Leipzig GC 07: how clear was our crystal ball?
So, how good were the predictions and what does the future look like for the PS3, especially in the UK and Europe?
Predictions 1 & 2 - "Europe will get a video on demand service for the PS3 and PSP" and "The PS3 will gain Freeview in the UK."
Sony announced PlayTV for the PS3, a twin-tuner Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) receiver and software bundle that allows you to turn your PS3 into a full-blown PVR, recording and playing back TV programs. PlayTV allows you to record one program whilst watching something else, and you can control it via Remote Play on your PSP too.
In addition, we heard the official announcement regarding Sky's joint venture with Sony which will bring on-demand programs and video to the PSP platform.
PlayTV launches in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France in 2008. Whether the Sky venture makes it's way to the PS3 is debatable - I can't see why Sky would allow their content on a PS3 that supports Freeview or vice versa.
Prediction Score - 10/10
Prediction 3 - "A 120Gb PS3 model for Europe instead of the 80Gb model they launched in the US."
Sony's David Reeves has said, whilst at Leipzig, that this is possible.
"The difference between 60 and 80GB is very small, we just feel that going up 20GB is not worth it," Reeves told Norwegian website Dagbladet. However, "If you go to double it, it's worth it", he added. "So maybe you'll see something a little bit later."
So whilst they didn't announce it at GC 07, there's a good chance this prediction will come true in the near future.
Prediction Score - 6/10
Prediction 4 - "Sony will announce at least six new exclusives."
David Reeves went on record saying that Sony were not going to launch any further titles at GC 07 because consumers are already anticipating a heavy few months and they can't necessarily afford any more titles right now.
And yet with the PS Eye they announced three new titles exclusive titles that are supported by the device! Operation Creature Feature, Trials of Topoq and Aqua Vita are all coming along soon.
However, they didn't announce the titles we expected and seem to be leaving them until the Tokyo Game Show...
Prediction Score - 2/10
Predictions 5 & 6 - "The PSP will get access to the Playstation Store/PS3 Friends/PS3 Chat" and "The PSP and/or PS3 will get a Skype client"
Whilst Go! Messenger is only for the PSP and it isn't by Skype, the PSP is getting a chat and messenger system that will make use of the Go! Play camera and a headset. In conjunction with BT, the PSP will become a viable VoIP solution.
I still believe the PSP will access the PS3 Friends system at some point, but it is sensible to make this interface with PlayStation Home for that functionality in the same way Phil Harrison showed use via mobile phone.
Prediction Score - 5/10
Prediction 7 - "Sony will launch a 'LinkedIn' or 'Facebook' style system"
They didn't announce anything like this. This will probably be serviced by the PC web-based interface to PlayStation Home that they announced at E3.
Prediction Score - 1/10
Prediction 8 - "SCEE will announce the SixShock controller. Or RumbleAxis. Or whatever you want to call it"
Also didn't happen. In an interview with GameSpot, David Reeves said that any rumours about this coming along are just that - there are no announcements regarding rumble now or expected any time soon.
Prediction Score - 0/10
Prediction 9 - "Sony will launch a PC client to access and chat with your Friends"
GC 07 was not about Home at all. Sony's strategy, it seems, is to split up announcements between E3, GC and TGS. This means that since all the Home announcements were at E3, we need to wait for any extra details - especially since they're still in beta right now.
However, we know from E3 that a PC web-based service will allow access to Home, and so therefore will allow access to your Friends via PC.
Prediction Score - 4/10
Prediction 10 - "Sony will allow you to live videoblog using a PSP with a GoCam! direct to your PS3 hard drive and consequently to your Playstation Home space"
Again, because of no Home news at GC 07, we're not sure. But since Go! Messenger was launched, it's not such a leap of faith to make it connect to the Internet like Go! Cam and send your stuff up to the PS3. Certainly, Go! Messenger has connectivity to other devices such as PCs build in, so I'm calling this one a fairly accurate prediction!
Prediction Score - 6/10
Not a bad score overall - check back for more GC 07 roundup news soon.