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Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sony To Release 320GB PS3, New Service and Game Line-up

Sony's PlayStation 3 system will be offered with 160GB or 320GB Hard Disk Drives (HDD), offering more capacity to download games and entertainment content from PlayStation Network.

The new models will continue to offer the same features and functions of the current models, but with approximately 33 percent more capacity and at compelling price points. This increased HDD space addresses the growing demand for the digital content offered on PlayStation Network, where more than 1 billion pieces of content have been downloaded as of July 2010, according to Sony.

At $299.99 (MSRP), the 160GB model PS3 system offers great value to consumers and it is now shipping to retailers at the same price as the existing PS3 model. The 'PS3 Sports Champions Move' bundle will introduce the 320GB model PS3 system along with one PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStationEye camera, a copy of Sports Champions, and bonus Blu-ray game demo disc all in one package for $399.99 (MSRP).

Sony claims that the PlayStation Network has more than 52 million accounts registered worldwide. The network provides a library of downloadable games, more than 23,000 HD and SD movies and TV episodes, exclusive programming, and PlayStationHome, a social game network where users can meet friends and play games. Key games launching on PlayStation Network this year include PixelJunk Shooter 2, and Dead Nation, as well as PlayStation Move titles such as echochrome ii, Tumble, and Beat Sketcher.

At the Gamescom, Cologne, 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. Software sales growth of 38 per cent, compared to market decrease two per cent, was driven by some of the highest rated games on the market illustrating the value of exclusive titles like Heavy Rain, God of War III and Uncharted2: Among Thieves, Andrew House added.

New Software and Services

Sony announced 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.

House also 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 a total of over 5,000 titles available across the PAL terrirories.

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.

House pointed to the game 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. Confirming the in-store date of 15 September for PlayStation Move, House confirmed that PlayStation Move motion controller would be priced at RRP €39.99, whilst the PlayStation Move navigation controller would be priced at RRP €29.99, with the starter pack that comprises a PlayStation Move motion controller, PlayStation Eye and a Starter disc, priced at RRP €59.99. He also highlighted the 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.

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