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E3 - Sony Drops PS2 To $149, Shows PSP, Hints At PS3 326

JSDopefish writes "Not much of a surprise, but Sony announced today at their E3 press conference that they're lowering the price of the PlayStation 2 console to $149, including the network adapter. That matches the already in-place $149 price of the Xbox system. The GameCube remains at $99." Elsewhere, jasoncart writes "Sony has just unveiled their Playstation Portable specs to the enthralled masses at their pre-E3 conference in LA. The result is the first photographs of the new device (alt. link), confirmation of the impressive specifications (Wi-Fi ahoy!) and hints on the games we'll be playing on the PSP, including 'clips of Gran Turismo... Wipeout [and] Metal Gear Solid'." 1UP also discusses mentions of the PlayStation 3 in the press conference, including "some rather grand predictions for the future of Sony's game console efforts."
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E3 - Sony Drops PS2 To $149, Shows PSP, Hints At PS3

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  • Familiar? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bizpile ( 758055 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:19PM (#9120108) Homepage
    Reminds me of the Sega Game Gear of so long ago.
    • It looks like my Zodiac too. With improvements (the analog stick has a non-skid surface). Maybe Sony is using the Zodiac as a free beta?

  • More info on the PSP (Score:5, Informative)

    by ProudClod ( 752352 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:20PM (#9120119)
    For more info on the PSP, including a look at the specs in depth, we've done an article over at GE.

    Sony PSP Specs Information []

    Close examination of the specs seems to suggest some odd things - most importantly, it looks like Sony will be implementing region codes after all.

    (I had submitted this article, but it looks like with this one FPed, my one will get lost)
  • Nintendo DS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:20PM (#9120126)
    And Nintendo finished their thing where they introduced the DS.

    It's got both bluetooth local play for up to 16 players but also supports WiFi for internet play. Two slots for DS carts and GB/GBA carts, touch screen, 3D support (with Super Mario 64 and a 3D Metroid game on the way for it.)

    To be honest, watching the demonstrations of it give me high hopes for the DS.
    • Re:Nintendo DS (Score:4, Interesting)

      by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:45PM (#9120407) Homepage Journal
      Won't it be cool if you were able to sit on the recliner with the DS, connecting on-line, playing multiplayer wirlessly, and using the touch screen as an OSD to chat? I can't believe how overwhelmingly cool that is compared to what Sony's shown today.
    • Re:Nintendo DS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RickHunter ( 103108 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:35PM (#9120836)

      Even just looking at the pictures and reading that it supports Bluetooth gave me high hopes for it. Unlike Sony's PSP, this device actually looks nice, and even though the screen's smaller and the CPU is less powerful, the touchscreen and backwards-compatibility seem to seal the deal. I'm sure the Sony fanboys are going to prattle endlessly about how Nintendo's doomed, but I think the DS, especially since its going to be parallel with the SP, has a real shot at success.

      Especially since Square's already confirmed to be making games for it, among others...

      And that the Bluetooth support means that you could, in theory, play multiplayer against GB games ported to PDAs, Apple laptops, or even some mobile phones! If Nintendo has their act together there, that could be a massive advantage for them.

  • by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:20PM (#9120127)
    I know the financial reasons for it, but why must every damn portable system have so many ports from their non-portable cousins?

    Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo... make some new games for launch! Don't just sell the system with "play your console games that you've already paid for on your portable!".

    I don't mind a few ports, but if you look at the GBA it seems like a majority of the games are ports/remakes/pokemon. If the PSP will be the same I will great it less then enthusiastically. At least the GBA is $100
  • wi-fi ahoy? (Score:5, Funny)

    by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <<splisken06> <at> <>> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:21PM (#9120142)
    Arghh, there be the dreaded wireless networking protocol, mateys. Sharpen your harpoons and we'll untether our gaming devices yet!

    What precisely would place wi-fi into the sea-faring realm?

  • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:22PM (#9120158) Homepage Journal
    Shouldn't that read, Server Error in '/.' Application.?
  • The one [] that's changing everything. :-)
  • Slashdotted... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:24PM (#9120193)
    So here's the article:

    With Sony's pre-show conference now in full swing the Playstation Portable has been fully unveiled to the awed masses. As well as the first images of the wee beast in action, we've news herein on the specifications and other such details, including clues to the titles that we'll be playing on this device Sony claim can produce full-motion "3D-CG" visuals similar to the PS2.
    The PSP will initially be available in black, and will include a 16:9 ratio TFT LCD wide screen, centred on a sleek, ergonomically designed controller that Sony hope will fit snugly in the hand. The dimensions are 170mm x 74mm x 23mm and it will reportedly weigh 260g. The screen will support the full sixteen-million or so colours of the spectrum, in a resolution of 480 x 272. The positioning of the PSP's D-Pad and buttons are apparently based on the Playstation's - for convenience - and the device will incorporate stereo speakers, a headphone jack and volume/brightness controls.

    Connectors offered include a full 802.11b wireless LAN option (for connection in the home and to the wider network), as well as USB 2.0. The wireless functionality will allow several PSPs to connect and enjoy multiplayer gaming or take the player online. Data will be downloadable wirelessly, via USB, or using the Sony Memory Stick compatibility offered.

    PSP software will come in Universal Media Disc format, which supports 1.8gb of data, despite being only 60mm in diameter. This format will offer support for movie and music files as well as games and other software, and a robust anti-piracy encryption system is touted.

    Here's the cold hard technical truths of this prodigious new handheld:

    Product Name: PlayStationPortable (PSP)
    Color: Black
    Dimensions: Approx. 170 mm (L) x 74 mm (W) x 23 mm (D)
    Weight: Approx. 260 g (including battery)
    CPU: PSP CPU (System clock frequency 1~333MHz)
    Main Memory: 32MB
    Embedded DRAM: 4MB
    Display: 4.3 inch, 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD
    480 x 272 pixel (16.77 million colors)
    Max. 200 cd/m2 (with brightness control)
    Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers
    Main Input/Output: IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)
    USB 2.0 (Target)
    Memory StickTM PRO Duo
    IR Remote (SIRCS)
    Disc Drive: UMD Drive (Playback only)
    Profile: PSP Game
    UMD Audio
    UMD Video
    Main Connectors: DC IN 5V
    Terminals for charging built-in battery
    Headphone/Microphone/Control connector
    Keys/Switches: Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
    Analog pad
    Enter keys (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
    Left, Right keys
    POWER On/Hold/Off switch
    Brightness control, Sound Mode, Volume +/-
    Wireless LAN On/Off switch
    UMD Eject
    Power: Built-in lithium-ion battery, AC adaptor
    Access Control: Region Code, Parental Control

    Headphone with remote commander
    Headphone with remote commander and microphone
    External battery pack
    E3 Prototype Exhibition: USB Camera for PSP
    USB GPS for PSP
    USB Keyboard for PSP

    UMD Specifications
    Dimensions: Approx. 65 mm (W) x 64 mm (D) x 4.2 mm (H)
    Weight: Approx. 10g
    Disc Diameter: 60 mm
    Maximum Capacity: 1.8GB (Single-sided, dual layer)
    Laser wavelength: 660nm (Red laser)
    Encryption: AES 128bit
    Profile: PSP Game (full function)
    UMD Audio (codec ATRAC3plus, PCM, (MPEG4 AVC))
    UMD Video (codec MPEG4 AVC, ATRAC3plus, Caption PNG)
    The lucky blighters in Japan will be getting their paws on the PSP at the end of 2004, whilst North American and European gamers will have to wait until the Spring of 2005 for local launches. The following 99 firms have also pledged their support of the new device:

  • by MonkeyCookie ( 657433 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:25PM (#9120197)

    The web site is already toast. Looks like someone is running ASP.NET

    Server Error in '/' Application.
    Runtime Error
    Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

    Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a <customErrors> tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "Off".

