Gamescom is a video games trade show–like E3, except for the that fact that it takes place in Europe (in Cologne, Germany to be precise) and it attracts a much, much larger crowd of attendees including members of the press and game developers. And just like they did at Los Angeles’ E3 in June, console makers Microsoft and Sony held press events revealing new titles, providing updates on previously announced ones, and showing off new system features. For the latest on the games, I recommend you visit Joystiq. This post will mostly focus on software updates coming to the Xbox One and PS4, as well as new hardware options revealed. For the full scoop, jump after the break. READ MORE Xbox and PlayStation at Gamescom 2014
Let’s get right to the details of the PS3 Slim:
- 32% smaller, 36% lighter, 34% less power than its chunkier brother, the original PS3
- Boasts all the same features of the bulkier PS3, so still no backwards compatability with PS2 games
- Adds one feature: BRAVIA Sync – you can browse the PS3 XMB with your Sony TV remote, PS3 will power down when TV shuts off (if both devices are connected via HDMI)
- Removes one feature: The ability to install an operating system (like Linux) is gone.
- Matte finish
- 120GB HDD
- 2 USB ports (down from 4)
- Price- $299; release date – early September
- UPDATE: According to Engadget, the power and eject buttons on the front of the console are physical buttons that press down now; the HDD is swappable; the PS3 logo does not rotate; feels siginifcantly lighter in hands compared to the old PS3. Also, according to Gizmodo, Sony plans to change the PS3 logo and reformat the PS brand name from PLAYSTATION 3 to Playstation 3. That’s better!
Arriving concurrently with the PS3 Slim hardware is the 3.0 firmware update:
- XMB redesigned
- Information Board replaced with “What’s New” – populated with news and information from the world of Playstation (latest and greatest games, videos, etc); you can launch immediately from recently played games
- Playstation Store game and video sections placed under the Games and Video icons in the XMB, respectively
- Animated themes are available in the PS Store (themes can change with time of day, etc.)
- Upper right hand corner – space for avatar, friend icon w/ # of friends online, mail
- More avatar selections available through the PS Store (free and premium)
- Available via a free download on September 1
At the GamesCon in Germany, Sony had additional announcements concerning PS3, PSP, and the Playstation Network (PSN):
- Effective today, all PS3 systems will cost $299; that is a $100 price drop. Once the PS3 Slim releases in early September it will take the place of its thicker older brother.
- Sony introduced Minis; they are “bite-sized” games that will be made for the PSP & PSP go! and will sell as digital downloads only in the PS Store. The titles will have a 100MB size limit. The first bunch of Minis will be made available on October 1, the same day as the release of the PSP go! Sony has planned to release 15 Minis for launch, and about 50 games for the remainder of 2009. Some of these games include Tetris, Field Runners, Hero of Sparta and Minigore.
- PSN video store and PSN cards will be available to access and sell, respectively, in Europe this fall. The video store will initially sell movies only, and will expand its library from there. The PSN cards will sell in 20 and 50 euros demoninations.
- Sony announced the PSP Digital Reader; the plan is to digitize a bunch of comics, sell them in the PS Store, and make them available to read on the PSP. Sony’s first major partner is Marvel and they plan to have “hundreds available, including the Marvel Comics stable.”
- Three new PSP color variations will be sold in Europe this November: “Turquoise” blue, “Lilac” purple, and “Blossom” pink.
See the galleries below for: (1) official PS3 Slim shots; (2) Engadget’s PS3 Slim unboxing shots
Look after the break for: (1) a video tour of the PS3 3.0 software; (2) firmware 3.0 full details; (3) a video of PS President Jack Tretton talking about the new announcements; (4) PS3 Slim spec sheet
[Via Engadget; Gizmodo; Joystiq; PlaystationBlog]
READ MORE Cheaper, slimmer PS3 is official, finally!