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PS3: Explained

Leave it to Ken Kutaragi, the mad scientist Sony calls the Father of the PlayStation, to drop a bombshell. The wait for new information about Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 console has been long in coming, but Mr Kutaragi has finally broken Sony's corporate-wide silence about the new machine - and his words are leaving craters.

The first bit of info? The PlayStation 3 will not launch in Spring 2006, as originally planned. Granted, calendar-savvy folks gamers who've noticed that it's already spring '06 and we don't yet have PS3s might have guessed this, but it's nice to hear it officially stated.

The new release date for PlayStation 3? November 2006. Worldwide.

On face value, the November release (the 11th is rumored, but could not be confirmed) might look as likely as Sony's original, close-your-eyes-and-wish-it-were-true spring release. We haven't seen much in the way of games since PS3's unveiling last May, and Sony waited a long time to own up to the delay - you could be forgiven for fearing a repeat performance in October. But there are certain details that can back up the new fall launch.



For starters, Sony is a victim of new technology. The Blu-ray Disc drive - which all PS3 games will use - has caused real problems, because the process of getting the full specifications of the device finalized and approved by industry types has been sluggish.

But these specs have now been completed and should be approved before the end of April. Similar hitches came from the HDMI technology - that's High Definition Multimedia Interface - and in simple terms it's how PS3 pipes visuals, audio and other data into your HDTV.

What's really making us believe in the November launch is this: Sony has apparently delivered an order to a Taiwanese manufacturer, requesting mass production of PS3's circuit board - a fundamental part of the PS3's architecture. Production of retail systems is due to start in August, so we're positive the PS3 will arrive in the US in time for the holidays.

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