    <!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->

    <customErrors mode="Off"/>

    Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's <customErrors> configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

    <!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->

    <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="mycustompage.htm"/>
  • by Humorously_Inept ( 777630 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:25PM (#9120198) Homepage
    My N-Gage just scuttled back into the comforting environment of my pocket. I think it's crying.
  • Workstation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by leandrod ( 17766 ) <l@du[ ] ['tra' in gap]> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:27PM (#9120224) Homepage Journal

    Not playing games, I was still interested in the workstation. As it seems the Cell processor is some variant of PowerPC, and given the current state of GNU/Linux in both Sony entertainment and IBM, it seems like a sure bet that this workstation will mark one more step by IBM in trying to validate GNU/Linux on the PowerPC as a general purpose platform rivalling Wintel.

    Were I still in Europe I would hopefully already have an IBM POP-based Pegaso or A1 system running Debian GNU/Linux on the PowerPC. Sony seems to base their PS2 port of GNU/Linux on Red Hat. Perhaps the Sony Cell workstation will reach my country before the POP systems do.

    While a port rivalling Wintel can only be a good thing, and perhaps may help validate GNU/Linux as a platform and give it a better competitive advantage agains MS, it still remains to be seen how much freedom will benefit, given the doubtful records of Sony (DRM, crippled PS2 GNU/Linux) and IBM (soft patents).

  • Swoon... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobej1977 ( 580278 ) * <> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:29PM (#9120232) Homepage Journal
    I realize how deep my geekiness really runs when I see things like the PSP. Were there cave men at the other end of history that couldn't wait to get their hands on the latest in sharp sticks?
  • WiFi? hrm.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by d4rkmoon ( 749223 )
    Battery life must drain pretty quickly out of that. WiFi is a power hog. Or else they're sporting some new fangled battery pack. That, or you're getting some major suckage on range.
  • Addtional links (Score:5, Informative)

    by doctor_no ( 214917 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:32PM (#9120277)
    Here are some additional links with pictures in case of /. effect:

    Gamespot []
    GameAsylum []
    IGN PSP []
    Reuters []

    and info about Movies and Music on the PSP []

  • Mirror of Images []

    Just incase you get that nasty "Server Error in '/' Application."

  • SCE == Vaporware (Score:5, Informative)

    by CMiYC ( 6473 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:36PM (#9120316) Homepage
    I'd like to point out that SCE is really good at promoting vaporware. They *always* announce incredible specs and features with their products, but then change over time.

    These are just fresh on my mind... I'm sure there are older examples:

    Remember how the PS2 was going to ship with a hard drive?

    How about the LCD panel or AOL?

    All the cool features that were going to be included in America's version of the HDD... web browser, music jukebox, etc... nope.

    The PSX with all its great features... scaled back at the last minute.

    I'd love to believe that the PS3 and PSP will come out with the features and specs promised, but I just don't think it'll happen.

    I guess we'll see what happens. Of course, despite my negativity, I'm sure I'll end up buying a PSP to go with my PS2... ;)
    • Re:SCE == Vaporware (Score:4, Informative)

      by doctor_no ( 214917 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:07PM (#9120591)
      Sony NEVER said they were going to ship the PS2 with a Hard drive.

      You must be thinking of that rumor that Sony was going to add the HDD for the US PS2 in response to the Xbox (when that rumor began the PS2 was already launced in Japan).

      Later it was proven to be just a another stupid rumor. You have learn to tell the difference between rumors and actual news.
  • ps3 workstation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <mdinsmore&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:37PM (#9120323) Homepage Journal

    Article states that IBM and Sony are collaborating to develop a workstation, which will be used to develop games for the PS3. IBM will supply the OS, Sony will supply the development tools, etc. Seems like the emphasis will be on game-development, but will have other uses like movie editing etc (and who will develop applications for that process remains unsaid--Adobe? Avid?)

