On March 15, 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) held two press conferences. The first announcement came from Tokyo, Japan revealing the launch date for the PlayStation 3 (PS3). The second announcement came from Foster City, CA revealing their future plans for the 1-year-old PlayStation Portable (PSP).
At the first briefing Sony announced that the PS3 would have a world-wide launch (North America, Japan, and Europe) in early November 2006. They expect to have about 1 million units available during launch. SCEA has also confirmed that the PS3 will be using Blu-ray technology, which will be able to store a total of 50GB on a single disc. Sony also guaranteed that the PS3 would have 100% high-definition support as well as standard-definition for older TVs. The PS3 will also be able to access plenty of online content and can connect to millions of other users through any high-speed broadband network. Many expect a shortage of units since only 1 million units will be available at launch. SCEA has not yet confirmed the official price on the unit, but is expect to cost around $400-500. Some other items that SCEA mentioned was that the PS3 would come standard with a 60GB HDD and would be 100% backwards compatible with both PS1 and PS2 games.
At the 2nd briefing Sony announced a new PSP package, which would be available on the market by March 22nd. The package will be cost only $199, down from $249, and will include all standard accessories. Even though SCEA managed to sell over 15 million PSPs worldwide last year, their goal is to make the unit more affordable for consumers. The PSP already has a large selection of media to choose from: over 107 brand name games and 347 blockbuster movies. SCEA also stated an USB camera for the PSP would be available this spring. (similar to the PS2’s EyeToy) With this new hardware and the built-in WiFi card, Sony has plans to turn the PSP into a VoIP device wich will support video and voice chat. There also may be a GPS module that includes a UMD with maps available for the PSP very soon.