September 21, 2006 11:00 PM PDT

Sony's 20GB PS3 to feature HDMI port

Sony's forthcoming 20-gigabyte version of the PlayStation 3 video game console will feature an HDMI 1.3 output, the company announced on Friday at the Tokyo Game Show.

The port, which had been previously announced as standard on the stepped-up 60GB model, enables games to be played in full high-definition video and audio.

The company said its decision was made in part by the "sharp increase" in flat-panel televisions now sold with High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, ports.

Sony also announced that the price of the PS3 in Japan will drop to 49,980 yen ($426), including tax.

After several delays, Sony has said it will release the PS3 on Nov. 11 in Japan and Nov. 17 in the United States, two days before rival Nintendo plans to release its next-generation game console, the Wii.

In the U.S. market, the 20GB model of the PS3 will cost $499, and the stepped-up 60GB version will cost $599. Both versions will have a Blu-ray Disc optical drive inside. Xbox 360 owners will soon be able to purchase an external HD DVD drive, Blu-ray's opposing format in the next-generation high-definition video race.

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36 comments

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New Japanese Price
I'm glad Sony has decided to price down the PS3 in Japan, it has finally listened to its customers. I'm sorry for other world customers, you'll get stuck with the original price and subsidize the japanese price.

But like all new technology, I have learned to wait always for the second generation hardware. Hopefully, Sony will slash the price of the second generation PS3 to harvest more people to adopt the BR technology.
Posted by Kiyomizu (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's just to compete with the Wii in Japan
They know the Wii is probably a bigger risk in Japan than the US, so they are doing everything they can to compete with it. It's not directly related to Blu-Ray at all. Both formats are going to tank as movie downloads become more popular. Not to mention the new Warner disks that can play both, as well as the Ricoh lens that can read and write to any optical media out there. The format isn't going to matter, like DVD+R and DVD-R...the cheaper format will probably 'win', but it'll be a short victory.
Posted by Kamokazi (40 comments )
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Misleading statement
From the article:
"allows games to be played in full high-definition video and audio"

This is a lie. It could do this before with component output. HDMI just looks better than component at these high resolutions.
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not really
The HDMI is only for copy protection. DVI and component are just as capable of running 1080p content. However, you will be hard pressed to find TVs that support 1080p over anything but HDMI; however, this is not for image quality, but that HDMI includes copywrite protection in the cable.

Sony is only supporting 1080p because they have some of the first TVs to support it.
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Link Flag
Stupid it wasn't there already...
I didn't get why the 20GB version didn't have HDMI in the first place. I can't imagine that the motherboard would cost much less if it wasn't there. I mean, they'd have to make two versions of the same motherboard. One with and one without. It's to their advantage to manufacture one board for both model. It could also be a licencing issue. I'm sure you have to pay someone money to have that HDMI port and emblem on your device. In any case, this is a good thing. Now both PS3 models are future-proof when it comes to the Image Constrant Token portion of AACS.
Posted by DustoMan (77 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's about the movies.
Movie studios will never allow HD analogue versions of their products. Yes, i know, none of us own HDTV analogue recorders anyhow! But converter cards are cheap.

If you look closely, all the up-rezzing DVD players will only output HD in HDMI.

Continuing this tradition for blu-ray should be quite expected.

It's probably cheaper to have HDMI on both models than it is to produce two separate chassis.

Sony has always been pretty good at keeping the bean counters at bey, i guess they slipped a little leaving the HDMI out of the first edition.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
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What I Wonder ...
Call me a cynic, but what I wonder is did Sony make this decision because they don't want to have to fend off complaints that they sold a non-HDMI PS3 once they (Sony movie studio) turn on mandatory HDMI playback for full HD of their Blu-Ray disks?

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
HDMI support only for games, not movies?
I believe this is the case...But doesn't matter, HDMI is all about DRM.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Nope
HDMI is for both games and movies. For copy protection reasons, if you want to see your movies in 1080p... it must be over a HDMI connection.
Posted by DustoMan (77 comments )
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$599? This may be to steep for some playstation gamers.
$599.99? This may be to steep for some playstation gamers. $500+ turns the playstation brand into a high ticket component rather than a game system. Sorry kids.
Posted by 123Tutorial.com (4 comments )
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I agree . . . somewhat but $499 is ok for what you get
Considering that if you add the Premium 360 with the (optional) HD-DVD drive ($399 + $175) = $574 - good thing that HD-DVD device is optional.

