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Pre-E3: PS3 Model Differences, Controller Changes Revealed

Following Sony's pre-E3 press conference, further information has debuted regarding differences between the two PlayStation 3 models, and other changes made to the PS3's new motion-sensing controller, including Dual Shock effect removal.
Though already covered in Gamasutra's Sony press conference write-up, some further details on the launch specifications for Sony's PlayStation 3, due to debut on November 17th, 2006 simultaneously worldwide, have been revealed. In particular, it's now confirmed that the $599 version of the console, which ships with a 60GB hard drive, will feature one HDMI output, built-in IEEE 802.11 b/g WiFi, and a combined MemoryStick/SD/Compact Flash slot, whereas the $499 version, which includes a 20GB hard drive, lacks the multi-memory card slot, the wireless built in, and the HDMI output, helping to explain the price differential over and above the hard disc size. In the other major news already covered at the press conference, Sony announced that it will ship 2 million PS3s worldwide during the launch period, and 4 million by December 31 2006, up to a cumulative 6 million units by March 31, 2007, doubling the output of PS2 during its similar launch window, as it tries to keep up with what will likely be massive demand. Further information on the PlayStation 3's motion-sensing controller (which replaces the pictured 'boomaranga' controller) released overnight also confirms that the Dual Shock effect will be removed from the new controller, as, Sony claims, "vibration itself interferes with information detected by the sensor". The company's ongoing lawsuit with Immersion, which claims a patent on the Dual Shock technology, may have also influenced Sony's decision to remove it, of course. Furthermore, additional controller details describe the "3 posture-axis" of roll, pitch and yaw, alongside "3-dimension acceleration information", being detected in real-time by the wireless PS3 controller. Other changes include the fact that the shape of the L2/R2 buttons on top of the controller have been enlarged, with "increased depth in stroke for more subtle control in games". At the same time, "the tilting angle of the analog joysticks has been slightly broadened" to enable more delicate operation, and all information detection precision has been increased from 8 bit to 10 bit. Gamasutra will have more information on the controller and playable games, including a full booth round-up from Sony's E3 stand, when the show itself opens tomorrow.

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