PS3 worldwide in November [UPDATE 21]

PS3 Early November 2006 Worldwide Launch cropped montageIt looks like the PS3 press conference is just getting started.

IGN reports Ken Kutaragi's opening statement as follows: "It is my aim to clear things up about the PlayStation 3 today. The PS2, the PS3, the network, and Future Cell Network, this will all be addressed."

More as we get it... Update 16--the wrap-up: The PS3 will launch "in early November 2006 in Japan, North America and Europe simultaneously." Incorporating the final specifications of the Blu-ray format will enable "playback of BD software at a high bit rate," with "a maximum storage capacity of 50 GB (dual layer) and robust security." The PS3 will be compatible with all kinds of TVs and a high-speed broadband connection. Update 19 (via 1UP's updated page): DRM was what delayed the launch, but the system will come with a 60GB HDD preinstalled before 11/11/06.

[Thanks, bv; pics used to create new montage from Watch Impress]

Update 1: IGN further reports that Sony will "continue selling [the PS2] at its current price of $149 for some time," killing any chances for a current-gen price drop in the near future. Thanks again, bv!

Update 2: 1UP is reporting on "a major new PSP update this spring," including "the ability to hook up a camera to the PSP" and "use the system for GPS location." Also listed at 10:42 PST: "There will be a web browser upgrade shortly, but it still won't have Flash support."

Update 3: IGN comes back with a few more details concerning the PSP, including its lopsidedly male user base (sitting at 96% male), a silver PSP EyeToy attachment via the USB port in September, video and voice-over-IP in October, RSS functionality in the fall, and Macromedia Flash support in a spring Network update. Thanks, bv and untitled!

Updates 4 & 5: IGN confirms PS3 worldwide launch in November for "the North American, Asian, and European territories." In addition, Sony will release "one million units per month [after launch; sorry for any confusion this may have caused] with a total of six million units in 2006 alone. Production numbers are higher for PS1 and PS2 in their initial years." Update 18: The 6M unit total will "be produced in Fiscal Year 2006 (through March 2007)."

Update 6: IGN fills us in on the PSP's "E-Distribution" features, which mean that portable owners will be able to boot directly from Memory Sticks without the use of hacks and "download classic PlayStation titles and play them on your PSP." Thanks, bv!

Update 7: IGN says a $199 PSP "base unit" to mirror the original Japanese release will hit U.S. shelves by the end of March. Europe will be similarly fitted with a 199 Euro package on March 22nd, while Japan will get "a new white PSP SKU... starting April 15th... for 19800 Yen (~$168 US)." Thanks, bv and Jake!

Update 8: IGN reports that the PS3 will be "100% backwards compatible," and that "all legacy titles played on the system will be displayed at high-definition resolutions," similar to the Xbox 360's BC upscaling (but hopefully without the profile downloading). "[F]ull Blu-ray support" and "the latest HDMI connection" were also touted. Thanks, bv!

Update 9
: Kutaragi proclaims that the PS3 will require a hard drive, but not whether all systems will come bundled with one or not. What he does say is that the HDD "will be 60GB big, be completely upgradeable, and support Linux OS. Additionally, the peripheral will act as a home server and allow users to store various forms of media to be pulled up elsewhere." Thanks, RobR and sullyj! [Update 17: The same link now says that "the unit will ship with the system right out of the box."]

Update 10: Ken says that "all PlayStation 3 games will ship on Blu-ray [only!] to help prevent piracy," and that "initial BD-ROM production [is expected] to reach 2.5 million in Japan and Europe and 5 million in the US." Thanks, RobR and bv!

Update 11: Beginning this November at launch, the PS3 "will feature community tools including lobby matching and voice chat," as well as "commerce features that includes bootable software via the hard drive." This is basically the PS3's online service, which was created with Sony Online Entertainment's assistance and will be provided free of charge--well, the "basic" service will be at any rate. "Premium" Live features, anyone? Thanks, bv, RobR, and untitled!

Update 12: The wild statements continue with a new set from Ken regarding the PS3. He says that the "games are 'live' and that the PS3 concept is '4D,'" with titles going "from 8-bit to 16-bit planes, to the 'space' that you saw on the PS1/PS2, and now PS3 will be 'live.'" That's quite a look at console history there, Ken.... Thanks, bv, CB4D, and everyone else who chimed in on this!

Update 13: Final PS3 dev kits "will be shipping out to production houses in June." 15 different companies will be making SDK tools and middleware for the PS3, including the company we've sourced with this news, IGN/GameSpy. Thanks, RobR!

Update 14: Post title updated to reflect most important info given today.

Update 15: The PlayStation Business Briefing 2006 is now over, but there were no revelations made about new software or the PS3's actual price. Bummer. We'll all have to wait for E3 for more details, as we imagine Phil Harrison will simply elaborate on one of the announcements made today for his GDC keynote. Thanks anyway, TMJ, bv, mirobin, and Jason M!

Update 20: While an exact price was not released, GamersReports claims that a minimum price range was announced, which was nothing "less than 50,000.00 JP YEN" (or "$425.607 USD"). Perform your own up-to-the-minute currency conversion here. Unless the PS3's cheaper in the U.S., that means that the HDD-bundled Xbox 360 will remain cheaper than the PS3 in the States even without a price drop. Link found via digg.

Update 21: New pictorial montage created for the post from images found on Watch Impress.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.