Then again, the Blu-Ray drive with HDMI on the LOW END PS3, which also has a 20Gb drive and has online capability at $499 - well . . .

If you think about it -

1. You can spend $75 more on the Premium 360 and HD-DVD drive to play HD movies only - if your TV is Hi-Def and also accepts component cables (that HD TV will probably be more expensive than a HD TV with only just SVGA/RCA input and HDMI).

2. Save $100 but the 360 can only play standard DVD movies - where the $499 PS3 can play both standard DVD movies and Blu-Ray movies on either standard A/V and HDMI.

Now IF the PS3 works and has a problem-free debut than it's safe to say that the low end $499 PS3 has a lot more bang per buck than the 360 and HD-DVD combined.
Now all Sony has to do is get the Blu-Ray backers to improve the quality of the Blu-Ray movies to match the HD-DVD stuff.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
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Not a chance I'm paying $599
So what if this thing has a sub-$1000 Blu-Ray Drive? There's not a chance I'm shelling out $600 for a video game console. I'll wait a year and swoop one up when Sony realizes how ridiculous that price was.
Plus, with all the problems the Blu-Ray players have had? Makes sense to wait.
Posted by jmacPA (1 comment )
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Then buy the basic unit
$499... only missing a silver glossy font on the top and chrome
face.. missing the memory card reader.. has a smaller hard drive.
That makes it a better deal than the premium PS3. And a better
deal than an Xbox 360 (Premium, 'cause it has the hard drive) and
the HD DVD add-on. Plus it doesn't have the clutter of an UGLY
add-on on top or to the side.
Posted by MidniteRaider (94 comments )
Link Flag
It figures . . .
With M$ bringing a HD-DVD player to 360, it put a new spin on the HD media war, regarding movie distribution - Sony had to respond somehow and this was the best way to do it.

The HD-DVD option on 360 threatens to put HD-DVD content in as many homes that Sony hopes to do with PS3 on Blu-Ray. Putting the HDMI capability on the $499 PS3 system helps justify the high price for just a game machine with unproven technology - it also quite literally puts the 360 and its HD-DVD periperal in its place, since HDMI does not seem to be supported on the M$ HD-DVD device and is far superior HD delivery standard than what can be provided by composite A/V cables.

But there is a catch here -
Recent reviews of movies put on both HD formats has HD-DVD content getting better reviews; I 've seen the one movie being demo at Best Buy on both formats - I admit that the HD-DVD format looks a lot better than the Blu-ray.
One of the reason is that HD-DVD uses the latest codec instead of the Mpeg-2 standard of DVD, which Blu-Ray does.
If Sony wants Blu-ray to win this media war - it has to make Blu-Ray just as good as the current crop of HD-DVD movies or Blu-Ray might as well settle for being just used as a data storage standard.
Posted by techned (200 comments )
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RE:IT FIGURES
"I 've seen the one movie being demo at Best Buy on both formats - I admit that the HD-DVD format looks a lot better than the Blu-ray.
One of the reason is that HD-DVD uses the latest codec instead of the Mpeg-2 standard of DVD, which Blu-Ray does."

Im curious if the movie you saw in both formats were on the same TV. In theory, Blue-Ray should look twice as good as HD-DVD, since BR has twice the resolution. (1080p vs 1080i)
Posted by simonisj (1 comment )
Link Flag
Oh well
Oh well, as always Moore's Laws, will make the age of seperate independent computer gaming consoles obsolete!

As always, you pays your money and takes your choices, for how soon we forget that, when PS2 game player units, were used as a stand alone home DVD player, their optical drive readers proved to be so fragile in that role, that they failed on a regular basis!

Questions , are now appearing over possible HDMI interconnect incompatabilities between the various brandnames using these devices!

Choices, if you buy first generation, the price of cutting edge could be a costly fatal mistake!

Further, SONY now has a habitual history of making also rans! , many are heavilly laced with DRM(does anyone remember their very dodgy mini disc players!), and a majority of their goods sold today, are of very questionable quality and/or limited lifespan, eg Lithium Ion Batteries and many other on going horror stories!

