Sony has confirmed the price and launch date of its next generation console, the PlayStation3 at gaming expo E3 in Los Angeles.

The new console will be available in “Clear Black” throughout Europe and Australia on 17 November 2006, as part of a worldwide simultaneous launch.

Available in two guises the PS3 will cost £350 (499 euros) for the 20GB hard drive version and £410 (599 euros) for the 60GB hard drive based version making it considerably more expensive than the Xbox360.

Sony has also confirmed that the console will come with a Blu-ray drive and hard drive as standard. There is also an Ethernet connection for connecting to a network so gamers will be able to play online and download additional content.

The PlayStation 3 will offer Dolby 5.1ch, DTS sound and come with the choice of a 20GB or 60GB hard drive. It will also feature a MemoryStick, SD, CompactFlash reader, Bluetooth 2.0, and full AV Output in 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p via its HDMI connector.

In addition to the announcements surrounding the pricing of the console, Sony has followed Nintendo, by making its controller motion sensitive.

However, Sony has said that with the introduction of this new six-axis sensing system, the vibration feature that is currently available on its controllers for PlayStation and PlayStation2, will be removed from the new PS3 controller as vibration itself interferes with information detected by the sensor.