PS3 Hype Machine
Posted on Saturday, May 27 @ 12:13:14 Eastern by Duke_Ferris
3/22/05 - GDC 2006
Hot on the heels of the awkward Japanese press conference last week, Sony's Phil Harrison opened the 2006 Game Developer's Conference with a keynote address that echoed many of the facts given in Japan while delving a bit further into the company's online plans for the PS3.
Currently coded the "Playstation Network Platform" and being co-developed with Sony Online Entertainment, the network will launch with the PS3 in November. It will be a free service, though much like Xbox Live, it will contain an online shop in which users will be able to buy new content for their games or even download games directly to the hard drive to launch without a disc. The 'micropayment' method pioneered by Microsoft will also be a feature, as will standards like matchmaking, video, avatars and voice-chat.
A few other interesting tidbits popped up during a Q&A session after the keynote, the most notable of which is the fact that PS3 games will apparently be region-free. In other words, a U.S. gamer will be able to play European games on a U.S. PS3, and vice versa. Illegal piracy rings, rejoice...if you can figure out how to pirate Blue-Ray discs, you evildoers, you.
Otherwise, Harrison and Co. didn't make any really Earth-shattering announcements. Indeed, the system will be fully backwards compatible at launch, and that crazy-looking controller unveiled at last year's E3 is NOT the final design. We'll see that at the upcoming E3 convention in May.
Since no video or screenshots were allowed and since the company has yet to put out any official press release, that's about all we know...for now.