After having the next gen video game market all to itself for a year, the Xbox 360 will face its first major competition when the PlayStation 3 launches on November 17.
Weighing a hefty five kilograms, the PS3 will use Blu-ray high-definition discs for its games and will also play HD movies issued on that format.
The PS3 is also said to have features that minimize heat and noise — which are commonly complained about features of the Xbox 360.
Innovation isn't cheap, however, as the PS3 will cost $549 (with a 20GB hard drive) and $659 (with a 60GB hard drive). The Xbox 360 costs a relatively less expensive $399.
Nintendo will also be entering the foray in 2006 with its Wii system. At press time, no official release date had been set, though it is expected to cost around $280.
The games industry is worth $25 billion and Sony currently holds 70 per cent of that market.
Update: July 19, 2018The PlayStation 3 (PS3) was considered incredibly expensive at the time. With inflation, the 60GB console would cost $801.37 CAD in 2018 — keep in mind that was for console and one controller only. Games and additional accessories were extra.
Sony was also taking a major loss on each console sale, as the 60GB model’s initial production cost was estimated to be $840 USD — that’s $1,050.39 USD with inflation today, or $1,394.28 CAD. By 2009, technological improvements and redesigns brought production costs down by about 75 per cent from the initial run.
After years of PlayStation 3 financial losses, Sony reported its first profit in Q3 2008, and eventually sold over 80 million units worldwide.
About Robert J. Ballantyne
Robert Ballantyne is Artsculture's Creative Director. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star and other media outlets.