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Sony's PlayStation 3 to Hit the Market in November

Sony Corporation will release its PlayStation 3 video game box in November, and Toyota Motors posted a record profit for 2005.

Video game fans eagerly awaiting Sony Corporation's next-generation PlayStation will be able to buy it on November 11 in Japan, and November 17 in North America and Europe.

Sony officials say there will be two versions of PS3: a 20-gigabyte version that will cost $499, and a larger, 60-gigabyte version for $599.

The new PlayStation will cost $100 more than Microsoft's competing machine, the Xbox 360. But Takaaki Noguchi, manager of Japan's Totsu Sangyo Company, which distributes Sony products, predicts great success for the PS3.

"It will do well, regardless of Microsoft's game, because it is more cutting edge than any other computer game machine on the market today," he said. "I feel PS3 will be popular, especially because it has high resolution and a huge capacity. In other words, PS3 will lead the market."

Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan's largest carmaker, continues on course to catch General Motors as the world's biggest producer of vehicles.

Toyota predicted it would sell 8.45 million vehicles in 2006, an increase of 476,000 over the previous year.

General Motors, the Number One carmaker for more than half a century, has not released its production projections for the year, but many analysts say the figure could drop well below 9.7 million vehicles.

Toyota made a record $12.32 billion profit in the fiscal year ending March 31, enough to make it the world's most profitable manufacturing company. General Motors lost $10.6 billion last year.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and several Japanese firms plan to team up with their United States counterpart, NASA, to build a passenger jet that could travel at twice the speed of sound.

Construction of the jet is due to start this summer, and is expected be completed by 2020.

The jet is designed to fly from Tokyo to California in only four hours, about half the time it takes current subsonic planes. The designers say the plane will be fuel-efficient, and create less noise than conventional jets, and will carry 200 to 300 passengers, roughly the same number as a medium-size contemporary aircraft.

Japanese wine drinkers are consuming more Australian wine, at the expense of French wines. In fact, in the past three years, consumers drank 80 percent more of it. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource

Economies says imports of "Aussie" wine grew nearly 24 percent last year alone, while imports of French wine declined by 9.4 percent over the same period.