More than 800 journalists and their laptops packed into E-Werk in Cologne, Germany before the start of gamescom to hear the latest announcements from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
A brand new PlayStation 3 topped the bill, as Kaz Hirai – President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. joined Andrew House – President and CEO of SCEE – on-stage. Two-thirds slimmer and lighter than the previous model, it features a 120GB Hard Disk Drive and will be available throughout Europe from September 1, 2009, at the attractive price of €299.
Staying with hardware, it was also revealed that, from November, PSP will be available in two new colours – Turquoise Green and Blossom Pink.
PlayStation Store will expand its range of downloadable content when the PlayStation Network video delivery service comes to the UK, France, Germany and Spain this November – the rest of Europe will follow in 2010. Partnerships with illustrious studios such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures and many more will ensure a stellar line-up of movies available to buy or rent at launch, on both PS3 and PSP, and in either SD or HD.
PSP owners can also look forward to a new section on PlayStation Store. The new Digital Comics service, announced on-stage by Ira Rubenstein of Marvel Entertainment, will deliver a regularly updated library of comics from Marvel and many other publishers in December 2009.
The digital reader – a downloadable application that allows users to read their comics – features an intuitive Autoflow system that highlights particular parts of a cell to mimic the way the eye moves across the page for a great reader experience on a small screen.
With all of this downloadable entertainment comes a new way to add funds to your PlayStation Network wallet. PlayStation Network Cards do just that and will be available next month in €20 and €50 denominations.
Yet another new category coming to PlayStation Store on October 1, 2009, is minis. It will contain a range of PSP games under 100MB in size that are quick to download and perfect for gaming on the go. Electronic Arts are supporting minis and more than 50 titles – including Tetris – will be available to download before the end of the year.
The number of people enjoying VidZone is set to grow – many more European countries will receive the service before the end of the year.
Quantic Dreams’ David Cage took to the stage to introduce a new Heavy Rain character. Recalling a traumatic moment in his own life where he and his wife momentarily lost their son while shopping, he unveiled Ethan – a young architect who lost his son in a tragic accident.
All in all, a great presentation with the new PS3 stealing the show – stay tuned for more updates from gamescom.