    Question is, why redevelop the wheel? Why not use G5s from Apple? Or, G5s from Apple with a "PS3" personality PCI card? Wouldn't that be a whole lot cheaper?
    • Re:ps3 workstation (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AltaMannen ( 568693 )
      I think they mean development tool like the ps2 tool, which is a linux pc you can't access (no video out, no keyboard or mouse interface other than the ps2 USB & firewire) but that handles debugging over LAN. You still need another computer to interface with the machine.

      They are not in the business of making cheap development systems - the more expensive to the developer the fewer low-budget developers.
    • Re:ps3 workstation (Score:2, Insightful)

      by El_Ge_Ex ( 218107 )
      hmmm... they (Sony, IBM, and Toshiba) plan to have a development station available sometime this fall.

      Meanwhile, Microsoft already and developers using G5's to develop for the X-Box2.

      Considering it can sometimes take two years for a game development project from start to finish, who should start to be worried???

      Just a thought,
    • It's a DevKit machine.

      It better BE a giant, bloated workstation version of the console it's being used to develop for.
    • Re:ps3 workstation (Score:4, Informative)

      by MJOverkill ( 648024 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:57PM (#9120495)
      No, for several reasons.

      1. When buying from Apple (or from any middleware company, for that matter), you will end up paying extra because of the markup so that Apple can make money. IBM and Sony both have the capabilities to produce their own hardware systems, which is ultimately cheaper in the long run.

      2. The G5 processor is IBM's chip, not Apples. IBM already has the hardware to make their own systems using the PPC 970 (G5) processor. Again, they do not need to go through the middleman and pay the mark up if they want to use a PPC 970 based system.

      3. The cell processor will be used in many more systems than just the PS3. An operating system and development platform will be needed to develop for the new platform. It's in IBM's interest to develop these tools quickly, and preferably long before it launches its own cell processor based produces.

      And finally...
      4. Developers need a test system to run and debug their programs on. It is much easier to use a native system than to use emulation on a completely different platform.
      • A volume system (Power Mac) plus Apple markup is still cheaper than a low-volume exotic workstation.

        The article says that the Cell workstation is not the PS3 developer system.
  • by LilMikey ( 615759 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:42PM (#9120377) Homepage
    Yes, they slaughter the GBA and Gamepark but those were fairly underpowered on release. Compare it to something like the Zodiac it doesn't beat it on any field except the 1.8gig disk.

    We all know it's going to be the games that make the system... so I'm sure this thing will be stunningly successful. As for the specs, it's almost exactly what I was expecting at the price-point, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ndogg ( 158021 ) <<the.rhorn> <at> <>> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:45PM (#9120410) Homepage Journal
    I wonder what the battery life will be like. That's been a major factor in Nintendo's dominance and if Sony doesn't get that right, they're going to be squashed in this area like everyone else.
  • I wonder how much Shock and drop tests they have done.

    I'd be affraid to drop it after shelling out $250.
  • by b00y4 ( 723478 )
    I'm a little worried about the placement of the d-pad and the buttons. In the pictures they appear to be located right at the edge of the unit. It appears as though you'll have to hold it in your fingers rather than letting it rest in your palms to be able to operate the buttons.
  • Sony/PSP Owned (Score:5, Informative)

    by lotsofno ( 733224 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:57PM (#9120492)
    DS [] (2 high res shots):

