GC 09: Sony gamescom conference

The Sony press conference got things underway at Gamescom in Germany earlier today. Rumours of a PS3 price drop and an all-new skinny version of the console had growing momentum in the build up to this week's event. So did the PlayStation people deliver? Find out below with our bullet-point rundown of all the Sony conference highlights - or click here to watch our epic unboxing of the retail PS3 Slim.

PS3 Slim

It’s the real deal. And you’ll be able to pick one up as of September 1st, as long as you’ve got a spare $299/£249.99/299 Euros to hand. Aside from this season’s sleek matte finish, you’ll also get a 120GB hard-drive and the new anorexic console is now 32% smaller, using less power in the process. Because of this, it’s quiet like Friday night mass.

So what other nifty new features does the squashed machine have up its elegant black sleeve? Well, it can interact with your Bravia TV for a kick-off – your remote controls the XMB. The system also comes with a new vertical stand. Although there's sad news for all you Linux lovers, as you won't be able to install other operating systems on the machine.

Fear not if you’re not fond of the new design, though. You’ll still be able to buy the old obese 80GB models, which will retail for the same price as the Slim from here on out.


The PlayStation Network is getting all sexed-up with a slight redesign, which will take effect after you’ve downloaded the upcoming firmware 3.0. The new features include a ‘What’s New’ section, which will provide all the latest PlayStation news without the need to leave the XMB, and extensive Store updates.

Among the PSN updates are new avatar icons (including premium ones you’ll be able to buy), animated themes and a constant onscreen indicator that can immediately tell you how many of your friends are online and how many unread mails you currently have.

European PS3 owners will finally get access to the video download service their US counterparts have been enjoying for months. Exact pricing details are yet to be confirmed, but you can expect more details and a further expansion of the service around November.

Before that, though, UK gamers will be able to enjoy BBC iPlayer (which allows you to watch recent shows like Dragon’s Den and Top Gear) from September. Hmmmm, a night watching Duncan Bannatyne reduce an amateur entrepreneur to tears or a few deathmatches of Killzone 2. Decisions, decisions.

Finally, there will soon be a new Singstar space in Home (yay?). And hundreds of digital Marvel comics are coming to the Store, available to read on either your PS3 or PSP.


If you’re a complete mentalist and decide you’d rather buy a PSP 3000 than the upcoming PSP Go, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the 3000 will soon be available in three new colours. You’ll be able to choose from turquoise blue, blossom pink or lilac purple (which is already available in the States). Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing we’d enjoy more than helping our old PSP’s blossom, but we’d still rather have the GO’s fancy, sliding screen.

New games

'How far will you go for love?' That's what Heavy Rain asks us after watching an overly angst trailer that revealed the game's final character, a grief-stricken dad on a hunt for revenge. If nothing else, David Cage's firsttitle sinceThe Indigo Prophecy is certainly varied. And we can't think of many games that let you innocently play witha smallsprog one minute and strip down as a woman for some fat pervert the next.

LocoRoco, Midnight Carnival and Eye of Judgment (because who doesn’t love weird, twee card games) have all been announced for PSP. And hold onto your carburetors petrol heads, because you can now pre-order Gran Turismo 5 if you live in Europe. Not suffered heart palpitations yet? Well, if that wasn’t enough, PSP Go users will get GT PSP free as a digital download when they register their new handhelds.

Motion controller

The equivalent of tumbleweed blowing through Cologne in terms of any new concrete details, but Sony have announced there’ll be loads more news released on the magic wand thingy at the Tokyo Game Show during the first week of November.

Aug 18, 2009

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