Friday, 23 February 2007

Paucity of Emotionless Euro PlayStation 3 Pre-orders

This week's posts have been dominated by PlayStation 3 news!

Online rumbles suggest Sony's dominance of the lucrative console market is at end with the launch of PS3 permeate the blogosphere. This is purportedly indicated by low consumer demand due to the availability of the next generation console on Amazon.co.uk, Play.com and Gameplay (the latter two only offer expensive pre-packed bundles). Given the price of the PS3, GBP 425, it's hardly an impulse buy compared against Wii.

Anyway, I'm keen to share the following news directly from SCEE Press Office, which may add further salt to the wound:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Announces Hardware Specification of PLAYSTATION®3 for Europe

London, 23 February 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) to be launched in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia on 23rd March 2007 would utilise a new hardware specification.

The European PS3 will feature the Cell Broadband Engine™, 60 GB hard disc drive, Blu-ray Disc player, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, SIXAXIS™ wireless controller. It also embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation® (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation®2 (PS2) titles.

“PS3 is first and foremost a system that excels in playing games specifically designed to exploit the power and potential of the PS3 system,” said David Reeves, President of SCEE. “Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games. Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology.”

Some additional PS2 titles will become compatible on the PS3 system through regular downloadable firmware updates, which will be made available through the PLAYSTATION®Network, from http://www.playstation.com or via PS3 game discs, with the first update planned for the launch date of the 23rd March 2007.

Users will be able to check whether their titles are compatible with PS3 at http://faq.eu.playstation.com/bc. This site will be available on 23rd March to meet launch day.

1. A device compatible with Linear PCM 7.1 Ch is required to output 7.1 ch audio, supported by Dolby TrueHD or a similar format, from the HDMI OUT connector.

2. This system does not support output from the DTS-HD 7.1 Ch. DTS-HD 7.1 Ch audio is output from a 5.1 or lower channel.

3. Usability of all storage media types is not guaranteed.

4. Certain PlayStation 2 format software titles may not perform properly on this system. Visit faq.eu.playstation.com/bc for the latest information regarding compatible titles

Legal Notes:

l Storage media (“Memory Stick”, SD memory card, and CompactFlash®) are sold separately.

l “Dolby” is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories.

l “DTS” is a trademark of DTS, Inc.

l Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash® trademark.

l HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.

l “Blu-ray Disc” is a trademark.

l The Bluetooth word mark is owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such mark by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is under license.

l “Memory Stick” is a trademark of Sony Corporation.

l “Super Audio CD” is a trademark.

l “PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PSP” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “Cell Broadband Engine” and “RSX” are trademarks of the same company.

So, is the backwards compatibility 'issue' going to affect your purchasing decision? Limited PS2 gaming is not a "deal breaker" for me as I sold mine to a friend a couple of years ago. And Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3) is no poor man's Gears of War (Xbox 360)!

Please comment and I'll post a follow-up in a few weeks time.