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Wednesday, July 16, 2008
E3: Sony Announces $399 80GB PS3, Video Delivery Service

At Sony's E3 2008 press conference held yesterday, the company announced a 80GB PS3 "Core Pack" that'll go on sale for $399 - Sony's answer to Microsoft's cheaper version of the Xbox 360.

The company also launches new PLAYSTATION network video delivery service and showcased more than 140 games across all iots platforms.

Starting in September 2008, the newly announced PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) 80GB model will become the mainstay of the company's hardware line-up. The 80GB model will retail for $399, and will offer all of the features and functionality of the 40GB model with double the storage to accommodate more movies, graphics, music, photos and other entertainment content. As with its predecessor, the new 80GB model will be a complete entertainment system comprising of a Blu-ray player, HDMI output, an integrated Wi-Fi connection, Cell Broadband Engine and a built-in 80GB hard-disk drive.

Following the success of five PSP Entertainment Packs, SCEA announced the Ratchet and Clank Size Matters PSP Entertainment Pack, a new bundle showcasing PSP's multi-functional feature set, targeted for holiday gift-giving. Launching in October 2008 for $199.99 MSRP, the bundle will include a limited-edition "Silver" PSP system with the , Ratchet and Clank Size Matters game; a blockbuster movie on UMD; a PLAYSTATION Network voucher to download the puzzle game, echochrome from PLAYSTATION Store: and a 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo for storing music, videos, photos and more.

In addition, SCEA introduced a new family entertainment bundle for the PlayStation 2 system. The limited-edition LEGO Batman: The Videogame PlayStation 2 Pack will feature the highly anticipated TT Games/Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment title LEGO Batman: The Videogame, Warner Home Video's Justice League: The New Frontier on DVD, and a PlayStation 2 system ? all for $149.99 MSRP. SCEA will also launch more than 130 new titles for PlayStation 2 system this year.

Additionally, the company previewed more than 140 first and third-party games at E3 2008 . SCEA is also developing more than 50 games, game packs, and add-ons downloadable via PLAYSTATION Network in North America this year. Also, SCEA will launch PS3 Greatest Hits program on July 28 with 10 first and third party titles at a reduced price of $29.99.

The PS3 Greatest Hits titles include Warhawk, Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of Man from SCEA; Call of Duty 3, Activision; Need for Speed: Carbon, Electronic Arts; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda Softworks; Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Tecmo; Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft.

SCEA also announced a new video delivery service on PLAYSTATION Store for PS3 and PSP systems in the United States. The new video service, available today, allows U.S. consumers to download full-length TV shows and movies to both their PS3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store for rental or purchase.

The video delivery service will have full integration in the PLAYSTATION Network, utilizing the same login, wallet management, and user interface of the newly revamped PLAYSTATION Store. Video will be categorized, for example, by top rating, alphabetical order, television shows, and movies and content is also fully searchable, for example, by title, producer, studio and cast. In addition, PS3?s progressive downloading means users can view content shortly after the downloading process begins. Background downloading is also a feature of PS3, allowing users to access other platform features such as gaming and other XMB (XrossMediaBar) content while a video is downloading to their consoles.

20th Century Fox?s "Alvin and the Chipmunks", Lionsgate?s "3:10 to Yuma", MGM?s "Rocky", Paramount Pictures? "Cloverfield", Sony Pictures? "Spider-Man", and Warner Bros. Entertainment?s "10,000 B.C." are a few of the titles available for electronic sell-through on the video service at launch. Disney?s "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man?s Chest" will also be available for rent. Additionally, SCEI will be introducing original exclusive content such as Xam?d: Lost Memories, an anime series developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, delivered in SD and HD.

Consumers who rent a movie from the video delivery service have 14 days to watch the content. Once content playback is started, consumers have a 24 hours to enjoy their rental. Pricing for rental movies at launch ranges from $2.99 to $5.99, and pricing for purchased movies ranges from $9.99 to $14.99.

Marlin Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is being used to protect the content, but it allows videos to be shared on multiple activated devices. And users can transfer videos from their PS3 to a PSP handheld console.

In addition, SCEA further outlined progress in PlayStation Home. Highlighting new first party high definition virtual environments for hit PlayStation titles including, Unchartered: Drake's Fortune and Warhawk. Sony Computer Entertainment will be expanding the beta in Summer 2008 and commence the open beta service by Fall 2008.

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