Just over a year ago, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president David Reeves made a number of specific comments about PlayStation 3 which were published in error on the company's official website. Sony quickly pulled the article and has clammed up about the console ever since. The following is a reprint of the relevant parts of our sister site GamesIndustry.biz' report on the revelations which, in the absence of significant discussion or even naming of the format in the intervening period, take on rather more significance in the face of what may even be a full unveiling in Los Angeles at 11PM BST on Monday...
On the topic of the PlayStation 3, [SCEE president David] Reeves revealed that the company is considering launching multiple versions of the next-generation console, catering for a variety of different requirements and price points.
A version of the console described as the "home server" version would follow in the footsteps of the PSX media system, with "all-singing, all dancing features with maybe a hard disk drive" and a retail price take of "whatever it might be, €600 or €700."
However, for those just seeking a new games machine rather than a fully fledged home media server, the company could offer a stripped down system catering to the needs of those who "just [want] to pay 200 Euros for a new generation games machine," Reeves said.
Reeves also confirmed that the company is investigating the possibility of electronic distribution of content over broadband for its next generation system - describing the pursuit of this as the "ultimate goal" for the PlayStation 3, and stating that Sony hopes to see always-on network access and viable broadband distribution in place when the PS3 becomes available in 2006.
"It's going to have to be 2 or 3MB, something like that," he said, speaking about connection sizes - which are currently generally at 512k (0.5MB) in most UK broadband-enabled homes. "Ken [Kutaragi]'s even talking about 30MB! And when it gets to that, then it is broadband distribution, and people then can just download whatever game they want. But it's got to be secure, and that's where DNAS [Sony's online security protocol] comes in."
Sony has yet to name the console and has previously indicated that it was considering other naming options. However, judging by the presence of high profile advertising hoardings around Los Angeles ahead of the company's pre-E3 conference bearing the none-too-subtle slogan "Welcome chang3", the likelihood is that we're dealing with a "PlayStation 3". Whatever it's called, it should be unveiled in LA later today...