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.

Games

PlayStation 3 launched in North America with 14 titles, with another three being released before the end of 2006. After the first week of sales it was confirmed that Resistance: Fall of Man from Insomniac Games was the top-selling launch game in North America. The game was heavily praised by numerous video game websites, including GameSpot and IGN, both of whom awarded it their PlayStation 3 Game of the Year award for 2006. Some titles missed the launch window and were delayed until early 2007, such as The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionF.E.A.R. and Sonic the Hedgehog. During the Japanese launch, Ridge Racer 7 was the top-selling game, while Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire also fared well in sales, both of which were offerings from Namco Bandai Games. PlayStation 3 launched in Europe with 24 titles, including ones that were not offered in North American and Japanese launches, such as Formula One Championship EditionMotorStorm and Virtua Fighter 5Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm were the most successful titles of 2007, and both games subsequently received sequels in the form of Resistance 2 and MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.

At E3 2007, Sony was able to show a number of their upcoming video games for PlayStation 3, including Heavenly SwordLairRatchet & Clank Future: Tools of DestructionWarhawk and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune; all of which were released in the third and fourth quarters of 2007. It also showed off a number of titles that were set for release in 2008 and 2009; most notably Killzone 2InfamousGran Turismo 5 PrologueLittleBigPlanet and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. A number of third-party exclusives were also shown, including the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriotsalongside other high-profile third-party titles such as Grand Theft Auto IVCall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareAssassin’s CreedDevil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil 5. Two other important titles for PlayStation 3, Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, were shown at TGS 2007 in order to appease the Japanese market.

Sony have since launched their budget range of PlayStation 3 titles, known as the Greatest Hits range in North America, the Platinum range in Europe and Australia and The Best range in Japan. Among the titles available in the budget range include Resistance: Fall of ManMotorStormUncharted: Drakes FortuneRainbow Six: VegasCall Of Duty 3Assassin’s Creed and Ninja Gaiden Sigma. As of October 2009 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the PatriotsRatchet & Clank Future: Tools of DestructionDevil May Cry 4Army of TwoBattlefield: Bad Company and Midnight Club: Los Angeles have also joined the list.

As of March 31, 2012, there have been 595 million games sold for PlayStation 3. The best selling PS3 games are Grand Theft Auto V, Gran Turismo 5, The Last Of Us, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves