A week ago Sony held a PlayStation 3Rooms event for the UK press to play the latest PS3 games, since it’s not out in Europe yet. At the event Phil Harrison, Sony Worldwide Studios President, got interviewed by Threespeech and let go of the latest PS3 European launch details. Here they are summed up:
The Playstation 3 European launch will fall within the first two weeks of March 2007, Sony’s financial year ends on the 3rd week of March and therefore they want to launch before the next financial year begins. Judging that UK consoles always release on a Friday, expect the European launch on either the 2nd or 9th of March. Though a strong hint was given by Mr. Harrison they are hoping to drop the PS3 on the 3rd day of the 3rd month (March 3rd).
On the same day as the PS3’s Euro launch SCE will distribute their March firmware update, which includes the following features:
* Multi-tasking (included will be audio/video conferencing while browsing the Cross Media Bar (aka XMB) and its features/gameplay).
* New XMB display options.
* New animations for audio playback.
* New photo album options.
* PlayStation Store auto-resume.
* PSP remote play advanced access option, so you can have access to your PS3’s content anywhere where thereâ€™s an internet connection.
Firmware will be constantly updated, with the view of a TV tuner and TiVo-like service to be available in the 3rd quarter of 2007.
In the same week as the European PS3 launch Sony hope to see a worldwide launch of the PS3’s HDip Camera (specifications to be announced at a later date). In terms of other accessories, Sony doesnâ€™t see it as a necessity to manufacture PlayStation branded headsets, keyboards or mice. Jonathan of SCE’s reportedly said: â€œThird party companies can offer these accessories to the consumer at a price which SCE could not compete.â€
An extension to the Sony online store will also make its debut in March. Titled â€˜Sing Storeâ€™, PS3 owners will be able to purchase songs for their ‘Sing Star’ karaoke game from a slew of artists and will also be given the option to view the songs purchased as music videos via the video playback option within the XMB.
In terms of the European online store, while still being extremely vague, a spokesman for SCE Europe was able to explain that Sony would have no defense if they were to charge the European consumer more than in other regions as there are no extra costs on digital distribution as apposed to a product with packaging etc. So expect a $15 download to cost people in the UK around Â£7.50 and in the rest of Europe around â‚¬11.50.
Other notes collected by News4gamers are:
* PS3 will be sold at Â£425 or lower, meaning Europeans could have it cheaper than the previously stated price.
* Donâ€™t expect to see 20GB models available in Europe, 60GB it is.
* No VGA cables will be released by Sony.
* No plans to make RSX available to Linux OS, due to security issues.
* A service to reserve your PlayStation online ID will be up and running right about now (more about this in our next newsitem).