Sony Announces $150 No Blu-ray PS3, Downloadable Games source:psxextreme.com
You may have heard about a new FCC approval Sony was awarded. We reported on it yesterday morning, and we began to speculate what the new SKU could be. It it the Ceramic White PS3? Perhaps the Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle? Nope, it's neither. Sony has officially announced that the on-going rumors of a PlayStation 3 machine without a Blu-ray drive are true.
On August 12, Sony will launch a PlayStation 3 that will retail for $149.99. Again, this unit will not feature a Blu-ray drive, and if you're wondering how you play games on it, Sony has a simple explanation for you. "The broadband world has expanded considerably," says Aperelli Doorichka, Public Relations Coordinator for SCEI, "nearly 85% of our PlayStation Network users and PlayStation 3 owners access the internet via high-speed cable or high-speed DSL service."
"After extensive research, and witnessing the immense success of full-fledged downloadable games like Warhawk and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, Sony will be launching a PlayStation 3 unit that'll allow owners to download a catalog of all currently available PlayStation 3 games via PlayStation Network. It's just one of many ways that Sony offers gamers the ability to pick and choose what suits them best."
Sony goes on to explain that the newly launched/redesigned PlayStation Network will boast an infrastructure that is far more advanced than their competitor's, allowing all broadband users to take advantage of their connections, quoting download speeds at a minimum of 1MB per sec (many DSL users will fall into this range), and as high as 30MB for those with blazing fast connections such as Verizon FIOS, and so on.
As far as file sizes will go, Sony cites Gran Turismo 5 Prologue as an example of what they can achieve. Where as the game takes up 6GB on a Blu-ray disc, it is only a 2GB download from the PlayStation Store. How the downsizing happens is simple: the developers leave the videos off of the main download, and instead give you the option of downloading them or streaming them later on. Additionally, "padded space" is also removed, which helps tremendously. In case you're wondering, padded space is filler placed on a disc to help improve load times for a game, obviously it's unnecessary when a game runs off a hard drive.
Sony says that aside from the Blu-ray drive, this PlayStation 3 SKU will boast all of the features of the 80GB model, including the 80GB hard drive (which can be upgraded, of course), the card readers, USB ports, and so on. Lastly, in the event that you lose a game, would like to delete a game, or the file is corrupted, Sony will keep a record of everything you purchase, and will allow you to re-download anything that you lose.