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Sony's PS3 gets to get a wider audience in late March

Sony's PlayStation 3 will be made available to a larger audience starting on March 23 of this year. While PS3 fans in Japan and the United States have been had access to the console since mid-November 2006, consumers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australia were left in the dark.

Sony announced back in early September that the European launch of the PS3 would be delayed until March 2007 due to production problems with blue laser diodes. Now that the problems have been worked out and Sony has settled into its grove with PS3 production, it's time for the rest of the world to enjoy Sony's bundle of Blu-ray fun.

Over one million units of the 60GB PS3 model will be available launch -- the 20GB model will be introduced later this year. Sony also states that over 30 games will be available for launch including headliner Resistance: Fall of Man.

All of this gaming goodness will come at a hefty price though -- especially for those in the United Kingdom. The 60GB PS3 will retail for £425 ($842 USD) in the UK while the 20GB model will retail at £350 ($694 USD) when it is launched later in the year. Potential customers in Australia have it a little better as the 60GB model will cost $999 AUD ($790 USD).



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From the Brits..
By Frosen on 1/24/2007 11:20:48 PM , Rating: 5
I phoned up my buddy still living in the UK and told him the good news. His response "Who cares?", this coming from someone who had been beating on me for the past year and half about how much better PS3 would be than my 360. I asked him about his change and he said that everyone he knows has gone out and gotten a Wii or a 360. He said they were all sick of waiting and had liked one of the other systems enough to pick it up instead. He then spent 20 minutes whining about the price (it's okay though, I've got unlimited international because of business) and then he asked to play a game of Gears which I accepted.




RE: From the Brits..
By MrSmurf on 1/24/2007 11:42:22 PM , Rating: 1
At least they'll have plenty of units available since they can practically stop production in Japan and North America.


RE: From the Brits..
By Samus on 1/25/2007 12:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, $800 bucks huh? I bet you guys will be as reluctant as we were too. Apparently, it hasn't been very successful here.


RE: From the Brits..
By JimFear on 1/25/2007 3:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah we get stung in the wallet for everything so don't worry about it. My TV over here set me back £2000, the same model on your side of the pond was $1800 (which equates to about £1100), Petrol/gas equates to about £4 a gallon, so you'd be talking $7 a gallon. I could make a happy living on my money over in the states :)


RE: From the Brits..
By tuteja1986 on 1/25/2007 8:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
Sony wants to dig its grave even more by not releasing the 20GB model PS3 in australia. I mean how the hell would want to pay $999AUD ($781UD)for a console with no decent game except for tech demo motor storm or Virtual Fighter 5. I know some people would have bought the console if they would have released the 20GB model for arround $700AUD.


RE: From the Brits..
By UsernameX on 1/25/2007 2:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
At least they'll have plenty of units available since they can practically stop production in Japan and North America.


I thought they were selling decently in Japan?


RE: From the Brits..
By heffeque on 1/25/2007 12:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they are selling well in Japan. Sony's strong there but definitely not in the rest of the world.


RE: From the Brits..
By borowki on 1/25/2007 3:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
No, they are not. Just take a look at the Media Create numbers. Sales in Japan are lower than that in America. Over 1 PS3s shipped, around 600K sold. That's really bad for a console only a couple months old.

One needs to remember that after a decade of recession, the Japanese are not as spendthrift as they used to be. Years of deflation have put them into the habit of waiting for prices to drop. Already, some stores in Japan are discounting the PS3s--which incidentally, were sold at a lower price to start with.

It'll be interesting to watch the disaster unfold in Europe. By that time the console will have taken such a beating in the media that few would want to buy it, especially at a higher price point. But who knows, maybe the Brits will want to watch Bond in hi-def so badly that they'll fork over 400 quids (Casino Royale is said to be the bundled Blu-Ray disc).


RE: From the Brits..
By heffeque on 1/25/2007 5:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sony has sold in Japan more PS3s in weeks than Microsoft in months. That's what I meant, not the absolute number of units sold.


RE: From the Brits..
By BadKarma on 1/25/2007 6:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
lol.
I dunno if you can compare the PS3 numbers to the pathetic performance of the Xbox 360 in the Japanese market and call it a success. I don't think Sony is breaking out the champagne over it. Regardless, the true test for Sony will come when they release their tripple A titles at the end of this year and next year.


RE: From the Brits..
By borowki on 1/25/2007 8:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
Even in comparison to the Xbox 360, things are not going that well. The software sales figures show a disturbing trend. There hasn't a PS3 game in the Japanese top 10 since launch, and even then sales were weak. Meanwhile two 360 games (Blue Dragon and Gears of War) have done so. Microsoft's console is starting to gain some traction in the market. Sales have gone from ~1000 a week to ~10000.


