GamesCom: Sony Conference Round-up

Now for the event we’ve all been waiting for. Will Sony announced a Slimmed down PlayStation 3 or just a price drop for one? Perhaps both, perhaps neither. Nevertheless, TSA has battled on through network issues to bring you a full summary of Sony’s highly anticipated GamesCom 2009 Press Conference:

“Welcome to the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe press conference at GamesCom 2009!” – followed by a sizzle trailer showing God of War III, Ratchet and Clank, Heavy Rain, Buzz!, PixelJunk Shooter, DC Universe Online, Gran Turismo 5, Uncharted 2, before Andrew House, President of SCEE walks on stage.

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He starts off with talk and sales figures, “The PS2 is the Michael Schumacher of games consoles”, while PSP sales continue to grow at a healthy rate with 52.9 million globally (17 million in SCEE territories) and 23.7 million PS3s worldwide (with over 10 million in SCEE). He then goes on to talk about the PSN which has 27 million users worldwide (11 million in SCEE) and a massive 560 million global downloads, which has generated over $280million in revenue. Home is proving to be rather popular with an estimated 7.5 million users downloading the free PS3 app, stating that content is the primary draw.

On that note, SingStar is coming to Home, set to include a music quiz, video jukebox, an interactive dance floor and “more to come.” Audi are also bringing some stuff to Home in September, with a full Audi space coming before the end of the year. Do you like dancing? Well in September Home will be updated which will include more dance moves, new character customization and a camera you can take with you everywhere.

Firmware 3.0 – has just been announced. September 1st will see the PSN getting a new look, with animated themes, a What’s New section and other great interface changes. Direct links to various TV services will also be on the XMB, with iPlayer being one of them, but the best news is that the battery meter has been moved. Read here for more information.

PSN Cards – will ‘finally’ be coming to Europe with €50/£50 and €20/£20 versions available in September.

VidZone – will be expanding to new territories across Europe later this year, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway and New Zealand. Read here for more information.

Video Download Service – available later this year – will allow users to rent and buy films in SD and HD. Coming to UK, France, Germany and Spain in November, though will be expanding to further territories throughout 2010. Read here for more information.

Digital Reader – coming to US and EU in December. Digital Comics will be available, with hundreds at launch, including Marvel. Graphic novels, indie comics and local comics as well. Ira Rubenstein from Marvel took the stage to say that Marvels catalogue will be available through the reader, including Spider Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Daredevil and Thor. More partners to be announced soon. Reader will have autoflow.

PSP Minis – Smaller games for the PSP. 15 games will be available at launch on 1st Oct, with 50 by the end of 2009, including Tetris and Fieldrunners, Hero of Sparta and MiniGore. All games will have a 100Mb size limit, hence the term Mini. Read here for more information.

PSP 3000 in new colours – Turquoise Green, Lilac Purple, Blossom Pink. Some will be bundled, all sold separately.

Those who register their PSP Go’s between the 1st and 10th of October will get a free digital copy of GT PSP. Read here for more information.

EyePet – will bundled with PlayStation Eye for €49.99.

Uncharted 2 trailer – don’t get to see it but wish we could, and will almost certainly up for viewing later on.

Heavy Rain – David Cage from Quantic Dream comes on stage and asks “How far would you go for some you love?”. Heavy Rain will feature four main character, four lives, and four ways to answer that question. We’re about to get to see one of the new characters. I say we get to see, they get to see and we get to hear about it. Although hopefully we will see this footage in due course. One of the new characters came about from the fear, guilt and panic that David himself felt when he lost his child in a supermarket – don’t worry it was only for ten minutes though. This character, Ethan Mars, will have four days to find his son and redemption. The other character, Curt Shelby, is a Private Detective inverstiating the Origami Killer case. Heavy Rain is not based on repetitive patterns and violence – hoping for it to be a milestone in this new industry direction, with all the scenes being fully interactive.

Motion Controller – will be fully shown at TGS but there is a teaser video to wet our appetite, with some great examples of upcoming motion controller content being shown with everything from from party games, to adventure games, to toys.

Kaz Hirai is now on stage, saying how great E3 was this year and how amazing TGS will be and stating how GamesCom is the “third major date on the gaming calendar”. However, he’s not just here to celebrate GamesCom, he’s here to show off the new slimmer PS3 which will be available in the first week of September. It will include all the same features and functions as the original PS3, but 33% smaller and 36% lighter and will retail at €299/$299. That’s not all though, oh no! As of tomorrow, the price has just dropped for all current PS3s on shelves. As in right now! (Well tomorrow for stores as they’ll all be shut right now). Read here for more information.

Kaz then exits the stage which brings to an end to the Sony conference!

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