Hi everyone…as you read this, our counterparts at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe are wrapping up a press conference at the GC – Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, which is the European version of E3. Some new PlayStation hardware was announced, and I wanted to let you know the details of how these products will be making their way to North America.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune PS3 Bundle with 160GB PS3 System
The 160GB PS3 system announced at the GC will be available here as part of a new limited-edition bundle that includes the hardware, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune game, a PLAYSTATION Network voucher for PAIN, and a DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller. We’re hearing from a lot of you that more PS3 storage space is important, particularly since the launch of our video delivery service, and this new model delivers more memory and a whole lot of content packed-in. The 160GB PS3 has all of the same functionality as the new 80GB PS3 that’s popping up on retailer shelves now, but obviously has twice the HDD space, so you can build levels to your heart’s content in LittleBigPlanet, download a ton of videos, and still have room for your entire music collection. The Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune 160GB PS3 bundle launches in November for $499.99 (MSRP).
New PSP Entertainment Packs with updated PSP (PSP-3000)
We also unveiled at Leipzig an updated PSP system (PSP-3000), which we’ll be offering here initially through the previously announced Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters PSP Entertainment Pack and a new PSP 4GB Memory Entertainment Pack. I’m personally excited about the 4GB Memory bundle because we’re including a – you guessed it – 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo, which is the biggest Memory Stick we’ve ever bundled with a PSP. Similar to the new PS3 model, this PSP bundle is the result of the current consumer usage model – where more and more of you are finding that extra memory space is crucial. Check out the press release here for more details on what’s included in the bundles.
The new PSP retains the size and features of the current, slimmed-down PSP (PSP-2000), while incorporating some hardware updates:
- The LCD screen will have a wider color gamut and higher contrast ratio to deliver deeper, more vibrant colors, as well as anti-reflection technology so you can see the screen more clearly when playing outdoors. As you all know, the PSP’s screen is a key strength of the hardware, and this update adds an absolutely dazzling LCD screen to the handheld.
- A built-in microphone allows for Skype calls and multi-player gaming communication directly from the hardware – eliminating the need for attaching a separate headset.
Similar to our firmware updates, the new PSP is simply an opportunity to evolve the platform with the newest technology without adding to the cost of the system. The PSP Entertainment Packs will continue to be $199.99 (MSRP), and later this year we’ll release a standalone, updated PSP in a PSP Core Pack, which remains at $169.99 (MSRP).
PS3 Wireless Keypad
Lastly, we’ve announced a new Wireless Keypad for PS3 that will make text communications and Web browsing much easier. The Wireless Keypad snaps onto the top of a SIXAXIS or DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller and comes with some cool features, including a mode that turns the main key area into a touch pad (similar to a touch pad on a Laptop computer). Once in this mode, you can slide your finger on this area to move the cursor on the screen and tap to enter. There will be two short cut buttons on the Keypad that will enable users to jump directly to the XMB’s “Friends” icon and the “Message Box” during gameplay. The Wireless Keypad will launch in late November.
Last but not least, the Wireless Keypad is a Bluetooth device that can not only be used with the PS3 system but with any other Bluetooth enabled device that has Keyboard functionality. You will be able to use it with your smart phones and other portable devices that are equipped with Bluetooth. With the PS3 system, it can be paired and charged seamlessly just by connecting them with a USB cable.
That’s all for now on the hardware front. You’ll see much more on the games shown at GC in Leipzig in the coming days.