It was the worst kept secret in the technology world, but Sony has finally confirmed the PlayStation 3 has been delayed. Not that it is saying that of course, oh no it’s ‘absolutely delighted’ to be able to bring us the next generation console before Christmas!
Here is David Reeves – big cheese of Sony Computer Entertainment – with that (ever so corporately worded) long awaited fess up:
We are absolutely delighted that we will be able to bring PS3 to gamers in Europe and Australia before Christmas. This is an exciting first for Europe, and is a huge endorsement and vote of confidence in the strength of the European market and its importance globally.
That’s enough boot licking, but what actually caused the delay? Apparently ongoing arguments about the copyright protection in Blu-ray. Curiously, you would think that would mean all Blu-ray based products would be delayed until a similar time but I had a great many chats with BD backers at CeBIT who have products ready to go and no one mentioned the slightest thing. Could Sony be trying to cover its own technological shortcomings… surely not? ;)
Anyway, a few more tasty details have also been confirmed. Namely, that the console will have a separate hard drive meaning it will likely ship in basic and deluxe editions like the Xbox 360. The hard drive will support Linux (you didn’t really expect a Windows OS., right?) and have a 60GB capacity.
The biggest reason for a HDD is that the PS3 will indeed have an online service similar to the ‘HUB’ offering we heard rumours about back in February. It will offer instant messaging, voice and video chat, online shopping and access to downloadable content. Backward compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games has also finally been rubbed stamped and though we didn’t get a solid official price we do now know that a minimum cost of $425 has been set.
So by the time the PS3 launches Sony will have given Microsoft's Xbox 360 a full year’s head start. It will be interesting to see how it makes the ground up…