E3 06: PS3 launches 11/17--$499 for 20GB, $599 for 60GB

Sony's next system to come in two configurations, 20GB hard drive-equipped version to cost $499, 60GB hard drive-equipped model to go for $599.


LOS ANGELES--At today's pre-Electronic Entertainment Expo conference held at Sony Pictures Studios, two questions that have been on gamers minds were answered. Sony president Kaz Hirai revealed the PlayStation 3's price and launch date. The PS3 will be released in Japan on November 11, and the United States on November 17, 2006. Like the Xbox 360, the PS3 will come in two configurations, one with a 20GB hard drive and one with a 60GB hard drive.

The 20GB will retail for $499 in the US (59800 yen in Japan, 499 euros in Europe), and the 60GB model will retail for $599 (open price in Japan, 599 euros in Europe). Sony expects to ship two million units in its first month of launch, four million by the end of the year, and six million by the end of its fiscal year, which ends in March 31.

Sony's conference got off to a shaky start when it was delayed by almost an hour. Though it was set to begin at 4:00 p.m., Sony president Kaz Hirai didn't even welcome attendees until just after 4:50 p.m. The gaming press milled around the Sony Pictures' lot, waiting for entry into the hangar-sized sound stage. Even industry luminaries such as Konami's Hideo Kojima had to wait outside, like everyone else.

4:40pm: Attendees are filing into the auditorium as a DJ spins the Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, and Sean Paul. A giant screen bears the classic PlayStation logo. Banks of monitors flank the room on either side of the stage.

PlayStation 3 conference starts (finally).
PlayStation 3 conference starts (finally).
4:52: Kaz Hirai takes the stage and welcomes the crowd. He mentions Sony's 2005 E3 Conference and the unveiling of the PlayStation 3. "In essence, the real power of the PlayStation 3 rests in the hands of the content creators and ultimately the consumers...PlayStation 3 is the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken in our history," he says.

4:55: Hirai teases some of today's news, but then says it's time to take a look back at Sony's past performance.

4:59: At the 18-month mark, the PlayStation Portable is the fastest-selling console in Sony history. They shipped 47.3 million games as of the end of March. And now they're showing a list of new games for release by the end of the year. Ape Escape 2, Planet PSP, Killzone Liberation, B-Boy break-dancing game, Loco Roco, Syphon Filter Dark Mirror, World Tour Soccer 2, Talk Man, Gangs of London.

Kaz Hirai addresses the audience.
Kaz Hirai addresses the audience.
5:03: The Greatest Hits program is coming to the PSP starting with ATV Offroad Fury, Ape Escape: On the Loose, Hot Shots Golf, Twisted Metal, and Wipeout Pure.

5:05: RSS channel, expanded UMD video profile, voice over IP, camera, and GPS support are being added to the PSP in future updates. They then showed a video of gamers around the world talking about their PlayStation memories.

5:08: It's a refresher course on the PS3 stats. It will support standard definition as well as high-def setups. It will communicate with the PSP and support Blu-ray video, PS, and PS2 games.

5:12: Hirai gives a few stats, saying PS users are more likely to be HD viewers. The hard disc drive will ship with a hard drive in the box for every system.

5:14: Hirai says the "clear black" color system will be available at launch.

5:15: SCE president of worldwide studios Phil Harrison takes the stage, then promptly introduces Kazunori Yamauchi of Polyphony Digital. Yamauchi is holding what looks like a DualShock controller.

5:19: The next Gran Turismo will run at 60fps with menus designed for HD resolution. Players will be able to play vehicles ranging from race cars to commercial transportation to scooters. Hirai demonstrates the Tokyo track in replay form. He says it is broadcasting three times the amount of information on screen as normal HD broadcasts, or 12 times the amount of information GT4 on the PS2 conveys to a television. In loading another track, he asks the audience to pay attention to the load times. For Gran Turismo HD, he says it has been optimized for the hard drive-equipped PS3 and says players should be able to get from the menu to the race in two or three seconds. For the demo shown, it takes slightly longer.

5:24: A pack of cars race around a track. The engines sound like jets taking off an aircraft carrier, but before the race is finished, they cut back to the original Gran Turismo to show how far the series has come.

5:28: The third track demo is the Grand Canyon, with vintage cars racing around. After the demo, Hirai says Sony will be conducting beta testing based on GT4 online capabilities in Japan and the US. He says the world of GT will not expand, but rather it will explode. They hope to deliver the next GT "not too far" from the PS3 launch.

5:31: EyeToy creator Dr. Richard Marx is here to introduce the Eye of Judgment, an EyeToy card-battle monster game. He is placing real cards in the EyeToy's view, and monster graphics are appearing on the cards to do battle. This game will be at Sony's booth.