RE: From the Brits..
By borowki on 1/25/2007 9:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
For perspective, here are some numbers.

The next-gen market share in Japan as of last week:

59% - Wii
27% - PS3
14% - X360

Percentage of Xbox 360s in Japan bought after PS3 launch: 46%

The PS3 isn't completely blowing away the 360. Sony will have a tough time shaking off Microsoft from second-place.


RE: From the Brits..
By dome1234 on 1/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: From the Brits..
By bunnyfubbles on 1/25/2007 2:03:18 AM , Rating: 3
friends actually tend to talk to one another...


From an Aussie
By stmok on 1/25/2007 2:09:18 AM , Rating: 4
Like the Europeans, we use the PAL standard. And thus, according to Sony's way of defining the regions, we suffer the same delay.

Its not likely that you will find a mass adoption down here either. Hell, the majority of people don't care about HD content, let alone expensive consoles. (Its up to the point where the Govt has pushed back the cancelling of analog TV broadcasts)...Most of us just don't care if the existing equipment does the job. (Its a different story in electrical stores where they try to hype up the situation).

Anyway, I was taking PS3 into consideration, but a few factors turned me off. I seriously doubt I would bother with a console any longer.

(1) Cost.
Pretty obvious. Why the heck should I spend about $1000 Aussie Dollars on a console with limited computing capabilities? And don't talk about Blu-ray. This and HD-DVD hasn't come out in force here in Australia. I ain't touching a single standard device. If anything I'll wait for dual format ones.

We pay US$180 more than the US folks, and US$100 more than the UK folks! The only folks that pay more than us is Mexico, Denmark and Finland.

(2) Current lack of good content that exploits PS3.
MGS4 isn't out, and I have no idea of the actual gameplay. Gundam Crossfire is a big let down...Can you say jerky frames? Granted, Xbox360 has a good headstart, and the game devs aren't up to speed on the capabilities of the PS3...It merely tells me one should wait for something like 3 yrs until things mature.

(3) Overhype.
They just put too much marketing into the product. The delay for PAL regions has turned off some people. Its run out of momentum. (The discovery of pre-rendered demos, delays in production, etc has raised doubts)...Don't expect me to queue up on the night of its release!

(4) Linux.
Yeah, I'm a Linux user. But after seeing the restrictions of what you can do on the PS3, its just more beneficial to buy a cheap PC. (Maybe get one of those Mini-ITX ones that run a Core 2 Duo from an Industrial mobo maker?).

You can't access the GPU, so there's no 3D acceleration. RAM is limited and fixed, and the CPU isn't suited for desktop role...The apps aren't optimised to take advantage of the Cell. (To Linux, its just a PowerPC).

Yeah, they made it much easier to install Linux on, but they've restricted you on what you can do. (Nvidia is absolutely no help when it comes to open-source. They won't open their drivers OR even provide the docs to write our own...The latter doesn't involve revealling any secrets).


Effectively, I've lost all interest.

If Sony decides to secretly make a "PS3 Plus" in the future, then I may take more interest.

Such improvements should include:

* Provide docs on how to develop an open driver for the GPU.
* More system RAM. Screw it, bump it up to 1GB.
* Increase Cell processor speed? Maybe a dual-core variant? What about two Cells in SMP?
* Two External SATA connections. (provides an option for HD-DVD or DVD burning external drive. Supports more HDDs.)
* Ability to capture content in DVD resolutions in MPEG2 formats. (No DRM encoded crap)...Basically "timeshift" recordings. Hell, add MythTV to the PS3!
* Fix up previous related issues of the first PS3.

IF they want me to spend AUD$1000, they better give me good, solid reasons to. This may sound like asking for too much, but if Sony wants to re-gain that reputation back, they have to be generous about it.




RE: From an Aussie
By Alaa on 1/25/2007 2:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. I think that most of your PS3 Plus requirements are meant to be in PS4!


RE: From an Aussie
By RobFDB on 1/25/2007 5:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, according to the article you're paying $999 AUD ($790 USD) and us Brits are paying £425 ($842 USD), so actually we're paying $50 USD more than you. Also £425 is $1,073.96 AUD! Ain't numbers swell?


RE: From an Aussie
By stmok on 1/25/2007 2:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
That sucks...Does that include the UK version of our GST? What do you folks call it? VAT? (Its something like 17% isn't it?)


