GC09; Sony Conference, full summary
Whilst the rest of the Internet has been awash with rumour and speculation, as usual we at PS3 Attitude have bit our lips (and kept the ‘Drawer of Secrets’ locked), preferring instead to wait for the official word.
And now that word comes to you via our people on the ground, (almost) live from Germany.
Our intrepid reporter tells you what happened, as it happened:
“Where once there was wi-fi, now there is not. The SCEE wi-fi server decided, with 15 minutes to go until launch, to disappear from plain sight.
So instead of a wonderful liveblog, we are stuck with having to provide you with all the news from Sony’s Press Conference in Cologne, Germany. We remember a similar experience in Los Angeles, and we do hope Sony get it right at TGS.
After Andrew House opened the presentation with a number of facts and figures, including the great news that SCEE have sold over 10 million PS3 units in the region, we moved on to the real meat and bones of the conference.
The PlayStation Network got a fair share of press, with the PlayStation Store having managed 560m global downloads, which translates to 280m USD of revenue.
PlayStation Home was next on the conference roster, and again Andrew House continued to post the numbers, with 3.5m downloads of the Home application within the SCEE region. Our first announcements of the day centred around Home too, with the launch of a SingStar space and a collaboration with Audi that will see Audi TV content arrive on the PS3.
Sony also announced that we’ll see a whole new range of animations and toys within Home, including dice to throw and even a shrinking potion so you can get all ‘Alice in Wonderland’ within the social network.
From the 1st September the XMB will also see a spruce up, including dynamic themes, a ‘What’s New’ section and even the addition of ‘catch-up TV’ services, such as BBC iPlayer. These, naturally, will only be available in certain territories, just as their PC-based cousins are.
In addition, PSN vouchers are finally coming to Europe, which means that non-credit card toting users will be able to purchase content on the PS Store.
The video delivery service that our US friends have enjoyed for some time now will launch in November 2009 in some territories, including the UK, initially supporting the download of movies from players such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, WB and Universal.
Following a major PSP announcement, with comic books and graphic novels coming to the portable device via a new Digital Reader, Sony continued the use of the word ‘snackable’ from E3 (a habit we’re worried about) with the announcement of ‘minis’, a new section on the PS Store covering low-priced, small games produced by developers across the world. And to be fair to the PSP, the range of games planned to launch over the next few months look superb – not just these ‘minis’, but the full price roster is certainly inspiring.
Back to the PS3, EyePet will be priced at only 49.99 EUR, which is fantastic news considering how it totally stole the show at Edinburgh Interactive. After showing a highly impressive Uncharted 2 trailer, which got the first proper round of applause of the night (excepting the PSP Hannah Montana bundle), it was time to talk about Heavy Rain.
Rather than burden you with having to read through this writer’s explanation of the themes and emotions involved in Heavy Rain, we’ll be uploading a video soon that explains everything.
Finally, and with absolutely no shred of secrecy left, the most important part of the night came when Kaz Hirai joined us at the conference to announce the Slim PS3. The announcement of the Slim PS3 brought the house down, and the pricing – announced at 299 EUR, 299 USD and 29,980 JPY – is extremely keen. In fact the current PS3 will enjoy this new pricing straight away, helping to give the black monolith a much needed sales boost.”
Look out for much more from PS3 Attitude through the rest of the week as we cover GamesCom 2009 direct from Germany.