Sony launches official PlayStation 3 site in Japan

Three weeks ahead of the first major public unveiling of its PlayStation 3 console, Sony has launched an official Web site for the new console.

Three weeks ahead of the first public unveiling of its PlayStation 3 console, Sony Computer Entertainment has launched another official website for the new console.

The first official PlayStation 3 website was launched in July for Australian and European audiences.

This new website, which is available in Japanese only at www.jp.playstation.com/ps3/, is the latest in a series of marketing efforts aimed at building hype between now and the Nov. 11 launch of the console in Japan. The spartan site includes a few images of the console and the basic specifications -- all details which Sony has already made public -- but little else at present.

It is accompanied by a companion "concept site" that includes a video interview with Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the hit GranTurismo racing game series, talking about the PlayStation 3. More videos are promised.

Another key moment for Sony in the launch build-up will be next month's Tokyo Game Show, where visitors are being promised the chance to play 27 PlayStation 3 games. Sony hasn't confirmed if they'll be running on development hardware or the real consoles but both should give visitors the chance to experience the real look and feel of the games.

Local media will likely feature the event prominently, and that should help Sony build anticipation for the new consoles. Shortages at launch are almost certain, but a big question that remains is how well the console will sell in the long-term given its relatively expensive price tag of US$511.

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Martyn Williams

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