Sony confirms 60GB hard drive for PS3
Unveils old-look, new-tech controller
Sony will launch the PlayStation 3 console in Europe on 17 November, pricing the next-generation console and Blu-ray Disc player at just €499 (£342). As expected, the 'banana' controller unveiled by Sony last year has gone, replaced by a more classically styled motion-sensing wireless gamepad. The console also sports a hard drive.
The controller harks back to the PS2's unit - as does the PS3's new black colour scheme. Clearly, Sony wants to trade on the familiarity many consumers have with the new console's predecessors. It's even revived the original PlayStation logo.
The console's specifications are largely as expected, and Sony confirmed earlier hints that the machine will indeed ship with a built-in hard drive - either 20GB or 60GB, depending on which model your buy. The 60GB version costs €599 (£410). Both prices match exactly those let slip by a Sony executive last month and soon after denied by the company.
Storage is further augmented with a three-in-one card reader capable of taking SD and CompactFlash cards as well as MemoryStick media. There are four USB ports.
The console has on-board 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet for wired networks. The optical drive also reads DVDs, CDs and - typical Sony, this - Super Audio CDs. The unit does multi-channel audio in variety of formats, and provides RCA audio/video, optical digital audio and HDMI output ports.
Not all these features will be available in both models: the low-end box appears to lack Wi-Fi, HDMI and the card reader.
The controller uses Bluetooth to communicate with the PS3, but there's USB on board for players who prefer it, and to charge the power controller's batteries when it's connected wirelessly. Sony said the gamepad provides a six-way sensing capability that "does not require any devices other than the controller itself for seamless interactive operation" - a dig, presumably, at Nintendo's two-unit Wii controller.
Of course, motion sensitivity means there's no vibrational feedback which might otherwise interfere with the sensors. There's still an analog joystick, now upgraded from eight to 10-bit resolution. ®
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