RE: From an Aussie
By Aikouka on 1/25/2007 8:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
I really didn't have much reason to reply, until I read your cheap shot at nVidia's support of Open Source software. The one thing nVidia has been known for is their active support of a Linux driver for their video cards ( http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.... ). Also, it's Sony who locks people out of accessing the GPU not nVidia. As for drivers... the RSX is just a modified G70 series, and it may be possible with some tweaking to get a normal linux driver to work on it (if we had access to the PS3's GPU).


RE: From an Aussie
By stmok on 1/25/2007 2:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Cheap shot? Its FACT.

You clearly aren't aware of the difference between providing support to open-source, and supplying binary blobs that runs on open-source.

Nvidia has made NO attempt to help the open-source community directly. (no advice, no docs, no donation of sample cards...Even ATI did the last one for the GATOS project!). Nothing.

They want you to download their drivers. Heck, you provided a link to the binary drivers!

What if Nvidia's drivers are the cause to a security issue? Are you gonna wait weeks until Nvidia fixes it? Because the open community can't, as they have no idea what's in there!

Do you want a single driver that covers every Nvidia card from TNT era to today's GF8xxx series? Because the Nvidia binary blob you linked does NOT support a certain era of cards. (TNT/TNT2, GF1, early GF2)

Have you wondered why there is an open 3D driver for Nvidia cards under development?

Its right here. Its being worked on, and we can expect the first alpha to be out in early 2008.
=> http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/

This project gets no help from Nvidia. All Nvidia employees do is monitor the IRC, mailinglists and forums. They're keeping an eye on it, but not saying a single thing. They have offered NO HELP in any way, shape, or form.

This is why I'm pissed at Nvidia. They have a chance to really set an example, by providing an open driver themselves and showing the open community how it works, etc. Maybe even help form a community of programmers who specialise in Nvidia hardware. Nvidia doesn't lose anything, they make money selling hardware, consultation on graphics, etc.

Intel already does this with their IGPs!


You can't get to the GPU in the PS3 because there is a hypervisor in the way. You can't use the binary blob from Nvidia because you can't modify it. (Unless you break Nvidia's license...Do you want Nvidia's lawyers throwing a "cease and desist" letter at some project?)...Which means you depend on Nvidia providing a PS3 driver. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

Thus, there is no way in hell you can install an Nvidia binary driver on a PS3.

You have to write an open driver, overcome that hypervisor that is trying to protect access for the RSX chip. That's the only way that the open community can do it.

And don't think all this is easy, it isn't. Its tough as hell.

The first stage we must do, is help the Nouveau Project by running their tools on our boxes with Nvidia cards running the Nvidia binary drivers. What they do is run a number of tests and generate results. Send your results to them.

Or pledge a donation such that it provides them the money to get new Nvidia cards. (Its not for themselves, as they don't need the money).

Eventually, there will be a need to work around obstacles of the PS3 itself, if you want the open-source community to get Linux working fully to exploit the PS3's potential.

BTW: I made no mention of Sony locking the RSX in my original post. You brought that up by assumption.


What's aPS3?
By probedb on 1/25/2007 5:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
Even my friend who is die hard Sony and was saving to get a PS3 gave up and got himself a 360 when they moved the roll out to March.

In this day and age there's no need for separate releases in separate territories....wait till you have enough stock and then roll it out globally.




RE: What's aPS3?
By Shintai on 1/25/2007 8:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Here in DK, atleast the people I know. If you said you would buy a PS3, they would react like you said you where going to buy a litre of milk in the supermarket. Talk about Wii or Xbox360 and they all start to get crazy and the chat rolls.

So ye, PS3...good luck. Its a dead product!


RE: What's aPS3?
By Wizard on 1/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: What's aPS3?
By probedb on 1/25/2007 9:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
How is the 360 bad performance and who told you the 360 already hits it's limits?


RE: What's aPS3?
By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 9:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
If you care about graphics that much, why not just get a PC and be done with it?


RE: What's aPS3?
By Wizard on 1/25/2007 10:40:04 AM , Rating: 1
I got a pc, n ive seen the 360 in action and im impressed, my point wasnt about the graphics, its about the amount of grunt the ps3 has. NO PC can compare gruntwise to this. We just gotto wait for the programmers to get it right with the dev tools


RE: What's aPS3?
By boing on 1/25/2007 10:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
It's clearly not dead, nor is it going to die but i think they've just seen their market dominance disappear, it's just too expensive, too difficult to code for, too tied to a format that may or may not have a shelf life and the lack of a hardware scalar means scaling limitations for some users.

The much vaunted storeage capacity is unnecessary for games and unuseable in the real world as the uncompressed texture files it claims to allow developers to use would put load times through the roof.

