the games. I can wait for a pricedrop. Also, I'd rather see who wins the HD disc player market, and I'd like to see both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD get spanked in the market. Perhaps a good spanking will teach these manufacturers to cut back on the overly restrictive DRM.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Turken (139591) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:54PM (#15290128)
    Ha! The Joke's on Sony for taking the bait..

    Nintendo folks have been saying for some time now that there is still a big secret to be revealed about the Wii. The controller, on the other hand, has been public for some time. Nintendo execs are no fool. They knew that if the public liked the Wiimote one of the other companies would quickly follow. Sony has just hung themselves with their half-assed knockoff attempt.

    Now, Sony is really going to feel the fool when Nintendo reveals the true secret of the Wii tomorrow...
  • Prognostication (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:00PM (#15290172) Homepage Journal
    It's a little early into E3 to start prophesizing the downfall of Sony, the revival or Nintendo, or the evil dominion of Microsoft. We've seen a pre-E3 press conference for Sony. This is about equivalent to the first segment of the pre-game show. However bad or good the pre-show conferences are, there'll be plenty within the conferences themselves to sway things one way or another.

    That said, the impression I've gotten from Sony's press conference is not a good one. The two reasons are as follows.

    1) "Innovation" - Sony's best bet for hurting Nintendo was to give their idea no credence. They wouldn't look bad for writing off Nintendo's ideas as gimmicky. Microsoft already ignored Nintendo, Sony simply had to follow suit. Instead, they've copied Nintendo and called it "Innovation". Now when people go to shop for a next gen console, they won't be able to write Nintendo off as a gimmick. Even if Sony did just as good a job as Nintendo, they're $300-$400 more expensive. While the move covers their bases of Nintendo takes off, they're still the copycats and that hurts them.

    2) "At What Cost" - $499 hurts. Because that hurts, Microsoft was kind enough to have a core package that was cheaper, lacked features, but didn't hurt so much unless you intended on using live a lot. Sony has another package too, costing $599. That there is good one two punch to the wallet. To top it off, the difference is a 20gb harddrive versus a 60gb harddrive. Last I checked, the price difference between those sizes was not $100. Is there something I failed to garner from the coverage?

    Overall, Sony hasn't started off well, meaning they'll need to work doubletime to impress me this E3. However, it's entirely possible they'll succeed. With Nintendo and Microsoft still to come, there's no telling what will happen.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buffer-overflowed (588867) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:04PM (#15290197) Journal
    It's not that they took the concept of Live. I wasn't at all upset that 3rd parties and MS hopped on the wireless controller bandwagon after the Wavebird, and I wasn't at all upset about Live clones persay. It's more their history of doing this.

    The playstation itself was a joint Nintendo/Sony project for an SNES CD addon. When it fell through they launched their own system.

    The original PS controller basically amounted to an SNES controller with extended grips and double the shoulder buttons.
    When Nintendo debuted the N64 controller, Sony added in 2 analog sticks, because twice is better. It took until the PS2 for anyone to do anything with it. This is one of their only two contributions, and it wasn't motivated by any gameplay reason. It was motivated by "twice is better."
    The PS2 introduced backwards compatibility outside the handheld arena. Score the second thing Sony gave us.
    Their first-party titles were all derivative of other dev-houses genre-creations, and had nothing noteworthy until they had the cash and cache to begin absorbing developers like Verant and Polyphony Digital.

    The controller they just debutted to try to take the wind out of the Revolution/Wii is a wireless version of a PC gamepad MS debuted years ago, only in a standard dual shock form-factor.

    It's not that Sony rips people off, it's that that's pretty much all they do, and if it was up to them we'd never see anything new or evolutionary. They have one success that's not an accidental good side-benny from stealing ideas from the competition, and they've pretty much rode on Nintendo's coattails for the past 14 years.

    The playstation brand is a knock-off brand, slightly prettier of course, and they want to charge you a premium for it.

