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Sony Press Conference Rundown From Leipzig

mdalonzo
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Posted August 20, 2008 - By Mike D'Alonzo

Something interesting must be about to happen at the Sony press conference, because they are blocking off the area and throwing everyone out, including members of the press and other Sony employees. Also, instead of being held in a lecture hall or a conference room where everyone could sit and see it, they're having their conference on the little bit of stage that protrudes from one end of their booth. Practical? Not exactly. Still, something good must be coming, right? I am, at the moment, the only blogger within the nylon ropes of the Sony area.

5:00 PM - It must be time for this thing to start, because there's a couple of Killzone 2 soldiers and a giant mascot from Buzz!  Coming to the stage. Also, a video encompassing everything Sony, including PS Home, Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, Buzz, Singstar, and what looks to be some interesting PSP innovations.

5:02PM - David Reeves starts things off by quoting "The Times They Are A-Changin." It's almost a challenge to writers and critics. The subject of this media briefing seems like it might be something along the lines of "don't write us off, yet." Promises that there are big announcements to be made here. Announcements that have been presaged all Summer long.

5:06 PM - Here comes the first announcement. It's PSP-related. PSP 3000. New device. It looks like the bastard child of the PSP and the iPhone. LCD enhancements, increased color reproduction, reducing glare of light outside. It also has a built-in microphone, and will support Go! Messenger in Europe, and Skype in the US. PSP 3000 will launch on October 15th everywhere but the US, and it's $199 Euro, it will be available in eight different bundles, including Harry Potter and FIFA.

5:11PM - Sony Online Entertainment information, including The Agency, DC Universe Online, and Free Realms, an MMO that targets a younger audience and will be released for PS3. SOE will begin distributing games to Sony PCs. This is a first for the company, and a new revenue stream for Sony. We see trailers for those three games. Free Realms looks like the movie Elf passed through a WoW filter, The Agency, of course, has been coming for a while, and there's some in-game footage that looks good, and DCU Online is much the same. Nice little Joker moment at the end of the trailer.

5:16PM - PS3 announcements. PS3 has sold 14M worldwide over the past year. The 80G PS3 is being released here in the PAL region of Europe, except for Australia and New Zealand. There will also be a 160GB PS3 launched on Halloween in the PAL countries, and will cost $449 Euro with $70 Euro worth of downloadable content. PlayTV also is being launched on September 19th. Little Big Planet will be released on October 29th, which is a confirmation of a rumor that's been out a while. Also, later this year, there will be a new wireless keypad for the PS3 to allow for further interaction with the game system. He's got one onstage. You attach it to the top of the SIXAXIS and DualShock controller, and there will be eight different versions to accommodate different languages. There will also be a touch pad capability on this pad.

5:21PM - Music is coming to the PS3, via Vidzone, a free streaming service, and will be available in the beginning of 2009. Offers easy access music service for unlimited streaming of music on demand to the PlayStation 3, free-of-charge. There will be music videos and custom playlists as well, and Vidzone will be able to be reached through the PSP as well. Shows a video of the Vidzone service. You can also send this music you download to your mobile phone. We see some slides showing that Sony is all about the music and video in their business over the course of the next couple of business quarters. Video delivery is coming everywhere.

5:26PM - Games time. Singstar gets a promo video. Don't laugh...it's sold 13 million copies here, and is amazingly popular in Germany, in particular. Singstar PS2 discs will be playable on PS3 from now on. It'll be a firmware enhancement to the game. New tracks are coming, including Michael Jackson and Barry Manilow. Also, The Ting Tings will be available in the new version of the game, as well. We see a video of all these songs, from Fergie to Queen, from Katrina and the Waves to Michael Jackson. Also, new versions of the game include Singstar Disney, which your mom will love. It's coming to PS2 this Autumn. So dust it off. Also, in the online store, there will be a Queen track pack, and a disc coming out later this year.

5:32PM - EyePet is announced. You can adopt a virtual pet and love and pet them. There's a video that illustrates this. It's a game you play with your Eye Toy, where you get to create a pet and draw toys for them. Delightful. Very interactive for all of the family. Coming to PS3 next year.

5:35PM - Heavy Rain is announced to lots of applause. David Cage, the President of Quantic Dream, the developers of the game, comes to the stage. This game is going to be mature and emotional. They wanted to create a different kind of gaming experience, centered on narrative and emotion, and that this sort of mature content is good for a new gaming audience. You're going to be playing the story here. Your decisions will have consequences. Then, we get to see some of it. First off, it's freakin' gorgeous. It seems to be about a girl who finds herself in bad shape with a taxidermist who stuffs women. It's really pretty. All gameplay footage. It's exclusive to PS3.

5:40 PM - Reeves. He's confident that PS3 is going to kick ass going forward. We're wrapping it up. There will be an update on Sony in Germany, but we don't understand that...it's in GERMAN!

Sony Press Conference Rundown From Leipzig
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