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PlayStation 3 is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, formerly Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America, and March 27, 2007 in Europe and Australia. The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, included it being the first to introduce Sony's social gaming service, PlayStation Network, and its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita, being able to remote control the console from the devices. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released, being lighter and thinner than the original version, which notably featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console. As of March 2016, PlayStation 3 has sold 85 million units worldwide. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. PlayStation 3 games are not directly compatible with PlayStation 4, however, Sony's PlayStation Now rental gaming service can be used to stream a selection of compatible PlayStation 3 games on its successor, including the PlayStation Vita and even the PlayStation 3 itself. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed the discontinued production of the PlayStation 3 in New Zealand.

History

Sony officially unveiled PlayStation 3 (then marketed as PLAYSTATION 3) to the public on May 16, 2005, at E3 2005, along with a 'boomerang' shaped prototype design of the Sixaxis controller. A functional version of the system was not present there, nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although demonstrations (such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) were held at both events on software development kits and comparable personal computer hardware. Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was also shown (notably a Final Fantasy VII tech demo). The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports; however, when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one Ethernet port and four USB ports, presumably to cut costs. Two hardware configurations were also announced for the console: a 20 GB model and a 60 GB model, priced at US$499 (€499) and US$599 (€599), respectively. The 60 GB model was to be the only configuration to feature an HDMI port, Wi-Fi internet, flash card readers and a chrome trim with the logo in silver. Both models were announced for a simultaneous worldwide release: November 11, 2006, for Japan and November 17, 2006, for North America and Europe. On September 6, 2006, Sony announced that PAL region PlayStation 3 launch would be delayed until March 2007, because of a shortage of materials used in the Blu-ray drive. At the Tokyo Game Show on September 22, 2006, Sony announced that it would include an HDMI port on the 20 GB system, but a chrome trim, flash card readers, silver logo and Wi-Fi would not be included. Also, the launch price of the Japanese 20 GB model was reduced by over 20%, and the 60 GB model was announced for an open pricing scheme in Japan. During the event, Sony showed 27 playable PS3 games running on final hardware.

Launch

PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006, at 07:00. According to Media Create, 81,639 PS3 systems were sold within 24 hours of its introduction in Japan.[ Soon after its release in Japan, PS3 was released in North America on November 17, 2006. Reports of violence surrounded the release of PS3. A customer was shot,campers were robbed at gunpoint, customers were shot in a drive-by shooting with BB guns, and 60 campers fought over 10 systems. The console was originally planned for a global release through November, but at the start of September the release in Europe and the rest of the world was delayed until March. With it being a somewhat last-minute delay, some companies had taken deposits for pre-orders, at which Sony informed customers that they were eligible for full refunds or could continue the pre-order. On January 24, 2007, Sony announced that PlayStation 3 would go on sale on March 23, 2007, in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and New Zealand. The system sold about 600,000 units in its first two days. On March 7, 2007, the 60 GB PlayStation 3 launched in Singapore with a price of S$799. The console was launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007, as a single version equipped with an 80 GB hard drive and IPTV.

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