Sony's PS3 console will definitely utilise a hard drive, with Sony's Ken Kutaragi confirming that such a storage device will be required for games on the next-gen console.
"The hardware was developed with the hard disk in mind," Kutaragi said at Sony's PlayStation business briefing in Tokyo earlier today. He continued: "We view the hard drive to be mandatory for the PS3...Rather than have developers create games for the PS3 with or without the HDD, we will be asking them to develop games as though all PS3s have the HDD installed."

The PS3's base hard drive will be 60Gb in capacity, but will be upgradeable, meaning, we guess, we should expect a detachable HDD unit - like the Xbox 360's. The drive will run Linux and will perform media hub and home server/network platform services, with Sony additionally saying that the hard drive unit will enhance gameplay and allow for full internet access.

What's not clear currently is whether the hard drive unit will ship in the PS3 package, Kutaragi saying on this matter that Sony "might end up installing it in all PS3s, though that depends on the market".
Seems a bit of an odd comment, especially after confirming that PS3 will require a hard drive for games, but maybe that's simply because we're observing matters from a videogame-fan angle. It sounds as though Sony is considering following the Microsoft route, offering consumers a premium 'with hard drive package' and basic 'without hard drive package', but we guess more will be revealed in the fullness of time.