With the 360 you have a machine that is easy to code for, easy to port to pc and has lots of flexibility for developers. The cell although powerfull has limited flexibility and is difficult (thus expensive) to code for. I also beleive that Sony has no equivalent of XNA to make life for it's deveoplers easier.

Giving a processor lots of theoretical power but little flexibilty is like giving a man a 100ft well but only putting a 50ft rope on his bucket. The 360 may have less theoretical power but it's developers can access 100% of it 100% of the time giving equal or maybe better real world performance.

In short I really don't beleive the PS3 will ever look substantially better than the 360.


RE: What's aPS3?
By Wizard on 1/25/2007 11:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, even the graphics part, but that rope will get longer and longer as time goes by, he'll learn to use a needle and thread then get better at it.
not sure wat u meant by " lack of a hardware scalar means scaling limitations." could u explain.elaborate/url?
And for sony not developing good tools is just stupid on their part. I dont think they were really worried bout that (just had a big head over this Tech.lol)


RE: What's aPS3?
By boing on 1/25/2007 11:23:24 AM , Rating: 2
http://arstechnica.com/articles/headstart.ars

(page 2 the first paragraph)

in short if PS3 has a native 720p signal it can't scale up to 1080i/1080p as it has no scalar chip. It could emulate it with software but this means setting cell power aside to do this thus robbing it from the game.

The 360 has a dedicated scalar chip so it can scale independantly without sacrificing gaming power.


PS3=Failure
By Nik00117 on 1/25/2007 12:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of my european friends have said the same as well.

They all own 360s and Wiis

Sony you failed.

1. You spent too much time on technology
2. Blu ray is far to $$$
3. Consoles aren't worth 600 bucks little alone 1,000
4. You went into the competition too late, your competition was the 360 which has already been out for a year.
5. European market is over 500,000,000 consumers, and you wait this long? Yet you give it to Japan (100,000,000) OR SO, and americ (300,000,000) doesn't make sense, european market is larger then both of those.




RE: PS3=Failure
By JimFear on 1/25/2007 4:18:45 AM , Rating: 1
1. You spent too much time on technology

Everything was developed from the ground up, there's so much bespoke hardware under the hood of the PS3 and even now I feel they rushed it a bit.

2. Blu ray is far to $$$

Do you remember how much DVD's used to cost when they first came out? I'll assume you dont.

3. Consoles aren't worth 600 bucks little alone 1,000

Maybe not to you, some people are passionate about gaming enough to spend that kind of money. Some might say $600 is too much for a graphics card, $1000 too much for a CPU. If you're that dedicated to something you'll buy it.

4. You went into the competition too late, your competition was the 360 which has already been out for a year.

And Microsoft paid heavily for it with the rushed release...few games, consoles breaking, limited quantities of hardware.

5. European market is over 500,000,000 consumers, and you wait this long? Yet you give it to Japan (100,000,000) OR SO, and americ (300,000,000) doesn't make sense, european market is larger then both of those.

You wait this long to iron out quirks, ensure enough availability. It makes sense to do a spanned release rather than all at once, either do it bit by bit with limited quanitites or completely decimate your hardware stocks and try and rush to make the deadline.

Ever heard of the hare and toroise?


RE: PS3=Failure
By Hare on 1/25/2007 6:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. Consoles aren't worth 600 bucks little alone 1,000
quote:
Maybe not to you, some people are passionate about gaming enough to spend that kind of money. Some might say $600 is too much for a graphics card, $1000 too much for a CPU. If you're that dedicated to something you'll buy it.

The target audience for the PS3 is normal people who want a console and games. The price is way too high for any serious market penetration compared to the xbox and wii. Your analogy is faulty. Only enthusiasts buy >500$ gpus or 1000$ prosessors. Sony is loosing money with each console sold and need high volume to recover with the actual game sales.

I haven't owned a console since Sega Saturn and won't buy one in the near future. So no point calling me an xbox fan etc.


RE: PS3=Failure
By Spivonious on 1/25/2007 9:59:13 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, get a Wii. It's a blast!


RE: PS3=Failure
By otispunkmeyer on 1/25/2007 10:53:03 AM , Rating: 3
1) agree, but good things should come to those who wait, as a piece of engineering PS3 > 360/wii. engineering wise its rather interesting, but no i wont be ponying up £425 to find out lol

2) yeah, but all new technology is always expensive

3) agree, though there are plenty of rich folk here who make stacks of money by doing nothing but appearing in heat magazine, playing football, giving themselves large pay rises (politicians) and those investment banking types who's job baffles me and seems to me that they are selling nothing and then buying someone elses nothing for less. still 1% of the people here earn 25% of all the money

4) mostly agree, they are behind, but are obviously hoping to ride on the PS2's installed fan base

5) cant comment


grim pricing
By boing on 1/25/2007 6:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
£425 = 100 990 yen
$600 = 72 343 Yen

Europe is getting a massive 39% price increase!

a straight dollar to pound conversion would put a $600 console at £304 in the uk......




