PS3 to use Blu-ray, PS2 gets new slimline look

PlayStation 3 will use the Blu-ray Disc format, while a new, slimmer PlayStation 2 will go on sale internationally at the end of October, Sony Computer Entertainment announced (SCEI) on Tuesday.

SCEI is considering making the PlayStation 3 compatible with the dual-layer 54GB Blu-ray Disc ROM and also smaller versions, for example the 25G byte capacity disc, according to an SCEI spokeswoman.

The use of Blu-ray Disc will help push the format, touted as a successor to DVD, into the market, according to Sony spokesman, Taro Takamine.

"Historically, PlayStation helped DVD penetration, and the new PlayStation using the Blu-ray Disc format means that there is very, very strong support for Blu-ray," he said.

While the release date of PlayStation 3 has yet to be officially announced, analysts and industry watchers believe the game console will be in shops by the middle of 2006.

Meanwhile, SCEI is releasing six smaller, lighter versions of its PlayStation 2 game console. Two versions will be available in North America, as will one version for Europe, one for Australia and New Zealand, and one for the UK. The retail price for the US market is US$149.99, and for the European market Euro 149, according to a company statement.

The internal volume of the PlayStation 2 has been reduced by about 75 per cent for the new versions, and its overall weight has been halved. The new models are 23 centimetres high, 15.2cm wide and 2.8cm thick (compared to 7.8cm thick for the current PlayStation 2). They use the same DVD discs as the existing models, but now each has an Ethernet port for network gaming, the company said. The North American models also have a modem port, but the other versions don't.

According to the company, 1.25 million PlayStation 2 units have been sold in Australia since its launch in November 2000.

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Paul Kallender

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