Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today that it would release the PlayStation 3 in North America on November 17, 2006, as part of a worldwide simultaneous launch. The PS3 will initially be available in two "Clear Black" configurations — a $499 model with a 20GB hard drive and a $599 model with a 60GB hard drive. In addition, Sony unveiled a completely new motion-sensing controller for the PS3, which features an integrated six-axis sensing system that measures roll, pitch and yaw, as well as side-to-side and vertical acceleration.
(20GB left, 60GB right)
From Sony's announcement:
PS3 is the most advanced computer system that serves as a platform to enjoy next generation computer entertainment content in the home, realized through the combination of Cell and RSX processors, in addition to the playability of a vast catalog of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software titles.
Having Giga-bit Ethernet and a pre-installed hard disk drive (HDD) as standard in PS3, users will be able to download a variety of content as well as access on-line games and services over the network.
Equipped with basic input/output ports, PS3 supports a broad range of displays from conventional NTSC/PAL standard TVs to the latest full HD (1080i/1080p) flat panel displays, offering the joy of the most advanced computer entertainment content to homes around the world. For use in living rooms, maximum heat and noise reduction has been achieved with a noise level equivalent to that of the current slim-line PlayStation 2.
With the overwhelming computational power of the Cell processor, PS3 is capable of playing back content from Blu-ray (BD) disc at a bit rate of multiplex 48Mbps with ease, the maximum bit rate defined in BD standards.
UPDATE: IGN reports on missing features in the 20GB PS3 model. "We noticed that the PS3 with the 20 gigabyte hard drive seemed to lack HDMI support. This seems to be confirmed by an offical press release from SCEA, which indicates via comparison between the two systems. However, it also indicates that the 20 gigabyte system won't have Memory Stick, SD or Compact Flash reading capability or WiFi support. Even worse, it appears that rumble doesn't appear to be included with the new six axis sensing controller."