Sony adds HDMI 1.3 port to 20GB PS3

Out to counter MS' 1080p Xbox 360 update?

Sony has decided to equip the 20GB PlayStation 3 with an HDMI connector, possibly in response to Microsoft's move to bring the 1080p HD resolution to the Xbox 360. The company also cut the machine's Japanese retail price.

When Sony launched the PS3 in May this year, it said only the 60GB model would ship with an HDMI 1.3 port to allow it to be connected to an HD TV and play back protected content off Blu-ray Discs without a reduced resolution. Sony has always said the PS3 will support 1080p playback.

Since the 20GB PS3 also contains a BD drive, Sony's decision to ship the console without an HDMI port was seen as a cost-reducing move too far. Well, now it's relented and the 20GB model will contain an HDMI port.

Given the company has had to delay the European roll out to March 2007 in order to ensure sufficient machines ship into the US and Japan this coming November, it probably feels it can't risk alienate HD TV-owning buyers by omitting this almost essential connector from the less expensive PS3.

And now it'll be even cheaper: ¥49,980 ($428/£226/€336) including tax. ®

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