5:34: Kaz Hirai is back out to talk about the online strategy. He says online and network will be like air conditioning in a car: a standard feature. He says online and networking for the PS3 "is as essential as the air that we breathe." He says by offering a variety of social functionalities beyond gaming (messaging, player profiles, friends list), Sony will create a community, a "virtual society," free of charge.
Kaz plays the original Ridge Racer on a PSP
Kaz plays the original Ridge Racer on a PSP

PSP users will be able to play emulated PS games, booting up directly from the memory stick. He navigates through the PSP menu and boots up a game. Galaga comes up as the game loads--it's Ridge Racer.

5:40: Hirai says this is part of Sony's plans to leverage its systems life spans and extend them for more than 10 years. People can pick up the PlayStation Card at retailers, which will let them buy additional content. Phil Harrison shows the online store interface for the PS3.
Warhawk store on PS3's online marketplace.
Warhawk store on PS3's online marketplace.

He shows an example of how it will work using SingStar for the PS3, scrolling through dozens of songs from Billy Joel to Destiny's Child. The interface includes a price ($0 for now to keep the pricing strategy secret), as well as other information about the song. There's also the option to see who else is on SingStar and customize the user's background.

5:45: Bill Rich of Game Republic takes the stage to introduce Genji 2. Dozens of samurai battle on screen as Bill cuts them down where they stand. He switches characters on the fly and says that ability will be used by players to create new and unique combos. To take on a giant crab boss, he uses the more powerful character to flip the crab on its back, then calls in the swift character to hop on its stomach and attack a glowing, purple weak point. This will also be playable at Sony's E3 booth.

5:50: Harrison shows a PS3 F1 game with an interactive wing mirror. A PSP he is holding is displaying a rear view in the game in real time.

5:51: Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword is next. A red-headed woman in white uses a pair of large swords and a variety of hand-to-hand combat techniques to best a number of opponents in gladiatorial combat. The screen cuts to cinematic angles for special moves and particularly impressive sequences, including one complex sequence that has players following a number of button prompts onscreen.

5:56: A quick trailer of Lair played, followed by clips from the next Getaway, Afrika (working title), Everybody's Golf (better known as Hot Shots Golf in the US), and Monster Kingdom. They are followed by the debut of Eight Days, which showed a high-octane shootout at a dusty truck stop in the middle of nowhere.

6:03: Next up is a trailer for Naughty Dog's next project.

Naughty Dog's new game.
Naughty Dog's new game.

A pan around maps and jungles ends when a man in a T-shirt and jeans starts getting into gunfights with armed mercenaries. No name was given, and they quickly go to Insomniac president Ted Price taking the stage. He talks about Resistance: Fall of Man and an alternate history where World War II never happened and aliens invade. He says it is "intense, bleak, and brutal." Then he introduces a trailer for it.

6:07: The Resistence trailer qualifies as bleak, brutal, and intense. It is a noisy, violent first-person shooter set in an utterly destroyed city. Price thanks the audience and says the game will be playable at the show. Harrison says "that sums up our playable section," and returns the stage to Hirai. Hirai turns the topic to third parties, and introduces a selection of titles from other publishers. Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed is first, followed by a new Gundam game from Bandai Namco, Konami's Coded Arms Assault, Bandai Namco's Ridge Racer 7, Ubisoft's Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Bandai Namco's Tekken 6, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega's Virtua Tennis 3, Sega's Virtua Fighter 5, Midway's Stranglehold, Koei's Fatal Inertia, Koei's Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War, and From Software's Armored Core 4.
Guns start blazin' in Eight Days.
Guns start blazin' in Eight Days.

6:17: Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst takes the stage. He says he will show two brief demos, and introduces NBA Live executive producer Kevin Wilkinson. He shows a PS3 player model reacting to a cursor moving in 3D space, then shows a PS2 player model not reacting to the same thing. He details "foot-planting, which makes the players in the PS3 game actually have to move their feet and plant them to move instead of just sliding around." He shows the players moving around in 360-degree arcs, then demonstrates a real-time demo of what he's talking about.

6:21: The second EA demo is for Tiger Woods's next game, which uses the "U-cap" motion-capture technique. Instead of a playable golf game, the demo shows a lifelike Tiger Woods model that grins, frowns, and reacts to shots with realistic facial expressions and body mannerisms.

6:25: A trailer for Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII is shown, eliciting a couple scattered hoots and hollers throughout the audience. Then a Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer comes up, to an even larger crowd reaction. It deals with the next game's plot and shows a number of the returning characters rendered in detail for the PS3. An elderly Solid Snake talks about one last thing he has to do, then puts a loaded gun in his mouth, calling it his "final mission." After a loud bang, the scene cuts to an all-red screen.

