Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced a range of new products and services that will transform the entertainment experience on PSP (PlayStation Portable), PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PlayStation Network. Against the backdrop of strong global sales and the announcement of a comprehensive suite of new games and entertainment services, the new PlayStation®3 was unveiled, offering 120 gigabytes of hard disk drive storage space and priced at €299.
New PS3 system
The final surprise of the press conference was the unveiling of the new PS3 system. Responding to consumer demand for more space and the move towards downloadable content and games, the new model features 120GB hard disk drive whilst being significantly slimmer and lighter, with reduced power consumption. Available in stores the week of 1st September 2009, the new PS3 will be priced at €299. The current PS3 will also be reduced to €299 from 19th August 2009.
Strong business performance
Global sales of PSP (PlayStation Portable) hit more than 52.9 million [17 million in PAL territories] whilst PS3 reached more than 23.7 million [10.1 million in PAL territories] in its first two years. Rapid adoption of PlayStation Network has seen more than 27 million global registrants [11.1 million in PAL territories]; delivering 560 million downloads and online sales over $280 million.
Entertainment on demand
A system enhancement (system software update version 3.00) will improve the aesthetics and navigation of PS3, whilst also giving access to optimised TV websites including the UK’s BBC iPlayer on September 1st, followed shortly by RTVE, ANTENA 3 and La Sexta in Spain, ZDFmediathek in Germany, NOS in the Netherlands NOS, and the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) in Australia. Alongside TV web access, PlayStation’s entertainment offering was strengthened with the announcement of the PlayStation®Network video delivery service for PS3 and PSP, which goes live in November. The service will offer hundreds of movies, from Hollywood blockbusters to local market content, for rental or purchase in standard or high definition formats.
Digital reader unveiled
Digital reader service for PSP will also become available in December with other markets to follow in 2010. The first offering is Digital Comics, with hundreds of comics available at launch, and many more added each month, with big names including Spiderman, X-Men and Fantastic Four from Marvel, standing alongside graphic novels and titles from indie and local publishers. Consumers will first need to connect their PSP via Wi-Fi to the PlayStation Store to download the digital reader. Once downloaded, they can return to the Store to choose from a wide variety of comics available.
New payment system
Access to PlayStation Network content and services, including videos and comics will be made even easier from September with the availability at retail of PlayStation Network Voucher Cards in €20 and €50 denominations, allowing consumers to purchase from the PlayStation Store without the need for a credit card.
Andrew House, SCEE President and CEO, summarised the impact of the new services: “PlayStation Network opens up a genuinely unique entertainment experience. This is no longer just for hardcore gamers, but for everyone. We believe that everyone enjoys entertainment differently and should have the choice as to what entertainment they consume and exactly how they consume it. PlayStation is the gateway to that entertainment.”
Launch of “minis”
PSP saw more content, more choice and more ways to play. The gaming experience on PSP will be enhanced by “minis”, a new category of bite-sized games on PlayStation Network. “minis” will be available on 1st October 2009, alongside the launch of PSP go, with more than 35 developers around the world delivering more than 50 games by the end of the year. Meanwhile, choice was brought to life with two new colours for PSP-3000; Turquoise Green and Blossom Pink on sale from November, either standalone or Turquoise Green bundled with LittleBigPlanet.
David Cage of Quantic Dream presented a dramatic update to the much anticipated PS3 title. The game catapults players on an emotionally driven, dramatic journey in which their every move can have a tangible impact on the way the narrative unfolds, providing players with an intense, immersive and original experience.
Summary of key announcements
New model launch: Week of 1st September 2009
120GB hard disk drive, 32% size reduction, 36% weight reduction, 34% less power consumption. Price at €299, US $299, £249.99, ¥29,980, AUD $499, NZD $629
• Price reduction for current PS3 model from 19 August 2009
Global and PAL Sales:
• PS2: Worldwide sales of 138.8 million with PAL sales of 51 million as at June 2009
• PSP: Global sales of 52.9 million with PAL sales of 17 million as at June 2009
• PS3: Global sales of 23.7 million with PAL sales of more than 10 million units
• Global registrants now at 27 million, PAL registrants at 11.1 million
• Connection rate of 60 per cent [all markets]
• Global downloads in excess of 560 million [all markets]
• Total value of sales of $280 million.
Version 1.3 upgrade:
• Global application downloads of 7.5 million, 3.3 million in PAL territories
• Features including ability to carry more objects e.g. dice, playing cards
• New community space for SingStar
• New Audi space
Firmware upgrade 3.00: 1st September 2009
• Dynamic wallpapers, improved navigation, short cut to PlayStation Store from the game section.
• What’s New area allows view and shortcut to last three games played. Quick browsing of new content on PlayStation Store.
• Short cut for TV websites ie UK BBC iPlayer with locations formatted specifically for PS3 on large TV screens.
PlayStation Network voucher cards €20/€50: September 2009
Video Delivery Service
Launching: November 2009; UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain
Ongoing roll-out throughout 2010
• Hundreds of movies from major studios as well as local content with options to rent or buy, in both standard and high definition.
Digital Reader Service
Launching December 2009: European and North American PlayStation Stores Ongoing roll-out throughout 2010
• English, further languages to be added
• Read comics and graphic novels on your PSP
• Digital Comic is first service launching with hundreds of titles and more than 50 new ones every month including Spiderman, X-Men and Fantastic Four from Marvel alongside graphic novels, small indie publishers and local publishers.
Available in store: 1 October 2009; European and North American PlayStation Stores
• Low price snackable gaming from 35 developers to date
• 15 new games from day one, with more than 50 by end of 2009
Launching Turquoise Green and Blossom Pink: November 2009
• Standalone or bundled, Turquoise Green with LittleBigPlanet.
• Other bundles including Sony Computer Entertainment titles Gran Turismo, InviZimals and MotorStorm Arctic Edge, as well as titles from third-party publishers including Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, (Ubisoft), DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY (SQUARE ENIX), FIFA 10 (EA Sports), Hannah Montana (Disney Interactive Studios) and TEKKEN 6 (Namco Bandai).