Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have today welcomed media to a preview event at gamescom, Cologne and while setting out the vision for the coming year, announced two new models of PlayStation®3 (PS3™), with larger hard drives, to replace the current models. Also announced for the first time were six new catch up TV channels, a whole raft of new titles for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and brand new games from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games: Resistance 3™ and Ratchet and Clank®: All 4 One.
Market leading growth:
SCEE President and CEO, Andrew House explained that PlayStation® sales, driven by slimmer and lighter PS3 since its launch in September, 2009, underpinned a market leading performance with global PS3 sales reaching 38 million with SCEE sales reaching over 16 million units, with a year on year growth of 57 per cent. Exceptional software sales growth of 38 per cent, compared to market growth of just seven per cent, was driven by some of the highest rated games on the market illustrating the value of exclusive, market leading titles like Heavy Rain™, God of War® III and Uncharted®2: Among Thieves.
New models of PS3 respond to growth in content services:
House unveiled two new models of PS3 offering significantly larger hard drives – 320GB and 160GB. The announcement was in response to the rapid increase in the amount, and consumption of downloadable content on PlayStation®Network ranging from games to films. Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand will announce local details at a later date.
New Software and Services:
House reinforced the focus on developing the PlayStation entertainment offer with PS3 laying claim to a place at the heart of the living room. This was highlighted by the announcement that streaming music service VidZone™ had delivered almost 500 million videos into homes throughout the SCEE region. House also introduced the next PlayTV™ upgrade, called PlayTV Live Chat, available later in 2010, bringing community functionality, allowing onscreen text discussion. Using the analogy of the forthcoming football season, House illustrated how PlayTV Live Chat allowed real time onscreen discussion amongst PlayTV viewers worldwide on the merits of a match or referee. A further roll out of Catch up TV channels was confirmed, with the addition of six new channels on PS3 including Animax in Germany, TV3 in Spain, ITV in the UK, Yahoo!7’s PLUS7 service in Australia, YLE in Finland and following its initial success, an expanded NOS service in Holland. Likewise, the joy of enjoying films on PS3 will be expanded with the arrival of the global cinema community built around the film streaming service MUBI. Offering the free MUBI application from PlayStation®Store for download onto PS3’s XMB [Xross Media Bar] this October, MUBI focus is on acclaimed independent and classic films curated by movie experts.
PlayStation Network and PlayStation®Plus
House highlighted the growing importance of PlayStation Network. He pointed to its role in bringing diverse communities together from traditional gamers playing Call of Duty® online to SingStar® video uploads or ModNation Racers™ and LittleBigPlanet™ creators sharing their latest works. House also emphasised the importance of PlayStation®Plus and the video delivery service, which he explained now had over 5,000 titles available across the PAL territories.
Resistance 3 and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One confirmed
Ted Price, CEO and President of Insomniac Games, Inc. took to the stage to introduce Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, the latest game in the popular franchise. For the first time, up to four-players will be able to team up as Ratchet, Clank, Quark or Dr Nefarious to wage battles across an untamed alien planet. He left the audience wanting more after announcing Resistance 3 with an intriguing video that teased of what’s to come in the next episode of the acclaimed franchise.
PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) services engage younger audience:
PSP global sales of 9.9 million units in during the previous fiscal year, were driven by services such as Digital Comics which have already seen more than three million comics downloaded globally. Moving forward, affordable and accessible is the mantra behind PSP, with its penetration into the youth games market led by minis, the quick and easy to download titles, which have sold more than one million downloads in less than a year, whilst great value games, make gaming affordable for every pocket.
The year to come
House pointed to the line up for the year ahead including Gran Turismo®5, LittleBigPLanet™ 2, InFamous™ 2, Sorcery™, DC Universe™ Online and Time Crisis: Razing Storm™ and went on to look at the arrival of PlayStation Move and stereoscopic 3D gaming. The in-store date of 16 September (New Zealand launch) for PlayStation Move, is confirmed. PlayStation Move motion controller will be priced at RRP NZ$79.95, whilst the PlayStation Move navigation controller would be priced at RRP NZ$59.95 with the starter pack that comprises a PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStation®Eye and a Starter disc, priced at RRP NZ$109.95. Highlighted also, was the wide variety of software that would be available including for the traditional gamer, experiences with The Fight™, Heavy Rain™ Move Edition, SOCOM™: Special Forces, Time Crisis: Razing Storm™ and MAG™, whilst for the whole family, games such as Start the Party, Sports Champions™, TV Superstars and EyePet™ Move Edition.
The presentation finished with a look at what lies ahead for stereoscopic 3D gaming as part of Sony’s group-wide 3D strategy. Only two months after the debut of stereoscopic 3D games with the likes of WipEout®HD and PAIN, House took the opportunity to highlight forthcoming titles including Gran Turismo®5, Killzone®3 and MotorStorm™ Apocalypse and to demonstrate the impact on game play - from gauging breaking distances in Gran Turismo 5 to immersing yourself in the alien landscapes of Killzone 3.