    Then you factor in Sony Media, and the fact that they always seem to be calling the shots at big Sony, and torpedoing anything good Sony Electronics comes up with, plus the rootkit fiasco, and it's just not a company I want to financially support. They exemplify everything bad about Japanese corporations. And we're talking about everything percieved as bad about japanese corporations in the 50s.
  • by maynard (3337) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:21PM (#15290320) Journal
    wasn't it supposed to support two digital video outputs? Apparently not.
  • ...because, see, I own a console called the "Playstation 2", and I believe this announcement pretty much seals that the PS2 will be supported for about as long as the PSX was after the PS2, and then some. I'll be seeing new games come out for my system long after Bush leaves the White House!



    Anyway. My deeper, thoughtful reaction?

    First, the controller.

    From what I've seen:

    The Wii controller is trying to do this fancy-pants "swing it like a sword - it IS a sword" stuff that is Very Great for fanboys but will probably never pan out in actuality ("oh crap, I moved my controller diagonally left-down instead of straight-down, now I am rolling straight off a cliff instead of ducking")

    The PS3 controller is a last minute design, "oh this'll be so kewliez" sorta thing. Only thing is, if it's motion tracking AND Rumble, then that's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. And if it's not Rumble, congratulations, Sony, you took your one best feature from the PS2/Xbox/GC days and threw it off a cliff. HOWEVER - I think this controller will work a lot better for stuff like racing games (some people already tilt the controllers for an extra sharp turn - now it'll be like the SNES, where analog (/the crosspad) will turn you the "maximum", and tilting (/the L/R triggers) will push you past the limit.

    Beyond racing games there aren't any situations where this controller is leaping out and attacking me with Perfection, but the truth is that it's a lot more subtle than the Wii, and so probably will result in a more diverse set of games, a few dozen of which will use the tilt to great effect. The tilt is "there if you need it", the Wii-stick is "all you can expect the gamer to have" - barring some sort of original-DualShock controller redesign.

    Price, sucks.

    Getting everything you need with the console, nice idea

    I wouldn't be too surprised if the controller went through another final revision, possibly doing away with the tilt sensing altogether. Or maybe not.

    It makes me sad thinking back ten+ years ago... "299." this isn't. Oh, Sony, how the mighty have fallen : (

    It could really, really use a quality pack-in. Or two. Is Sony taking a loss on these? Are the internals solid 24k gold and diamond? If they're making a profit, they should srsly throw in a pack-in game that everyone's going to want anyway. It's the least they could do.

    This trend of micro-purchasing sucks balls, and all other things equal, the console I'd buy and get all fan-boyish over will be the one with the least amount of this horse-armor^H^H^H^H^Hshit.

    In the end, personally, the Wii isn't getting my money no matter how cheap it is. $300 for dogshit is still paying money for dogshit. It's like buying a Peter Frampton CD for $30 because the only other CDs in the store are Linkin Park for $40 ($50 with liner notes) and Boyz II Men for $60 ($70 with bonus tracks). The XBox 360 needs a price drop and a library of offbeat "killer aps" (just to give an idea of what I consider a "killer ap", three "killer aps" for the PS2 were MetropoliaMania!, Katamari Damarcy, and Bombastic - I'm a fan of the sub-$30 game that is fun and long-lasting, fuck that Splinter Cell MGS Gran Turismo bullshit). And the PS3... two great pack-in games, one or two price drops and maybe a free hooker with every game (just to take my mind off of the days of "$299"), choose two, then I'll bite.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:39PM (#15290420)
    That's the thing people have been overlooking since the PS3 was first announced: in the year since then, Sony has been quietly dropping announced features. They announced 2 HDMI. It will ship with one. There are some other things that have been cut.

    But meanwhile the Sony fans continue to talk about the PS3 as if it will be the box they were promised last year. But that's not the case at all.

    It's actually just like Windows Vista where features and things keep getting ejected in hopes of actually managing to hit a release date of some sort. I think Vista has more or less abandonded hope at this point but the PS3 still has room to cut features.

    Moral: don't believe the hype.
  • by kahanamoku (470295) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:40PM (#15290422)
    "No HDMI Output"

    Unless of course they have changed the form factor of the unit to use a custom plug (similar to the PSOne, PS2, Xbox and Xbox 360). And like the Xbox360, the cheaper version may only come with a standard AV Cable? Changes are possible seeing as they have also only listed HDMI as x1 (instead of the original x2 as previously shown in console screenshots)
  • Saturn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Megane (129182) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:44AM (#15290774) Homepage
    Anyone remember when Sega announced the Saturn would be coming out three months early, and it would be $399?

