PS3 braced for Japan launch


PS3 braced for Japan launch
Video game enthusiasts are braving the cold across Japan to get a place at the head of queues as the long-anticipated launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 finally arrives tomorrow.

But despite dominating the console market for the past decade, Sony faces intense competition from the next generation systems on offer from rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

The US software giants' Xbox 360 has been available for more than a year, and retails for about a quarter less than the PlayStation 3's 49,980 yen (£222).

Nintendo's Wii goes on sale in its native Japan on December 2nd, with a full European launch following six days later; priced at €249 (£179).

PlayStation 3 is widely considered to be the most advanced home entertainment console available, coming with a Blu-ray high definition DVD player and its hi-tech 'Cell' microchip heart.

However, the system's development has been plagued with production problems and only 100,000 units are expected to go on sale in Japan this weekend.

Earlier this year Sony announced that the European launch of the console had been put back to March next year, with both Microsoft and Nintendo poised to benefit this Christmas season from the delay.

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