6:32: Ken Kutaragi takes the stage, and asks the crowd if they enjoyed the latest progress on PS3 titles, which is met with some applause and cheers. Kutaragi then promises "one more big thing we have kept secret." He talks about the controller of the 1994 PlayStation controller's debut. He promises to enhance controllability to the next tier for the next generation. He then holds up the final PS3 controller. It's a silver DualShock with a little black button in the middle and the classic PlayStation logo on it. He asks Harrison to demonstrate what the controller can do. A demo trailer shows a crate, hopping around of its own accord. It breaks open and the PS3 controller is inside. He lifts the controller up, and the controller on the screen lifts up. With no external sensor required, he can move the controller in six degrees of movement.

6:36: Harrison notes that the Bluetooth-capable, wireless controller will be lighter than the PS2's normal controller and calls it "a fantastic innovation." Harrison says Incognito's Warhawk will make use of the motion-sensing capabilities, then asks Incognito's Dylan Jobe to demonstrate. He controls the game's fighter using the PS3 controller as a proxy, tilting the controller to gain altitude, bank, and perform barrel rolls and other actions.

6:41: Hirai takes the stage once again and recaps what's been seen so far. Then he announces the global launch details. The PS3 will be available in two versions: one with a 60GB hard drive and one with 20GB hard drive. It will launch in the US on November 17 at $499 ($549 CDN) for the 20GB version and $599 ($659 CDN) for the 60GB one. The machine will launch in Japan on November 11 with the 20GB version fetching 59,800 yen and the 60GB one bearing an "open price," which means retailers will set the price themselves. Europe and Australia will also get the machine on November 17, with the 20GB version running for 499 euros and the 60GB configuration going for 599 euros. Hirai thanked the audience and invited them to get their hands on PS3 games at kiosks throughout the hall.

For another take on Sony's E3 2006 press conference, check out senior editor Jeff Gerstmann's blog of the event.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Mraou

Hah, it's really funny to read these comments in 2014!

Avatar image for SalahDinThe2nD

<< LINK REMOVED >> agreed

Avatar image for xElite_GameRx

I agree, it is well worth the price because you have to look at this in the long term basis, which fans of wii obviously don't do. Especially since I got my 60GB NIB console for the same price as xbox360. I'm not a fan-boy of PS3, just a fan of online games or games with a incredible graphics/gameplay combo. I plan on getting an xbox360 elite as well.

Avatar image for snemand68

A little too expensive for me, I would probably say. Many nice features and lots of stuff that gives cheap points to the new console. I know from my Wii, that you for example wont use the internet or photo channel much. These are just software that you think are cool when you see them, and you want to buy it even more. I think it's a little stupid that you have to pay another 100 $ for 40GB more, you could easily find an extern harddrive with a lot more storrage, for less than 100$. The PS2 contained 8MB memory cards, and I think that those could contain quite many saved games, so I don't get why they need 20-60GB for the new console ? So I think that Sony pimped this new-gen techology a little too much up, so it got to be something really exiting, instead of just beeing another console that is what the most gamers wants. To compare my pocketmoney, is about 20€ a month. So it would take me a little more than two years to get a 20GB version. Where I could get an okey Nintendo movement-console in just about one year. So my conclusion is that the new console is far to expensive for normal people, but anyways, a dual-core computer for playing WoW, CSS og Battlefield 2: 2142 would be far more expensive!

Avatar image for hamnut


Avatar image for LittleYoshi

When can I get one! There better be one for me!

Avatar image for enrique93

PLAYSTATION 3 is worth the price over the top tech, free online, free blu ray, and most impotantly the best games ever seen on any system. This is next gen rigth here

Avatar image for gam3r3OOO

Its gonna be awesome. I will finally feel as if the next gen era has started. For some reason I didn't care when the Xbox 360 came out but some how the PS3 seems different (more next gen).

Avatar image for Floms

I cant wait to get one

Avatar image for game_freaks1990

well worth da price now dat im workin my parents cant say no any mre dont chu guyz agree

Avatar image for dr_evil

are there any differences between the 20gb and the 60gb versions besides price and memory

Avatar image for Orgando

The PS3 has a pretty hefty price tag, BUT, it looks like it will be well worth it.

Avatar image for WisdomLink

Pedro7_2000 is right that it needs updating but I do not think it should be updated since there's a separate article on the site. Maybe a sidenote stating the shipments be for US and Japan for nov 17.

