The PlayStation 3 began development in 2001 when Ken Kutaragi, then the President of Sony Computer Entertainment, announced that Sony, Toshiba, and IBM would collaborate on developing the Cell microprocessor. At the time, Shuhei Yoshida led a group of programmers within this hardware team to explore next-generation game creation. By early 2005, focus within Sony shifted towards developing PS3 launch titles. Sony officially unveiled PlayStation 3 to the public on May 16, 2005, at E3 2005, along with a boomerang-shaped prototype design of the Sixaxis controller. A functional version of the system was not present there,
nor at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although demonstrations (such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots) were held at both events on software development kits and comparable personal computer hardware. Video footage based on the predicted PlayStation 3 specifications was also shown (notably a Final Fantasy VII tech demo).
The initial prototype shown in May 2005 featured two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports; however, when the system was shown again a year later at E3 2006, these were reduced to one HDMI port, one Ethernet port and four USB ports, presumably to cut costs. Two hardware configurations were also announced for the console: a 20 GB model and a 60 GB model, priced at US$499 (€499) and US$599 (€599), respectively. The 60 GB model was to be the only configuration to feature an HDMI port, Wi-Fi internet, flash card readers and a chrome trim with the logo in silver. Both models were announced for a simultaneous worldwide release: November 11, 2006, for Japan and November 17, 2006, for North America and Europe.
On September 6, 2006, Sony announced that PAL region PlayStation 3 launch would be delayed until March 2007, because of a shortage of materials used in the Blu-ray drive. At the Tokyo Game Show on September 22, 2006, Sony announced that it would include an HDMI port on the 20 GB system, but a chrome trim, flash card readers, silver logo and Wi-Fi would not be included. Also, the launch price of the Japanese 20 GB model was reduced by over 20%, and the 60 GB model was announced for an open pricing scheme in Japan. During the event, Sony showed 27 playable PS3 games running on final hardware.
Silver PlayStation 3 consoles on show in 2006
PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on November 11, 2006, at 07:00. According to Media Create, 81,639 PS3 systems were sold within 24 hours of its introduction in Japan. Soon after its release in Japan, PS3 was released in North America on November 17, 2006. Reports of violence surrounded the release of PS3. A customer was shot, campers were robbed at gunpoint, customers were shot in a drive-by shooting with BB guns, and 60 campers fought over 10 systems.
The console was originally planned for a global release through November, but at the start of September the release in Europe and the rest of the world was delayed until March. With it being a somewhat last-minute delay, some companies had taken deposits for pre-orders, at which Sony informed customers that they were eligible for full refunds or could continue the pre-order. On January 24, 2007, Sony announced that PlayStation 3 would go on sale on March 23, 2007, in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and New Zealand. The system sold about 600,000 units in its first two days. On March 7, 2007, the 60 GB PlayStation 3 launched in Singapore with a price of S$799. The console was launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007, as a single version equipped with an 80 GB hard drive and IPTV.
Following speculation that Sony was working on a 'slim' model, Sony officially announced the PS3 CECH-2000 model on August 18, 2009, at the Sony Gamescom press conference. New features included a slimmer form factor, decreased power consumption, and a quieter cooling system. It was released in major territories by September 2009. At the same time, a new logo was introduced for the console to replace the previous "Spider-Man" wordmarks (named due to their use of the same font as the logos of Sony's then-current Spider-Man films), with a new "PS3" wordmark evoking the design of the PlayStation 2 wordmark replacing the capitalized PlayStation 3 lettering.
Super Slim model
In September 2012 at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that a new, slimmer PS3 redesign (CECH-4000) was due for release in late 2012 and that it would be available with either a 250 GB or 500 GB hard drive. Three versions of the Super Slim model were revealed: one with a 500 GB hard drive, a second with a 250 GB hard drive which is not available in PAL regions, and a third with a 12 GB flash storage that was available in PAL regions, and in Canada. The storage of 12 GB model is upgradable with an official standalone 250 GB hard drive. A vertical stand was also released for the model. In the United Kingdom, the 500 GB model was released on September 28, 2012; and the 12 GB model was released on October 12, 2012. In the United States, the PS3 Super Slim was first released as a bundled console. The 250 GB model was bundled with the Game of the Year edition of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and released on September 25, 2012; and the 500 GB model was bundled with Assassin's Creed III and released on October 30, 2012. In Japan, the black colored Super Slim model was released on October 4, 2012; and the white colored Super Slim model was released on November 22, 2012. The Super Slim model is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the Slim model and features a manual sliding disc cover instead of a motorized slot-loading disc cover of the Slim model. The white colored Super Slim model was released in the United States on January 27, 2013 as part of the Instant Game Collection Bundle. The Garnet Red and Azurite Blue colored models were launched in Japan on February 28, 2013. The Garnet Red version was released in North America on March 12, 2013 as part of the God of War: Ascension bundle with 500 GB storage and contained God of War: Ascension as well as the God of War Saga. The Azurite Blue model was released as a GameStop exclusive with 250GB storage.