The PlayStation 3 has officially launched in Japan, and reports are quickly filtering through on some things that Sony hadn't clarified about the console prior to the launch. We're sure to learn a lot more next week when the PlayStation 3 officially launches in America, PAL gamers waiting for the console are still facing at least a five month wait, at least.
The PlayStation store is fully operational and features a wide range of things to download, including Blast Factor which is 840 yen. You'll require a Japanese credit card to purchase items off the store. The full list of everything currently available to download on the store includes:
- Mainichi Isshyou
- Ridge Racer 7 demo
- Blast factor demo
- Blast factor full game
- Genji Character costumes (Free)
- Gran Turismo HD
- Casino Royale trailer
- Open Season trailer
- BluRay Trailers (SWAT, Stealth, Underworld)
One of the biggest games available for the launch is Ridge Racer 7. There are six new tracks in the game: Lost Ruins, Old Central, Mist Falls, Shadow Caves, Bayside Freeway and Industrial Drive. There are twenty more tracks, although these have been ported from Ridge Racer 6 - in fact some of the first few tracks you play in the game will instantly seem familiar. As previously revealed, you're able to save parts of Ridge Racer 7 to the hard-drive and speed up the loading times. It takes a considerable amount of time but you're able to play Xevious while you wait.
The backwards compatibility is far from perfect - with Japanese gamers trying out hundreds of games it seems there are issues with some of them; this is something that is expected to be fixed with a few firmware updates. The Japanese PlayStation 3 can only play Japanese PlayStation 2 and PlayStation One titles, confirming there will be region lock restrictions for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation One games.
Despite what everyone expected, you won't actually need to buy the PlayStation One/ PlayStation Two memory card adaptor unless you want to transfer your save data from your existing cards over. You're able to create "virtual" memory cards for both the PlayStation One and PlayStation 2 on the hard drive.
You're able to multi task with the PlayStation 3. The web browser can open up to 6 pages simultaneously. 64MB memory is always reserved for the browser, the instant messenger and other XMB activities even whilst you're playing a game. If you press the PlayStation button in the centre of a controller in game then you can bring up basic features, although not everything.
You're able to connect USB mass storage devices such as the PSP, but you can't plug and play with devices that have special transfer methods, such as the iPod.
So that's everything that we've found out about the PlayStation 3 so far. 80 000 lucky Japanese gamers now have the console in their homes, and we have to wait five months. We'll update this article as we find out more about the console, so keep checking back.