Sony announce long-awaited European launch date for PS3

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Sony PS3We knew it was coming to Europe in the Spring, but Sony has now given us the actual release date. Now Playstation fans everywhere can get their sleeping bags ready for queue mania.

Friday, March 23rd is the date. 8 weeks and a day to go.

Only the high-end, 60GB machine will be immediately on sale, but that won’t bother most people that are desperate to get the console as soon as it hits the shelves.

“We will focus on the launch of the one with a 60-GB drive and have no plan now to introduce the 20-GB model,” Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka told the Reuters news agency.

Britons will have to pay 30 quid more than their European neighbours, based on current exchange rates. £425 here, £395 (€599) in Europe. One million PS3s will be in the first batch – I have a feeling those will run out pretty quick. 30 games titles will also be ready for the launch.

Sony are also pinning their hope on the PS3 drawing European consumers into Blu-ray, one of the two competing high definition disc formats. Whether that happens remains to be seen – first and foremost this is about gaming.

Related stories: Live: Sony’s PS3 bloggers event | Sony’s PS3 delay: the implications | 20GB Sony PS3 unlikely to hit the UK

Andy Merrett