Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the launch date and price for the US PlayStation2 during a pre-E3 press conference in Los Angeles today. The PlayStation2 will ship in North America on October 26, 2000 at a price of US$299. The retail software will ship at a suggested retail price of US$49. SCEA plans to ship one million PS2 units at launch, and a total of three million consoles by the end of the company's fiscal year in March 2001.
On a technical note, the US PS2 will feature an expansion bay in back of the console, in which you'll be able to insert a 3.5 inch hard drive and network adaptor. System peripherals, namely the 8MB memory card, four-player multitap, and Dual Shock 2 controller, will retail at about US$34. The system will include one Dual Shock 2 controller.
Addressing the DVD issues that troubled the Japanese launch of the system, the North American PS2 will have DVD video playback functionality built into the hardware, eliminating the need for a memory card-based DVD driver. As such, the system will not be bundled with a memory card.
We'll have impressions of launch titles and more details soon. Keep watching this space.