Avatar image for WisdomLink

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for solid-kr05

That price could be higher i think thats a decent price for such a fantastic console

Avatar image for ggeorge1985

I'm not too sure that the price will drop any time soon. Look at the 360 It has been around for almost a year and no price drop yet. This could be because there has been no competition but it could also be because it still costs more to make than they are selling it for (correct me if I'm incorrect here I'm just guessing) We all know that Sony is selling the PS3 as a loss leader. Until the price of making the blu-ray drops I doubt that the price for the PS3 will drop.

Avatar image for lordkoto

I agree with kalilgibran, the price will drop soon after christmas, maybe not half, but I think some 50 dlls or even more, but still i want it november 17 /gg

Avatar image for amoszaharia

the price heh.......but is very very cool.

Avatar image for Pedro7_2000

Hey GAMESPOT, someone needs to update the article (again) PS3 Inside & Out, last updated Sept. 22nd. << LINK REMOVED >> "The PlayStation 3 will launch in the United States, Europe, and Australia on November 17." Based on other articles, including some of your own, there is no more worldwide launch. Only 400,000 units for North America & 100,000 for Japan. I still love you guys!!! I hit the G-Spot everyday

Avatar image for 2LOL

i think the price is too elevate

Avatar image for 2LOL


Avatar image for kalilgibran

the price will fall pretty fast like it always does. after christmas it will be a little more than half the release price and 6 month after it will get cheap... patience will pay

Avatar image for playforpride372

ouch is right! this is crazy!

Avatar image for dsw_drayku

Ouch, thats a very high price. how are expected to purchase accesories, games, and use the online purchasing capabilities of the PS3 if we have no more cash.

Avatar image for ilantis

In Europe Ps3 will come in March . You are lucky because here we must wait an half year.

Avatar image for smackird

Anyone else wondering why -- coming into the month of September -- no stores in the US are offering pre-order??? 360 preorders started 6 mo out, and we're now inside of 90 days from supposed launch?!?

Avatar image for jakeboudville

I'll wait for a price drop

Avatar image for nobodylive

I am so glad i have 1,000 saved up for it i knew it would cost 400 or more so i saved up

Avatar image for Gitrdon23

well see i have the money and all but i want to wait until metal geear solid: Guns of Patroits to coem out but still the playstation 3 should cell as much as the xbox 360. but im going to get it any way i have a playstaion 2 xbox xbox 360 and novber 17 ill have the ps3

Avatar image for judge__judy

Pretty cheap... pretty cheap

Avatar image for stikasasn

I'm going to get 36 consoles. One for each room of my mansion. I can't wait until I'm playing F.E.A.R. in my bathroom and it scares the crap out of me. I won't have to get my servants to throw away my $10 000 couch away for the 10 th time from when i was playing Resident Evil 1~4.

Avatar image for iceman7

In my humble opinion the PS3 is overpriced. As we're all constantly hearing, its apparently ultra-supremo-mega-super powerful, but also apparently the Xbox360 will have similar graphics as the PS3s power can't be effectively utilised. As a 16year old 'bit more than casual, but not quite hardcore' gamer, I don't quite have the money for a $600 investment, what with everyday money spending - social life, girlfriend etc. Though from the amount of stuff mgsseries4life is havin time to write maybe thats not a problem for you (sorry, little joke). As you can probably understand, for potential PS3 buyers like me, often parents have to be relied on to cover the costs of new consoles and suchlike, but whose parents are generous enough to fork out $600? In that respect I think Sony have shot themselves in the foot a bit, trying to sell a shiny new box with statistics and features, that the average-joe consumer isn't going to care about or need. Sure, it might impress them, but not enough to justify the price tag. At Sony's E3 presentation I think they said they had around 3million users on their PS2 online service-thing, but compare that to the number of consoles they've sold, and I think it paints a pretty clear picture of how fully the average gamer makes use of these kind of features, even online gaming which is hugely popular. Nothing short of giving me the money to pay for it is going to convince me that the PS3 isnt overpriced. So I think I'll stick with my 360, and even if the PS3s graphics turn out to be a hundred times as good, you still can't tell me GRAW doesnt at least look pretty.

Avatar image for compaq345682

$600 on a video game system I can buy 6 pairs of hot sneakers or a number of jeans with that money or anything else. I thought the X-box-360 was overpriced but im goin to have to agree with alexmurray on this one.

Avatar image for JamaicanBadBoy

well ive saved up $300 and my mom offered to pay the rest.Although im still debating over which next gen console to get. If u ppl hv an idea which one to get post it dang it

Avatar image for Louis_Routledge

Oooo, I really want one but I don't think I'm gonna have the money buy November 17th... Thats one lovely console. Hmmm, even if I did have the money, there are a few PSP games and a few PS2 games I would like. Post your money making ideas in my topic!

