At gamescom in Cologne, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe unveiled a slimmer, lighter PlayStation 3, new PlayStation Network services, plenty of content and a great value price.
On August 18, 2009, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced a range of new products and services that will transform the entertainment experience on PSP, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network. Against the backdrop of strong global sales and the announcement of a comprehensive range of new games and entertainment services, the new PlayStation 3 was unveiled, offering 120 gigabytes of hard disk drive storage space and priced at €299.
New PS3 system
The final surprise of the press conference was the unveiling of the new PS3 system. Responding to consumer demand for more space and the move towards downloadable content and games, the new model features 120GB hard disk drive whilst being 32% smaller in size and 36% lighter, with 34% less power consumption. Available in stores the week of September 1, 2009, the new PS3 will be priced at €299. The current PS3 will also be reduced to €299 from August 19, 2009.
Entertainment on demand
System software update version 3.00 will improve the aesthetics and navigation of PS3, whilst also giving access to optimised TV websites including the UK's BBC iPlayer from September 1, 2009, followed shortly by RTVE, ANTENA 3 and La Sexta in Spain, ZDFmediathek in Germany, NOS in the Netherlands NOS, and the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) in Australia.
Other new features introduced as part of this system software update include dynamic wallpapers, improved navigation, a short cut to PlayStation Store from Game on the XMB (XrossMediaBar), and a What's New area which includes short cuts to last three games played and quick browsing of new content on PlayStation Store.
Alongside TV web access, the PlayStation entertainment offering was strengthened with the announcement of the PlayStation Network Video Store for PS3 and PSP, which goes live in November. The service will offer hundreds of movies, from Hollywood blockbusters to local market content, for rental or purchase in standard or High Definition formats. Available at launch in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain, the service will be rolled out to more countries throughout 2010.
Digital Reader unveiled
The Digital Reader service for PSP will also become available in December with other markets to follow in 2010. The first offering is Digital Comics, with hundreds of comics available at launch, and many more added each month, with big names including Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four from Marvel, standing alongside graphic novels and titles from indie and local publishers. Consumers will first need to connect their PSP via Wireless to PlayStation Store to download the Digital Reader. Once downloaded, they can return to the Store to choose from a wide variety of comics available.
New payment system
Access to PlayStation Network content and services, including videos and comics will be made even easier from September with the availability in stores of PlayStation Network Cards in €20 and €50 denominations, allowing consumers to purchase from the PlayStation Store without the need for a credit card.
Andrew House, SCEE President and CEO, summarised the impact of the new services: "PlayStation Network opens up a genuinely unique entertainment experience. This is no longer just for hardcore gamers, but for everyone. We believe that everyone enjoys entertainment differently and should have the choice as to what entertainment they consume and exactly how they consume it. PlayStation is the gateway to that entertainment."
Launch of minis
PSP saw more content, more choice and more ways to play. The gaming experience on PSP will be enhanced by minis, a new category of bite-sized games on PlayStation Network. Fifteen minis titles will be available on October 1, 2009, alongside the launch of PSPgo, with more than 35 developers around the world delivering more than 50 games by the end of the year. Meanwhile, choice was brought to life with two new colours for PSP-3000; Turquoise Green and Blossom Pink on sale from November, either as a stand alone product or, in the case of Turquoise Green, bundled with LittleBigPlanet.
Other bundles include Sony Computer Entertainment titles Gran Turismo, InviZimals and MotorStorm Arctic Edge, as well as titles from other publishers including Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY, FIFA 10, Hannah Montana and TEKKEN 6.
David Cage of Quantic Dream presented a dramatic update to the much anticipated PS3 title. The game catapults players on an emotionally driven, dramatic journey in which their every move can have a tangible impact on the way the narrative unfolds, providing players with an intense, immersive and original experience.
The version 1.3 upgrade was announced for PlayStation Home, which has now seen 3.3 million downloads across PAL territories. The upgrade includes the ability to preview items before you buy, the ability to carry portable objects like a camera or a remote control hovercraft and to game launch into any title. A new community space for SingStar was shown, as well as an exciting space in collaboration with German car manufacturer Audi.
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