PS3 launch data and pricing announced

The Sony Playstation 3 will go on sale in Europe on November 17th for 600 Euros. This is the high-end unit which includes a 60GB hard-disk drive, a memory card reader, a Wi-Fi adaptor and a digital high-definition video connector.

A lower price version will cost $499 with a 20GB drive and none of the other features. Both versions will have USB, a Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and Bluetooth.

The lower end version does not include an HDMI connector which means it may be useless for playing HD Blu-Ray content which can be encrypted/encoded to only use that iterface, therefore only allowing sandard definition.

Estimates are that the Cell processor and Blu-Ray drive are the highest costs of the console with the whole thing adding up to about $900 worth of components, so Sony need to make money on games to cover the loss.

The PS3 is considerably more expensive than both the Xbox 360 and Nintendo revolution.

It will take a while for games designers to take advantage of the Cell's multiprocessing capabilties (which are difficult to program for) - though new tools are being developed for it, so initially games are unlikely to be spectacular which may be their downfall.
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