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Two tons of PS3 (and PSP news)

by: Chuck -
As expected Sony released a ton of new information on the Sony Playstation 3 this morning at their news conference in Tokyo..  Since I wasn't able to fly to Japan to cover the event (I had a hockey game tonight) I'm going to crib some notes based on IGN's coverage for the event.  We’ll post more tomorrow as it develops (especially since Sony has not released pricing information yet)
  • The PS3 will launch worldwide in November and Sony expects to have sell 1 million units a month through the end of the 2006 fiscal year (March 2007).  (for a total of six million units – three regions X 2 months X 1 Million units).  For reference 1 Million units is than what MS had available for the worldwide the launch of the Xbox 360 last November.
  • The PS3 will require the hard drive peripheral.  There will be a 60GB, upgradable HDD running Linux available at launch.  No word on if this is included yet.  This is a huge FU to Microsoft in the 360 in any number of ways.  Not just in terms of ensuring that all users will have hard drives but the size of the hard drive as well.  The Linux piece is just the icing on the cake.
  • The PS3 will have an online service featuring "community tools, lobby making, and commerce, voice chat, and commerce".  Looks like it will require the hard drive.  Basic service is free and the entire system was developed with help from SOE (hmmm...is it too early to start thinking about Everquest II and Star Wars Galaxies on the PS3?).
  • All PS3 games will ship on Blu-Ray discs to prevent piracy but the system will still play DVD’s (no word on up conversion from regular DVD to HD but I would be surprised if it wasn’t there)
  • Final Dev kits will ship in June
  • The PS3 will be entirely backwards compatible with PSOne and PS2 games and the games will run at high definition (I'm guess we won't need any backward compatible patches for these games either so everything will run perfectly right out of the box)
  • New PSP package will hit shelves on March 22nd, scaled down package without the case and headphones that will sell for $199
  • PSP will get E-distribution features sometime in the future, which means you'll be able to play old Playstation games on your PSP legally.  No word on pricing, availability or if you'll be able to rip your old games to a memory stick to play them.
  • The PSP will be getting a RSS support (w00t), a camera, and a GPS receiver.   Geo-caching just got a lot more fun. Hopefully the camera and GPS receiver have API’s the programmers can access within the games as there is some potentially cool games that could be done with that.  Of course there are also some scary implications that will get parents riled up.
  • The PSP web browser will finally be getting official Flash support.
  • No price drop on the PS2 planned.  Kind of a surprise here as they could have rung a little more out of their old system by dropping the price $50 or so.
  • GamersReports says that Sony stated the unit will not cost less than 50,000.00 JP YEN or $425.60.
Edited to reflect Fiscal year not end of year for the 6 Million units