E3 - Sony to ship PlayStation 3 in November

Sony has finally spilled the news: PlayStation 3 will ship November 17 in the U.S. priced at US$499 for the version with a 20GB hard drive, US$599 for a 60GB hard drive.

Sony's announcement came here at E3, where Sony Computer Entertainment built PlayStation 3 suspense for more than an hour at its opening-day event, held at Stage 15 at the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles.

"PS3 is not an incremental upgrade," Sony President Haz Hirai assured the eager crowd."PS3 is the most ambitious project we've undertaken."

One of the more interesting announcements from this afternoon's event: Sony introduced the final design for its PS3 game controller. The new controller looks familiar in shape and size, but it's lighter, and it uses Bluetooth wireless technology in lieu of wires. The twist: Inside, it has 3D accelerometers and motion sensors to translate your physical motions with the controller to your actions on screen, essentially turning static mechanics into kinetic mechanics.

The controller has six degrees of freedom: It can maneuver through the X, Y, and Z axis, so you can rotate, pitch, and roll through most all aspects of gameplay. Sony demonstrated the controller on the game Warhawk.

Other news: Two new titles for PS3: First, from Sony Computer Entertainment's London studios comes Eight Days. Sony showed a lively video clip of a shootup by a roadside cafe, but offered few plot details. Next on deck was Naughty Dog, another testosterone-heavy romp, this time in a jungle adventure. While the lead character's movements in this short clip show how far graphics in games has come, well, I don't think Hollywood's actors have much to fear...yet.

It's interesting to note that the PlayStation 2 is not dead. More than 200 new titles are coming for that console before the end of the year, with nearly 20 expected to be introduced here at E3.

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