TOKYO--After Sony's press conference, Ken Kutaragi held a small question-and-answer session with the press to talk about the company's future, and specifically the PlayStation 3. During it, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment dropped several new details about the lower-end model of the next-gen console--details that were curiously not mentioned during the conference itself.
Speaking to reporters, Kutaragi almost casually mentioned that the 20GB PS3 will now have a high-definition multimedia interface port for high-definition video output. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Sony irritated many by announcing only the higher-end 60GB model of the console would have an HDMI port. The previous year, there had been only one PS3 model with two HDMI ports for so-called "super-letterbox" display on side-by-side HDTVs. Kutaragi did not specify any territories for the 20GB PS3, but it would presumably be for the worldwide form factor.
[UPDATE] Secondly, Kutaragi announced the Japanese pricing for the 20GB PS3, which will go for 49,980 yen (circa $429) when it hits stores in Japan on November 11. That’s around 10,000 yen (approx. $85) less than its prior price, which was around 60,000 yen (about $515). It's also $70 less than the lower-end model's $499 sticker price when it hits US shores the following week. However, no price drop for any other territory was announced at the event.
The higher-end PS3 will go for a set $599 stateside, but it will carry an "open price" in Japan--meaning retailers can charge whatever price they like. Given that there will be only 100,000 units available on day one in the country, that price is likely to be quite high.
Speaking through a translator, Kutaragi also reiterated the "big picture" statements he delivered during the conference. His feeling was that his full vision for the PS3 would be realized within the next three to five years. He also stated that his stress on bringing the console online via the PlayStation Network Platform is to create an environment that will encourage users to become involved in the PS3 community.
Kutaragi was also apologetic about the PS3's delay and said that the company's "new approaches and ways" have caused delays in mass production, but they're being overcome.