Japanese PS3 price cut, as Kutaragi talks technology

TGS: No new games though.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi bucked expectation on the opening day of the Tokyo Game Show by delivering a keynote address almost devoid of major game announcements - but he did reveal that the Japanese 20GB version of the console had been repriced.

During his address, Sony's "Father of PlayStation" focused on the technology that underwrites the PlayStation 3 offering, explaining that advances in computer hardware and Internet technology would enable a range of previously inconceivable services over the course of the next decade.

In a Q&A session at the close, Kutaragi also apologised to software creators for delays in PlayStation 3's over-ambitious production schedule, but said the company is now focused on ensuring no further delays occur.

But the response that won applause from the largely Japanese crowd concerned the inclusion of an HDMI port on the 20GB version of the console, and a repricing for Japan. The 20GB version will cost 49,980 yen (EUR 335 / GBP 225), down from 62,790 yen (EUR 421 / GBP 283), Kutaragi said.

He also said that there would be 200 playable consoles available on the show floor during the three days of the Tokyo Game Show.

Kutaragi showed trailers for previously announced titles including Ridge Racer 7, and announced plans to allow users to play emulated PSone and PlayStation 2 games directly over the Internet - initially offering games that place a relatively small burden on the network, but expanding the offering as technology progresses.

The console's online service will also offer Mega Drive and PC Engine titles, he said - a line-up for which will be decided in conjunction with the specific games' respective publishers.

Users will also be able to exchange data and videos, and Kutaragi revealed that PlayStation 3 will offer something called the Global Mapping System (GMS), which will allow users to upload photographs and data about their surroundings, creating a detailed view of the world around them.

It's Kutaragi's hope that through this system, and direct interaction with developers, consumers will be able to play an active role in future game development - although he offered no hints as to when the high-concept service would come to fruition.

Kutaragi's Tokyo Game Show keynote had been considered by many to be Sony's last chance to make a big impression on an international audience prior to the November US and Japanese launches of its next-generation games console.

But while Ridge Racer 7 was confirmed as a launch title and shown running in high-definition, and there were also spots for Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight, Virtua Fighter 5, Final Fantasy XIII and Afrika, the company's decision to offer a focused technological discussion rather than specifying new products and features is likely to come under intense scrutiny.

Especially from you lot. You're quite testy.

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