While Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCE) major news about PlayStation3 broke before its presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) the company still had plenty to discuss.
Prior to E3 Sony announced a new 80GB version of the PlayStation3, which would be packaged with the popular Motor Storm racing simulation, would be released for $599, while the 60GB version of the system has dropped in price by $100 to $499.
Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, stressed that Sony has clear objectives this fiscal year.
"We have two basic goals," said Tretton. "The first is to broaden the install the base, and the second is to deliver content that offers something for everyone."
Since the price reduction was announced Tretton said sales have doubled at the top fivePS3 retailers. Sony is clearly focusing on software titles this year, announcing that 200 Blu-ray Disc games would be released worldwide by the end of the fiscal year. More than 120 of these would be for North America.
Sony also confirmed their continued commitment to their still popular PlayStation2 system, which is currently seven years into its life cycle. Sony announced that it plans to ship another 10 million units this year, and that more than 160 new games will be released the system in North America by the end of the fiscal year.
Sony's big hardware news is a slimmed-down version of their handheld gaming system PlayStation Portable, or PSP. Kaz Hirai, CEO of SCE, took the stage to show off the new PSP. It will be available during September in three colors and will be 19 percent slimmer and 33 percent lighter, while offering a more efficient battery and more importantly the ability to output high-quality video, pictures and games on a connected TV set.
The PSP continues to offer music playback in MP3 and Sony's protected-ATRAC3 family from Memory Stick PRO Duo memory cards, movie and game playback from Universal Media Disc (UMD) discs, and picture playback from Memory Stick.
A basic package PSP-2000 will retail for a suggested $169. Two other packages at a suggested $199 include a limited-edition Daxter PSP Entertainment Pack with ice silver PSP in September with Daxter game, "Family Guy" episodes on UMD and a 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card. On Oct. 9, stores will offer the collector's edition Star Wars Battlefront PSP Entertainment Pack with ceramic white PSP, Darth Vader silk-screen on the chassis and unit, and a PSP exclusive title, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.
The new PSP is 33 percent lighter, at around 6.7 ounces, including battery pack, and 19 percent slimmer, at 0.75 inches in thickness. It continues to offer 64MB of main memory, built-in stereo speakers, IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi and Web browsing.
The PSP is capable of playing any of almost 250 games titles; downloadable content from the Internet; and more than 450 feature films, TV programs and videos from major studios and record labels. — Additional reporting by Joseph Palenchar