RE: grim pricing
By AnnihilatorX on 1/25/2007 7:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well that's the sufferring we have to endure here.

Normally hardware pricing here are opn average 20% more expensive due to taxes. But 30% more is ridiculous, not to mention for a late coming console. Very unfair.


RE: grim pricing
By AnnihilatorX on 1/25/2007 8:00:26 AM , Rating: 2
erm 39%


RE: grim pricing
By ghost101 on 1/25/2007 9:27:00 AM , Rating: 2
Now and again in the UK you get deals where you get xbox 360 premium + 1 or 2 games for ~£250. Or the cut down version for £150. Add a HDDVD add on which costs £120 over here, and things get very interesting.

I dont see very many people getting the PS3. However, i expect it to sell out in its first wave of stock.


prices in europe are always higher
By dome1234 on 1/25/2007 1:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
the vat in britain is 17.5%. Anyone would know that due to tax structure or one reason another, prices tend to be higher in europe than anywhere else in the world.




RE: prices in europe are always higher
By Nyu on 1/25/2007 5:20:58 AM , Rating: 2
VAT in Japan is 5%


By AnnihilatorX on 1/25/2007 8:02:00 AM , Rating: 3
Still, 39% more expensive is ridiculously off the chart
That's twice the VAT value in UK
Not to mention this is a delayed launch. Sony should show more love towards us Europeans


By psychobriggsy on 1/25/2007 9:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
£425 is ridiculous. Sure, it includes VAT, and presumably an extra cost to cover greater consumer rights (rarely used or enforced sadly), but 39% is a bit rich.

£362 with the VAT removed. That's $713. 20% markup.

Maybe if they included a 3 year warranty and a free game.

Everyone I know either has a Wii or wants a Wii due to having played it. Nintendo were nice and released in Europe nice and early, and we appreciated that. Of course the price was boosted as per usual (Rip Off Britain, thanks to all those people who resisted joining the Euro) and ex. VAT is the equivalent of $299. Which is a 20% markup again.

If some decent games come out on the PS3, if the 'not better than an XBox360' issues are resolved, and the price dropped to something reasonable, I might get a PS3 in 2008. But more likely I'll get a £199 XBox360 at that time.




By whalenapp81 on 1/25/2007 10:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
how has the wii done in europe anyways, does anybody have any sales #'s. i know npd realesed wii sales for america, but not europe, if anybody know plz, let me know


By otispunkmeyer on 1/25/2007 10:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
well at christmas and in the shopping shens afterward i tried in vein to find a wii for my brother

they couldnt stack the shelves fast enough. most were gone before the store even opened due to pre orders being completed


Thanks Sony!
By Wesleyrpg on 1/25/2007 12:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
i'd like to be the first person to say thanks to sony for making us aussies wait 4 months for the relaase and adding an extra $200 to the price.




RE: Thanks Sony!
By Serifan on 1/25/2007 12:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
You do have a good point I am more and more wanting to go towards an xbox but I really liked the PS2 and it did have some great games, but with the $999 price tag is making me not want to get this machine. I guess I will wait this thing out untill I see the first motorcross game or DBZ game.


That's messed up
By Sylar on 1/25/2007 9:59:59 AM , Rating: 2
I find it sad that the people Sony made wait several months extra will also have to pay several hundred more for the system itself. Who's bright idea was that anyway? I mean, it would've made sense if the system actually had a fantastic launch back in Nov but since then, the hype has died down significantly and the system overshadowed by the ingeniuity of the Wii. People aren't even buying it here in the states for 600USD retail what makes them think people will pay 800USD for it in Europe?




brits get the shaft again!
By otispunkmeyer on 1/25/2007 10:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
heh the joys of living in britain... paying over the odds yet again. im proud to be british, but honestly i cant see why all our great achievements have come and gone, we spend all our money on civil servants, quango's and ASBO's now.

nevermind though, i already bought a 360 and have had many months of enjoyment. just discovered PGR3's cat n mouse style game...its hella fun.





PS3
By Viper56 on 1/25/2007 1:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hey:

Once you do purchase it and play a few games or watch a Blue Ray DVD you'll be happy you did. It is awesome!

Viper




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