Sony bowed its PlayStation 3 on Saturday in Japan — and immediately offered a download to overcome a problem it had been unable to solve by shipping date on the game platform, which has been beset by delays.
The update, announced Friday, supports access to the PlayStation online gaming service network, while allowing users to purchase and download games from Internet sites. The company will also release an update for PlayStation Portable in late November that will give users wireless access to games on the PS3 console via a system called Remote Play.
Day-of-release updates aren’t standard in the gaming industry, but Sony had little choice given development delays.
Hit by production snags for a key component, Sony struggled to stock shelves with 100,000 units, after first promising to launch with 200,000.
Meanwhile, Japanese gamers scrambled to buy the first PS3 consoles, lining up by the hundreds outside stores on Friday night.
To stave off chaos, Tokyo branches of electronics retail chains held lotteries for tickets to purchase PS3s, while other major stores, such at Bic Camera in Yurakucho and Yodobashi in Shinjuku, sold consoles on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The PS3 will launch in North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan on Nov. 17 and in Europe in March.