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Friday 22 September 2006
PlayStation 3 is about to dawn (in the US and Japan, at least), and though there was little fire in Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi's talk on the topic at the company's Tokyo Game Show conference, which took place in the early hours of this morning, there's a clear sense of optimism... which runs counter to the general sense of despondency surrounding the console among gamers.
So that's the cheery news. Sony is convinced PS3 is a device with a big future.
The presentation began with a small titbit for gamers: four trailers of sequels in popular franchises on PS3. Ridge Racer 7, Virtua Fighter 5, Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire and Final Fantasy XIII are all showcase titles for the system (well, maybe not Gundam - not in the UK, anyway). But there was nothing new - the trailer for FFXIII was the same one that was shown five months ago and we learned no fresh info about the other games.
Above: Ken talks up the PS3 while showing off the latest Virtua Fighter 5 footage. Unfortunately excellent-looking games like this weren't the focus of the presentation
One bit of interesting news that was revealed was that the low-end PS3 package will contain the HDMI video interface (at E3, Sony said that would only appear in the high-end package). This means that any PS3 will be able to interface directly with HDTVs, so it's actually very good news.
There was also an implication that Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx 16 games will be available for PS3 - on top of the promise of downloadable PSone and PS2 games.
A pricing announcement for Japan also pegged the low-end system at 50,000 yen including sales tax - or about £225. We were told by Sony PR, however, that this announcement doesn't cover Europe.
Unfortunately, when we put it all together, the gaming-centric portion of the press conference took up maybe 10 minutes. The rest was pure blue sky - exactly what Sony doesn't need on the eve of its system's launch in US and Japan. Hopefully the real proof will be on the show floor in the form of playable games.