It doesn't hit North America until November 17, but we got an early look at the long-awaited PlayStation 3. The $600 model (shown here) includes built-in Wi-Fi, a flash media reader, and a 60GB hard drive.
With only 400,000 units available on launch day (and fewer than 2 million total due by year's end), getting your hands on one of these boxes is going to be the hardest gig in town.
2 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
Unlike all the wires and external power supplies you'll find on the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 is about as minimalist as they come.
3 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
Despite the early "Foreman Grill" digs at its curved appearance, it's hard to deny that Sony's designers did a great job.
4 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The PS3's back panel is pretty clean. Note that vents are everywhere to keep the console from overheating.
5 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The 60GB version of the PS3 includes built-in flash media readers for CompactFlash, SD, and Memory Stick cards.
6 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The 60GB PS3 also includes built-in Wi-Fi networking (as indicated by that "wireless" icon in the photo's center), so you can get online without needing to run any Ethernet cables.
7 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The four USB ports on the PS3's front side let you recharge the wireless controllers and connect other peripherals, such as the EyeToy video camera.
8 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The eject and power "buttons" are touch sensitive. Games, Blu-ray and DVD movies, and CDs are inserted via the slot-loading drive.
9 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
More than just a game console, the gaggle of logos along the PlayStation 3's side--Blu-ray, DVD video, SACD, CD, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, DTS, Bluetooth, and HDMI--are a testament to the device's enormous versatility.
10 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The rear panel boasts ports for HDMI, Ethernet, S/PDIF optical, and PlayStation A/V adapter connections.
11 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
While it looks identical to the PS2's controller, the PS3's so-called SixAxis controller has a few secrets: it's wireless, and it has some motion-sensing capabilities and a built-in rechargeable battery. But rumble support is a thing of the past.
12 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The system supports up to seven wireless controllers, but you'll need to recharge them with the included USB cable.
13 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
The included cables (left to right) are: Ethernet (if you don't want to take advantage of the wireless networking), a standard power cord, a standard USB cable (for recharging the controller), and a composite A/V adapter. It's up to you to supply an HDMI cable.
14 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
Just so you don't forget that the PS3 also doubles as a full-service HD movie player, Sony is including the Blu-ray version of Talladega Nights with the first batch of consoles that ship.
15 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
Both Resistance: Fall of Man and Genji: Days of the Blade are PS3 exclusives. But will they be good enough to make gamers to seek out the PS3 versus the Wii and Xbox 360?
16 of 16 Sarah Tew, CNET Networks
Pick your poison: the Xbox 360 ($300 to $400), the Nintendo Wii ($250), or the Sony PlayStation 3 ($500 to $600).