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Putting an end to months of speculation, Sony Corp. executives on Monday announced a release date and a price for the upcoming PlayStation 3, but gamers will have to pay a hefty price to take advantage of its much-touted technological innovation.

Sony said its next-generation game console would be released in North America and Europe on Nov. 17, in time for the key holiday shopping period. They had previously announced it would be released in the fall, without giving a specific date. Gamers in Japan will get a head start; the PS3 is to be released there on Nov. 11.

The console will come in two versions, one with a 20-gigabyte hard drive for $499 and one with a 60-gigabyte drive, for $599. The 20-gigabyte version will retail for 59,800 yen in Japan and 499 euros in Europe.

Written by Gary