Sony Computer Entertainment America expects final assembly of PS3s to begin at the end of September

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) was able to reveal some new information on the highly anticipated PlayStation 3 at a recent analyst meeting. SCEA reports that final assembly of the console will start by month's end. The company has already stated that it will have 500,000 units ready for the November 11/17 Japan/US launch with each country getting 100,000 and 400,000 units respectively. European countries will being receiving their shipments in March 2007 once production is stabilized.

SCEA was also able to provide additional details on the product mix when the consoles finally arrive this November. US Retailers will receive an 80%/20% split of premium/core systems. As a refresher, the premium system features a 60GB hard drive, HDMI support, multi-card reader and will retail for $599. The core system features a smaller 20GB hard drive and does without HDMI or a card reader and retails for $499.

Sony is also expected to provide more details on its online service for the PS3 at the Tokyo Game Show later this month. Details have been scarce up to this point with Sony only commenting that online multiplayer would be free for everyone as opposed to Microsoft charging customers $50 a year for an XBOX Live Gold subscription to do the same.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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