Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sony Goes Worldwide

Well, Sony is indeed going to attempt a worldwide release of the PS3 in November. It also sounds like a hard drive will be a necessary item, but may not be on the machine when it launches. Um, what? I can't believe Sony would be telling the developers to use the hard drive and then not have the hard drives installed on the PS3 when you buy it. It sounds like the hard drive is the central point for everything: PS3 games, compatibility with PS2/PS1 games, Sony's online component (which will be "free", but we'll see if they also allow something akin to Xbox Live Gold at a premium), etc. They better put the hard drives in with the system or they'll have more problems than Microsoft did with the two SKUs.

They also said that they won't fall into the trap that Microsoft did with manufacturing. They say they'll build 1 million units a month and have 6 million out by March 2007. The problem with this is that they would have to divide that initial 1 million at launch equally between at least Japan and North America and slightly less in Europe. This means that in the end North America will have less units to buy than when the 360 came out and Japan will have the statement is a bit deceiving (big surprise from Sony).

The other news tied to the PS3 is that dev kits will be finalized in May and developers will get them in June/July which creates a situation similar to Microsoft with the 360. I don't know what technology the developers already have available to them for the PS3, but it would be interesting to see if it is at the same level as the 360 developers had at the same moment as well. Things are getting pretty exciting, although I don't know if I'll be waiting outside to get a PS3. Probably depends on price and the games available (I'm going to guess the launch lineup will be weak because there's a lot more Japanese companies to play with when it comes to Sony than with Microsoft...localization will be a factor more than likely).

In other news, the PSP will drop in price by $50 at the end of this month in North America putting it at $199.99 for the basic pack. They will also unleash a firmware upgrade adding more functionality to the PSP as well.