Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the launch of the much-anticipated PLAYSTATION )3 (PS3) computer entertainment system, the company’s groundbreaking next generation computer entertainment system, for sale immediately in North America. In addition to the PS3 hardware, a software line up of more than 20 first- and third-party titles will be available at retailers nationwide.

PS3 is available at retailers nationwide in two configurations for consumers. One features a 20-GB hard disk drive (HDD) and carries a suggested retail price of $499, while the second features a 60-GB HDD and built in Wi-Fi adapter and multiple memory card slots for $599. At the heart of PS3 is the Cell Broadband Engine(TM), one of the most-advanced computer processors in the world, that enables massive floating point calculation, and Blu-ray Disc (BD) drive, providing a true High Definition (1080p)* next-generation gaming and movie experience in the home, as well as up to 50 GB of data capacity for video game developers to store content — five times the capacity of DVD.

“With today’s launch of PS3, we are officially ushering in a new era in true next-generation entertainment for homes all across North America,” said Kaz Hirai, president and CEO of SCEA. “The innovative PS3 system features powerful technologies and capabilities that have never been brought together in one system, including the Cell Broadband Engine, BD drive, HDD and online connectivity as standard features of every system. The results are breathtaking new interactive worlds to explore, eye-popping multimedia functionality, and a fully integrated online experience — all in high- definition clarity. The value we are providing consumers with PS3 is beyond compare.”

But the technological advances don’t just stop in the system itself, they are also found in the controller. The PS3 system’s innovative, new SIXAXIS wireless controller allows gamers to physically turn, twist, and bank their controllers to command the on-screen action. Every PS3 also comes equipped with an HDMI output for the best connection possible to high- definition displays, supporting Full-HD resolution up to 1080p for both games and movies*. Built-in network capability means that all PS3 owners can enjoy online game play and services, such as Web browsing through the PlayStation Network and downloadable content through the PlayStation Store, immediately. Additionally, the first half million PS3 systems shipped in North America will include one of this summer’s biggest blockbuster hits from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” starring Will Ferrell, on high-definition BD format.

“We’re thrilled that PlayStation fans are anxious to get their hands on PS3 and are working around the clock to meet that demand with additional shipments during the busy holiday season and beyond,” said Jack Tretton, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer of SCEA. “With the incredible technology and value packed into PS3, we expect rapid adoption of the system around the world, and we are ready to support that market growth.”

Sales of PS3 began early this morning across the country, with consumers waiting in line to be the first to purchase the system. At the Sony Style retail outlet in New York City and the PlayStation store in San Francisco, Calif., thousands of fans lined the streets on November 16 waiting to be among the first owners of PS3 as it went on sale at midnight. Celebrity appearances by Grammy Award-winner Ludacris and Chapelle Show’s Charlie Murphy entertained the New York crowds, while musical act Angels and Airwaves rocked throughout the night in San Francisco. Members of the press seeking photographs or video of PS3 launch events should contact SCEA public relations at: or 1-650-655-8025.

At launch and throughout the holidays more than 20 first- and third-party PS3 software titles across today’s most popular genres will also be released alongside the hardware. This is one of the most robust libraries of launch titles yet seen for a computer entertainment system, with titles including Resistance: Fall of Man(TM), Genji: Days of the Blade and NBA ’07, published by SCEA, available immediately for less than $60.

Developed by Insomniac Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Ratchet & Clank franchise, Resistance: Fall of Man is a gripping first-person action game developed exclusively for the PS3 system. Set in a frightening, alternate 20th-century reality, Resistance: Fall of Man capitalizes on PS3’s superior processing power to deliver a graphically-arresting, unique blend of harrowing military action and unnerving horror.

Another exclusive title for PS3, Genji: Days of the Blade unveils beautiful next-generation visuals and sword-wielding game play to expand on the historical accounts of feudal Japan. Players unfold an epic tale of a warrior’s honor that promises to deliver a breath-taking experience on the PS3 system.

Also found only on PS3 is NBA ’07, developed by SCEA’s San Diego Studio, which showcases detailed and lifelike graphics supported in Full-HD at 1080p resolution* at a blazing fast 60 frames per second. NBA ’07 delivers a life-like hard court experience with advanced artificial intelligence (AI), realistic character movements, online functionality, and interaction with the new motion-sensitive SIXAXIS wireless controller.

Other titles that will be available by the end of the year for purchase and download through SCEA’s online PlayStation Store include Blast Factor, Lemmings , Go! Sudoku, and Go! Swizzleblock. Other downloadable content available on November 17th include free movie trailers and game demos.