By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has announced the launch of its first official consumer facing PlayStation3 (PS3) website providing information on the console, the games and the technology behind the next generation video games device.

“This website initiative was born from consumer hunger for information on the product,” said Sony Computer Entertainment Australia & New Zealand managing director, Michael Ephraim.

“Since E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo – May 2006) the PlayStation consumer phone service has been experiencing a steady climb in traffic from people seeking basic product information. In response we decided to populate a website with the most frequently asked PS3 questions.

The website showcases the latest games to be announced for the console, as well as displaying images and in-game footage, while inviting visitors to register to be sent exclusive updates on the console between now and the 17 November 2006 launch date.

“It is important that we continue to work hard to meet consumers’ thirst for knowledge on features and applications between now and when consumers’ have the opportunity to try out the console for themselves,” said Ephraim.

Playstation 3 will launch in Japan on 11 November and then Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America on 17 November.

“At launch, Australian’s will not have the piles of consumer feedback they seek from their global peers, it will therefore be important that we clearly communicate the console features ahead of time. This website is the first step of many that we will take to spread our exciting news and developments.”

Production has commenced on the PS3, with 200,000 units shipped to Sony in July and four million planned over the coming months, which puts Sony approximately one month ahead of schedule, sparking rumours of an earlier than expected release.

Sony expects to sell four million consoles by the end of 2006, and six million by March 2007.