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Euro PS3 launch details

What, when, where.

Unless you've had your head in a toilet for the past god-knows-how-long, you'll know that this Friday is the European launch of PlayStation 3.

So, we're all bound to go a little bit bananas this weekend over the new kit, and those extra four months Europe's been waiting means we'll have a much more diverse launch line-up to choose from, doesn't it?

Well it did, but we've recently seen a handful of games slip out of the release line-up. Ubisoft's now down to two launch titles, with Splinter Cell: Double Agent sliding back a week and Oblivion adventuring off into late April.

2K Sports whacked its NHL 2K7 back into April too, obviously putting the frighteners on Vivendi's F.E.A.R., which tumbled into EA's Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, sprawling both games across the April-launch floor.

Of eight PlayStation Network titles on day one, we're now down to four, bringing the new total number of launch games down from 37 to 28; that's 24 full-priced titles and four Network nibbles. See below for the full launch line-up and links to Eurogamer's reviews for each of them.

The console here will cost you GBP 425, EUR 599. However, those of you in Ireland, Norway and Denmark will have to pay even more. It's the 60GB model you'll be getting with that handful of dough, and the 20GB chap is expected to follow sometime this year.

Friday also sees the launch of a new firmware update for PlayStation 3, vastly improving the amount of PS2 games compatible with the new system, as you can see on the official compatibility-checking website.

Version 1.6 also introduces new background downloading for up to six pieces of content, support for Bluetooth keyboards and mice, a full on-screen text-entry keyboard, and an application allowing you to contribute cycles to the Folding@home project.

Simply set up your shiny new PS3 and look for the System Update option, or ask customer services to provide you with a disc of the update.

Oxford Street's Virgin in London is Sony's venue of choice for the event, and you're invited to start queuing already for the midnight launch on Thursday night. The bottom floor of the shop will be turned into a camp-site, to ensure your safety and comfort, and apparently lots of surprises are planned for you lucky campers.

Safety also seems to be the word of the moment, as many retailers changed their late night launch plans into early morning openings, heeding advice from the police about traipsing around London's nooks and crannies at that time of night with highly desirable and expensive equipment under your arm.

Still, if you're up late (or early) in an effort to get one of 220,000 units in the UK, you can rest assured that Sony is doing everything it can to keep you out of harm's reach.

So, finally we're about to swing into full next-generation gaming in Europe. We'll be holding your hand the whole way, Eurogamer reader, don't you so much as dare go anywhere else.

Peripherals available at launch:

  • SIXAXIS pad (GBP 34.99)
  • Blu-ray remote (GBP 17.99)
  • HDMI cable (GBP 17.99)
  • Component AV cable (GBP 17.99)
  • AV cable (GBP 12.99)
  • S-video cable (GBP 12.99)

Games available at launch:

You can seek out our Xbox 360 reviews for almost all of the remaining launch titles, or wait for our techy article later in the week, which will compare the games side-by-side on the two consoles.