Sony set to launch at least 21 titles for PS 3

Dean Takahashi
San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Sony showed off its initial titles for the upcoming PlayStation 3 on Thursday and made its pitch for why it should retain its throne as the king of video games.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant said at least 21 games will be available when it launches the system in the U.S. on Nov. 17, dispelling some fears that many of the games were running behind schedule.

"Now the only thing left to wait for is Nov. 17," said Kaz Hirai, chief executive of Sony's U.S. game division. "This is the most advanced computer entertainment system that has ever been created."

Featuring titles such as "Resistance: The Fall of Man," the games reflect the realistic graphics made possible by the custom-designed Cell processor in the console, which Sony said is more than 40 times more powerful than the processor in the PlayStation 2.

Sony said many more titles are in the works. The games feature details such as sweat pouring down the face of players in basketball games and battles with thousands of soldiers.

Sony also unveiled details of the PlayStation Network, which will allow players to fight against others over the Internet and purchase additional games and entertainment. While Microsoft is charging for online play with its 4 million strong Xbox Live online network, Sony will allow gamers to play online games for free.

Sony estimates that it can sell 1 million to 1.2 million consoles in North America by the end of the year. That estimate is far reduced from Sony's earlier estimates, creating concerns in the game industry that the shortage during the holidays will be worse than gamers experienced last year with the similarly scarce Microsoft Xbox 360.

Sony will charge $599 for a premium version of the PS 3 with wireless networking, a larger hard disk drive, and memory card slots, while a slimmed-down version will cost $499. That compares to $299 and $399 for the Xbox 360 and $250 for Nintendo's Wii console, which launches Nov. 19 in the U.S.

Games for the PS 3 will cost $59.99, the same as the Xbox 360 but more than the $49.99 Wii games. As with the Xbox 360, gamers will be able to purchase and download new and older games via the PlayStation Store.

Some extras will cost more money. A wireless game controller will cost $49.99, a memory card adaptor will be $14.99 and a remote control for the Blu-ray movies will be $24.99.





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