Avatar image for alexmurray

why would you buy a game console that costs $600 dollars. Its like the fancy car I have always wanted. Buy a xbox 360 or a wii. most of the games on the ps3 are going to be on the 360 with the same graphics because game deelopers can't waste time making the game all over again as that costs money. BOYCOTT THE PS3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for ofileto

Vale cada dollar.........

Avatar image for ofileto

TO save every dollar you find, we have time to get the money... What else you can doooooooooo.

Avatar image for ssjtrunks6

Ok I might still most likely get a ps3 but at the time, I think I'll wait till they release a few more games, or details, that encourages me to buy it...I like all the new gens, so I will happen in the future

Avatar image for ericsandes

this is the best console created!!!!!!! and is so powerful, and handsome and//PERFECT\\!! that is all....

Avatar image for kkkknaruto

well, after all these days of e3 i've saved around $220 for the playstation 3 lol, doesn't seem much compared to the canadian price of $659.99. Well, i was really close to buying a Xbox 360 last week but i controlled my anxiety and knew patience is the key to greater things in life. Sounds cocky but trust me, its the truth. My parents just g2a 51" Hitach HDTV to replace the 27" regular tv we had. That's exciting news for me. All I know is to take advantage of HD experience, I NEED A PS3. i luved the games they showed at e3 like MGS 4, Resistance and Warhawk. I know this christmas will be a moment i'll cherish forever. Wait......YES!!!! I G2A JOB, back to wrk lol.

Avatar image for PnutJones

$500/$600 isnt that bad i mean if you have a job that is. b/c if you go to circuit city and ask how much they would put into a computor they would say around $5000 and thats there only job!

Avatar image for Omihalcon

600 bucks?! im cringing at the thought of it

Avatar image for lagreendown


Avatar image for Bluestorm-Kalas

i loved the controller

Avatar image for Celine_Aensland

I agree with sirzepp. I am myself a hardcore gamer, and so is my brother and circle of acquantainces, but we know many others who are just casual gamers. Why did we all go for the PS2 over the XBox? Simple, catalog size. Here in southeast asia, it's not easy to get non-Sony consoles or games. The few shops selling exclusively non-PS stuff also sell computer stuff to make up the bottom line. On the other hand, shops can get by selling PS games alone (not even the console, although most do). Sure, they raised the entry bar - I agree with that. It WILL hurt starting out. But looking at my library of OVER 400 PS2 games, I can tell you that Sony will eventually NOT let me down. Can't say the same for my XBox, I bought it because I'm a rich bastard and I don't care for all the petty sniping on forums about "x console is better than y", I just buy all the buggers and play. But until now, I only have a handful of games for it. I don't like FPS games much either, and the Halo hype machine didn't help the XBox in this country one bit. My $0.02... Sony will make a killing in the rest of the world, you guys DO realise that the US market isn't everything, right?

Avatar image for calvin1702

Wait for a long time....PS3 look so nice ^.^

Avatar image for arnaldostafa

this is good i think

Avatar image for sirzepp

I get tired of people spouting the statistics of 2.1 TFLOPS vs. 1 TFLOPS...and all that stuff. You are only repeating what has already been said over and over. STOP IT! The point is: if the games are good enough to justify the price of a console...casual gamers(like myself) will buy it. I played Halo on an Xbox...which at the time I thought was way to expensive...and decided to buy an xbox. The price became a moot point. It will be the same with the PS3...if I play...say...resistance and like it enough(as in 600 bucks enough...the 500 dollar version is too handicapped to be viable)...I'll buy a PS3! It's that simple. Right now, I don't even have close to enough information to justify the almost 700 bucks I'll have to drop(with games and accessories) to have a decent PS3 setup. I'll wait for the games...just like I did with the 360. I didn't buy one until GRAW and Oblivion came out...good stuff...and worth the money I paid. I do think Sony has raised the bar on what is required for the casual gamer to spring for their system. This might not be a bad thing...the pressure will be on developers to squeeze all the features, graphics, and great gameplay they can into every single release. I think Sony knows what they are doing...I just won't be getting in line until I actually see and play some final release games. If I fall in love...I fall in love. Suddenly 700 bucks will seem affordable...but that's how love is! Sony just needs to deliver some games I'll fall in love with. I think a lot of casual gamers would agree with me. Of course this is all just my 2 cents...proceed with the regularly scheduled flaming and counter-flaming. Zepp

Avatar image for bigbighat

hate that price of money !