Sony Announces PlayStation 3 Pricing

Sony late Monday solidified its commitment to release the PlayStation 3 this fall in North America, announcing a release date of November 17 as well as pricing on two models to be made available at launch. Also as expected, the next-generation console will debut with a steep price tag.

A PS3 model with a 20GB HDD will retail for USD $499 USD, while a 60GB version will set the gamer back USD $599 USD. However, it's likely that most gamers will opt for the more expensive console, as the basic model is missing several key features.

The $499 version will not include MemoryStick, SD, and CompactFlash ports, as well as wireless networking. Additionally, no HDMI support is provided with the low-end model, which will cripple its compatibility with high-definition televisions.

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Sony would make two million consoles available at launch, with a second two million shipping by the end of the year. By the end of March, six million consoles will have shipped, Sony Computer Entertainment of America president and chief executive officer Kaz Hirai said at a press conference.

Hirai also reviewed the PS3's feature set, including its Cell processor, backwards compatibility, and built in Ethernet and hard disk drive. The console would also be able to play back Blu-ray movies and support full HD on the high-end model.

Taking a jab at Microsoft, Hirai said Sony was taking more time to ensure that the console met its standards and delivered the technological jump that it promised. Microsoft will have beaten Sony by a full year at the PS3's launch with the Xbox 360.

"We're not about cutting corners to get to market," he chided.

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