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PS3 versions have same specs

Says Sony's Phil Harrison.

Following announcements that Sony plans to launch two versions of the PS3, Phil Harrison has denied reports that the 20GB model will feature lower technical specs than the 60GB version.

"What we should be clear about is that the functionality is identical in both machines. There is no difference in what the machine does," he told BBC News.

Confusion arose after Sony Japan issued a spec sheet which appeared to indicate that the 20GB PS3 would not feature Wi-Fi, HDMI output or inputs for data storage cards. But according to Harrison, both versions will support high definition output: "It's just that the technical method of extracting audio and video from the devices is slightly different."

He went on to defend Sony's decision to launch two versions of the console by highlighting the importance of consumer choice. "Some people might be interested in the PS3 primarily and exclusively as a games system, whereas other users might look at it as a multimedia hub in the home, which is games and music and movies and other digital content." Harrison said that he personally would purchase the 60GB model.

The PS3 will launch worldwide this November - a year after the arrival of the Xbox 360. At Microsoft's pre-E3 press conference Bill Gates said the company expects to have sold 10 million consoles by then, giving it a healthy head start over Sony. But Harrison is not convinced, stating: "I doubt they will achieve that."

He is also doubtful that Microsoft will be able secure a position as market leader once Sony's new console arrives: "I think the clear advantages of the PS3 will mean that this product is very well accepted in the marketplace. We have a great brand and fantastically loyal consumers."

The PS3 will launch in Japan on November 11 and the US and Europe on November 17, priced at EURO 499 for the 20GB version and EURO 599 for the 60GB model.

Our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz, will be publishing our own interview with Phil Harrison tomorrow.

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