They say 'a fool and his money are soon parted', so let the fun and games continue, for how long will the internet forums be flooded with complaints about these units ranging from late delivery, weak limited choice of games, to more other serious problems etc?
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
and thus
I'll not buy a 360 or a PS3. I might buy a Wii after I see how they do.
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Link Flag
not story related, but interesting as it pertains to sony
Square Enix, the makers of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are rumored to be making their own video game console.

go to game informer's website (www.gameinformer.com) for more info on that. It would really kill Sony if they lost rights to Final Fantasy because Square made their own system to put it on.
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That IS scary
ever since PS1, Sony has practically been riding on the FF series. It would be another kick in their balls if they'd also let Nin have rights to it as well, but still not Sony
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
Link Flag
If the Xbox360 premium sold for $700, this will sell for $600
Eh, well I know you guys all think $600 is a lot of money, but consider that you couldn't buy an Xbox 360 for any less than $700 off eBay for the first 2-3 months of it being sold.

Sony will sell their ps3, and all of their units will be sold out. We won't be able to get our grubby little paws on them even we could afford the $600, because I'm telling you that there are more than 2,000,000 people in the world willing/capable of shelling out $600 for this console the moment it comes out.

After 5-6 months, we'll see the price drop to $550 or $500, upon which the rest of us will be able to snatch up a premium, or a non-premium for $400.

To be honest, I think having a higher MSRP is a great idea. It'll dissuade the would be scalpers from buying a bundle and reselling them on eBay for a profit. Higher retail = smaller margins for consumer eBay resellers.

I mean think about it. If Sony decided to sell the ps3 for $200, do you really think you could get your hands on one for $200? No, you'd be paying $750 on eBay for one if you want to even get close to one in the first half year.
Posted by pyrois (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not quite that absolute
well, when supply can't meet up with demand, only those desperate enough... also with disposable income would really root for that option. The rest of the "normal" gamers would just wait for the next shipment and buy at MSRP
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
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Replacing the home computer?
Is this thing meant to replace the home computer? For such a price it should! No thanks Sony..
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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However...
Nearly everyone won't use the Blu-Ray features of the PS3, not unless it wins the war, so it is a waste of money including it in the PS3 right now. It's just a way for Sony to force their monopoly on people, much like Microsoft did with WMP and IE. Stop trying to make Sony look better than they actually are.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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Stores will have blu-ray
I've heard Target will start carrying blu-ray versions of movies after
the PS3 comes out.

If that's so it'll be easier for blu-ray to win the format war.
Posted by ethernet76 (88 comments )
Link Flag
too much!
The price is too much because some people can`t afford this comtraction,but this is my opinion.
Posted by cheeto001 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
WOW AWESOME
if anybody hasn't noticed, this is an AMAZING DEAL compared to the xbox 360. 360 gives u a 20 GB hard drive console for $400, and soon the HD-DVD player will be $200+, totaling to over $600 all together. Here, u can get a 20 GB hard drive and blu-ray player for $100 less, or 3 times the hard drive for the same price as 360 + HDDVD. In my opinion, although it seems that the xbox 360 is a better deal, it is only so b/c they are selling the 2 components separately. Also, while the ps3 packages it all in a beautiful console, the 360 will have 2 components that look ugly when stacked or set side by side. If the xbox 360 came with a built in HD-DVD for the price of $400, then that would be an amazing bargain. Unfortunately, the ps3 has a faster processor, better graphics, and a blu ray player. I think xbox does not stand a chance at winning this battle.
Posted by crazy_balla790 (1 comment )
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360 has its pros
some1 who's developed games for both the PS3 and 360 claims that programming for the 360 and using its tools are dev friendly and streamlined. By contrast, the PS2 (that's 'two') took devs 3 years to make the most out of not b/c it was new, but it was complex and complicated for many of the wrong reasons. The PS3 isn't any better in that respect.

That and the 360 being out for a year now should afford it some price driops and better footing and hold on the market
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
Link Flag
nope, they don't
This generation of gaming machines is set to make a videgame console a necessity in a person's home as part of an entertainment package.

You have three companies who make a system.

Sony: Giant right now.

MS: Giant in computers, trying to do so in gaming as well.

Nintendo: The former giant in gaming, now reduced to 3rd place.

I see Sony winning out again. However, I do see that while Sony wins, they lose much of the dominance generated by the PS2. Microsoft makes a small gain on them, and Nintendo makes up alot of ground as they bring more people into the game market and put themselves in a position to gain even more ground in the next console war.

Sony and MS went for graphics, Nintendo went for innovation. Sony and MS both went for the first choice console. Nintendo went for the second choice in those households and first choice in people new to gaming's house with their much, much lower price.

Interesting to see how far Sony falls. I'd like to see Nintendo lead the market again.

Now if only Nintendo can keep up their momentum gained from E3 and from the recent games list published for launch (a nice list, with plenty of third party support0.
Posted by techguy83 (295 comments )
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