    The Sony guy walked up to the mike and said one thing that got the crowd going: "$299"

    Somehow, I think that Sony is opening themselves up to exactly what they took advantage of.

    I don't want a 360, and I'll probably buy a Wii-volution on release day (as I did with GameCube), but I'm going to hold off on the PS3 until it significantly goes down in price. At least the stripped down PS3 will be more usable than the stripped down 360. (I don't need HDMI, and I don't need WiFi in the console.)

  • by jchenx (267053) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:13AM (#15290885) Journal
    Good god that sucks. I wonder if it's even possible to upgrade later from the budget PS3 SKU to the premium one. As much as I disliked the two SKU model of the 360, it was at least feasible to add on a hard-drive separately later on. Would that even be possible with the PS3? I'm guessing not, unless all of those were modules that could be easily added and removed.

    Man, people made fun of those who got the 360 "core" models ... imagine what it'd be like to be the kid who gets the PS3 core model, instead of the premium they really wanted. ;D
  • by jchenx (267053) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:23AM (#15291129) Journal
    As I suspected, Sony is trying to dilute Nintendo's innovation. I think most of us here are savvy enough to know that the PS3 controller is going to be far inferior to the Nintendo's "Wii-mote". Yet, how many of your regular consumers are going to know the difference?

    I don't think Sony's goal was to out-do the Wii controller's feature and functionality. All it needs to do is dumb it down. Same goes for the Xbox Live experience. Let's deliver crap offerings of our competitors' features so that we can say "meeee tooo!". All they have to hope is that enough consumers figure that the PS3 offering is "good enough".

    I cringe at the following scenario, which I know is going to happen:

    ME - *trying to explain the Nintendo Wii controller to a non-gamer friend*
    FRIEND - "Ohh, so it's like the PlayStation controller I've heard about?"
    ME - *cries*
  • by unapersson (38207) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:47AM (#15291200) Homepage
    "Blu-Ray : One word : Hype. There has yet to be a game that spans more than 1 DVD and I'm not spending $500 for a movie player AND having to re-buy my movie collection."

    Well it does expand the space available for the next five years of games, and make compilations possible. You could have all four resident evil games on one disk for instance.

    I've got some great retro compilations, and having that space available will make it possible to produce compilations of PS2 games.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:48AM (#15291203)
    I used to work for sony in 96-98, and I distinctly remember a prototype controller with an accelerometer being tried out. The tech is not really comparable to the Wii controller and there is a good reason why they never bothered to release it. Which makes you wonder why they suddenly decided to include it now, if not in a feeble attempt to steal Nintendo's thunder.
  • by donaldm (919619) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:50AM (#15291209)
    I live in Australia and when the PS2 came out it was AU$730.00 but the AU$ was only approx US$0.55. Even then the PS2 sold very well because DVD players were in the order of AU$500 rapidly going upwards.

    Now the PS3 is coming out at US$600 (forget about the US$500 one since AU$130 is not a huge amount) but this now translates to AU$780.00 which is not much more than the original PS2 price. The XBOX 360 is approx AU600.00 here so even if the PS3 (60GB disk) is between AU$800.00 and AU$900.00 it will still sell because this time it will have Blu-ray. People are paying this for Hard Disk DVD recorders. Now I hear "well you have to get a HD TV" and my answer to that is if you want to get the best out of the XBOX 360 then you really have to get a HD TV as well and considering that a 106 cm (42 inch) HD plasma TV in Australia is around AU$3000.00 (720p) to AU$7000 (1080p). LCD is approx 30% dearer, although for smaller HD TV's you can get an LCD HD TV (66 cm) for approx $AU1200. In Australia the move to flat screen is picking up and once the PS3 comes out I can only see this trend accelerating, although without decent statistical evidence this is only conjecture.