    WarioWare Inc. DS, & Super Mario 64x4 screens []
    WarioWare, Inc. DS: One screen isn't big enough to contain Wario's greed and ego. He appears on the top screen and drops boxes to the bottom one, where they open an assortment of wild mini-games. Use the stylus and touch screen to drag a net and catch some fish, or to cut a rope to drop a cage around a duck. Players might have to erase or draw pictures, or slice at food that gets thrown at them. Finish as many mini-games in 35 seconds as possible. The game features the same good humor and fast pace that are hallmarks of the WarioWare franchise.
    Super Mario 64x4: The landscape and the characters all look familiar. This is the opening castle area of Super Mario 64, only with a few DS twists thrown in. Up to four players can link up using the wireless capabilities. Players move familiar characters like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Wario around the 3-D landscape, exploring and looking for stars. While one screen shows the player's character position, the other provides an overall map of the area. Touch a spot on the screen to pop the camera over to another player's position, or to take a close-up look at the castle.
    Metroid Prime: Hunters, & Pictochat screens []
    Metroid Prime: Hunters: This amazing first-person battle game uses wireless technology to connect up to four players simultaneously (in the E3 demo version). Each player gets a Metroid suit of a different color, and then tries to destroy the three opponents. Touch the stylus to the bottom screen to rotate the camera, aim and fire, or to transform into a Morph Ball. The game features the same artwork, sound, graphics, architecture and ambience found in the huge hit Metroid Prime.
    PictoChat: Up to 16 players (two in the E3 demo version) can use the wireless functions to link together and exchange instant messages or drawings. The bottom screen shows a standard keyboard, while instant messages from other users appear in the top screen. Players can type text messages using the keyboard, use the stylus to send messages in their own handwriting or simply draw and transmit a picture. If another user sends a picture, the recipient can modify it and send it back. Play a game of wireless virtual hangman or send covert messages to other users.
    Other 1st party demos they will be showing includes Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing DS, NEW Super Mario Bros., Nintendogs


    Advance Wars: Under Fire screens []

    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes quicktime movie []

    MATURE ZELDA screens []
  • Whoa flashback! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by los furtive ( 232491 ) <ChrisLamothe@gmai l . com> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:59PM (#9120521) Homepage

    Am I the only one who thought this looks just like the Atari Lynx []?

    Oh how I miss my Lynx.

  • by BRock97 ( 17460 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:04PM (#9120575) Homepage
    Check out the following image []!

    Look at all those poor cross-eyed people! Who in their right mind would sacrifice their eyes for that little handheld?!

    Navin Johnson is probably rolling in his grave!
  • OMG, the PSP's about the sexiest thing I've seen today (hope the wife doesn't see this...). I love good clean attractive design. Like the iPod, it has a look that just whispers "i am cool, buy me."

    If the PSP has the goods in terms of games and performance, then Sony has just renewed its license to print money. In the US style is important, but in Japan it's essential. I wouldn't be too surprised if the Nintendo DS goes back to the drawing board for some work before release.

    I never really liked the PS2 des
  • Some thoughts... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hellasboy ( 120979 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:15PM (#9120676)
    Battery life has always been the killer on portable systems. The turboexpress had a color screen before any other portable and rivaled the systems of the time (basically a shrunk down tg16). but it was expensive and drained batteries quickly. The atari lynx had a color screen but ate batteries even worse than the game gear, and of course the game gear. all superior systems to the game boy of their respective eras and all dead within a few years.

    Rumors have it that the PSP has 2-2.5 hours of game playing time. How much time with the audio turned up? How much less with 802.11b enabled? Also, it's not too portable considering its size. If the dpad and buttons areas would have folded up to protect the screen, well, it would be an improvement in portability. (I expect a check from you, sony).

    The DS seems nice but looks horrible. What's up with the extremely rounded edges? The top screen that utilizes the ARM-9 chip should have used a larger screen. If I was a designing student, this would be something I would crank out the night before it was due. The buttons are tiny. Sizewise it looks to be about a little smaller than the PSP.

    Overall, the DS will have backward compatibility, 100$ cheaper, no region encoding, graphics just slightly less than the PSP. No word on battery life or media type of the new format.
    The PSP will be able to play movies, mp3, horrid battery life, region encoding, 100$ more expensive, and slightly better graphics.

    Other portables have offered to do more than the game boys of their generations and they've all failed. I think that the outcome will really depend on the DS. If the DS has a strong start and really takes advantage of the 2 screens, then I don't think we will see the PSP last long.
  • Eye Toy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:22PM (#9120717) Homepage Journal
    Is there anything like EyeToy [] for anything but the PlayStation2? IMHO, this is the greatest entertainment device ever, and just might put most aerobics instructors out of business -- you play with your entire body and an hour or two provide quite a workout...

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."