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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 13:35 GMT
A fan's view: Sony PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3 on display, AP
Before now gamers have only seen the console through glass
The PlayStation 3 console goes on sale in Japan on 11 November. Here Japanese gamer Teruma Naito from Oda City recounts his feelings as the launch approaches.

I am part of the 29 to 35 year-old generation of Japanese gamers I refer to as "Nintendo Oyaji" (translates as "Nintendo Oldies").

We became keen gamers after we were introduced to Nintendo's Famicon or "Family Computer" in 1983 and this is why we are excited about the PS3 launch this Saturday in Japan.

The media seems excited only because they see Sony as a fallen angel, beset with problems, and reliant on the success of the PS3 to re-establish itself back on top.

Sony is excitedly focused on highlighting the PS3 as the first all-in-one entertainment unit (Blu-ray format, movie, internet, photo, CD capabilities, network gaming, wireless controller and photo realistic graphics).

I am excited because this is the first meaningful game console launch in six years.

Screenshot from Resistance: Fall of Man (Sony)
The first PS3 owners will have only a few games to choose from
I can't wait to see what Sony has done to improve everything it did well with the PS1 and PS2 plus marrying it all with network gaming for the first time - an area that Xbox claims as its own.

Some 100,000 units are expected to be sold nationally this weekend and 1.2 million units by year end. There are over 120 million people in Japan so competition to pre-order and buy ballot tickets have been ferocious over the last month.

Most stores however, are not taking preorders and will be opening their doors around 7am so I'm expecting to see a huge queue!

I think the suggestions that delays have worn out the hype of the PS3 are misguided. Everyone seems to have forgotten the teething problems the PS2 had before going on to becoming the fastest-selling game console ever.

Sony's price reduction for the PS3 was a welcome relief.

I can see why they wanted to pitch it to the broad home PC market as an "entertainment computer" with great functionality but the reduction in price I think recognises that the initial consumer will still be the dedicated teen-to-30 something gamer like myself.

PlayStation 3 demo, AP
PlayStation 3 demonstrations have proved popular
While the PS3 is almost double the initial price of the PS2, demand is so great that internet auction sites are selling 60GB versions for 100,000 yen (450).

Ballot tickets which entitle you to the option to buy a PS3 but do not cover the cost of the actual machine are being sold on the internet for around 30,000 yen (140). This is all despite only five games (no mega-hit titles) being made available at launch.

Sony took home entertainment to a whole new level when it deliberately went out of its way to cater for older gamers, like me who had outgrown the Nintendo consoles, with the release of the PS1 in 1994.

The PS3 looks set to do the same thing.




SEE ALSO
Game on for console conflict
09 Nov 06 |  Technology
Japan prepares to greet the PS3
09 Nov 06 |  Technology
Nintendo Wii to make debut in US
14 Sep 06 |  Business
Microsoft ramps up Xbox 360 plans
10 May 06 |  Technology
Hands on with the PlayStation 3
22 Sep 06 |  Technology
PlayStation 3 Euro launch delayed
06 Sep 06 |  Technology

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