    For people who have little money then all this is moot, but in Australia there are many people who do have the money, or will get into debt just to get something trendy. If you want a very good home HD TV (1080p) including a 6.1 or 7.1 sound entertainment system plus a cabinet and including a game machine (ie. XBOX 360 or PS3 or even a Wii) then you would spend between AU$7,000 and AU$12,000 so the difference of 2 or 3 hundred dollars is not much and since you get a Blu-ray player the PS3 looks quite attractive. So those people who say that the XBOX 360 is cheaper, well where is the HD-DVD add-on and how much will it cost?

    I think the best way to sum this up is if you have the money to buy a HD TV then you would get a machine which can display to the resolution of your TV without buying add-ons and the PS3 does exactly this.

    Personally I think from November things are going to get interesting. I will most likely buy the PS3 and the Wii but not the XBOX 360 (hey this is Slashdot you know!).

    Note: As of today AU$1.00 = US$0.768
  • Re:My favorite part (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:54AM (#15291222)
    That's because the PS1 controller is perfect the way it is.

    Damn you all, every PC controller is either a clone or a design constrained derivative of that old thing because of all the lemmings and corporate bloodsuckers that believe this horseshit, and/or assume that what the console companies are doing is automatically right. You can't even get such great controllers as the panther xl or logitech's first(or only?) tilt gamepad anymore. At least the thrustmaster firestorm is still around, it's way better than the PS controller, although it would be much better if that second minijoystick was replaced with a throtle,

    Goddamit I hated the gravis gamepad pro. At least were not stuck with DOS and limited by games only supporting a few controllers or shity excuses for controllers.
  • Re:My favorite part (Score:2, Interesting)

    by /ASCII (86998) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @05:00AM (#15291521) Homepage
    This is only true if your ripoff is good and brings something new to the table. Sony's live ripoff will most probably suck, since Sony are worthless at producing usable user interface. Did you ever use the software for their NetMD's? Flashy graphics, insane DRM and shoddy coding will make sure that Xbox live is where it's at.

  • by The_Real_Quaid (892126) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @07:27AM (#15291910) Homepage
    You fucking moron - those figures show M$ haemoraging cash while Sony is profitable most quarters. M$ has lost more money over the last three quarters and has never turned a profit ever bar one quarter back in 2004.

    Who cares about M$? I was responding to Sony propoganda about UMD sales and Sony profitablity.

    Yea, M$ loses money on Xbox, so what? They can afford to bleed cash, Sony cannot. SCE is the only (sometimes) profitable division of Sony while the other divisions are tanking. If SCE fails, Sony goes bye-bye. If M$ Home Entertainment Division fails, M$ moves on like nothing ever happened.

    But since you are a shortsighted fool, I will put it to you simply - M$ is prepared to outspend Sony into the grave. The ridiculous over-engineering and the resulting price of PS3 is a result of this. And if M$ wants to, they can lop off another $100 from X360's price tag and it wouldn't even phase them.

    Get it through your head - Sony is banking their entire future on PS3. And M$ smells blood. Wait until the second-gen X360 games are shown tomorrow, and the world will see that PS3 is dead on arrival.


    Can you say "FUCKING MORON FANBOY"???

    Well, I'm not the one flying off the handle and cursing at people simply for delivering factual information.

    Second, I don't give a rats ass about M$. I prefer the Wii, as it is the only console that supports next-generation gameplay. Fuck Xbox and fuck PS3.

    But I'm not such a dumbass fanboy that I can't see the forest for the trees. M$ is aggressive, mean, and nasty, and they will bury Sony no matter what it costs them. Sony's time at the top is over. Deal with it.
  • Re:Controller... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Turken (139591) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @10:21AM (#15292894)
    Okay. I have to admit that while I had heard about the nunchuck accellerometers, I did not know that they announced a small speaker in the Wiimote.

    Now that I know about it, I'm even more excited though... why? Well, hopefully Nintendo will be using the speaker the same way that Logitech did in their "iFeel" mouse. The mouse came and went many years ago, but was still cool though completely unsupported. The speaker in it was used to give tactile feedback as you moused over buttons and desktop items. By modulating low frequency sounds, they were able to generate quite a few physical textures. In my opinion, this feedback scheme produces much more natural feedback than the basic rumbling that console controllers use today.

    This technology would also play excellently into the wiimote strategy -- using bits of tech that are not new in themselves, but have never before been brought together and well supported in a single device.

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