$299 PS3 Slim unveiled, existing console prices drop Aug. 19

GamesCom 2009: Thinner, matte-finish 120GB model goes on sale first week of September; 80GB $299, 160GB $399 starting tomorrow; new PS3 motion-control details at TGS; PSN to offer 100MB "PSP Minis" casual games; digital comics coming in November.

by

COLOGNE--While GamesCom won't open its doors to the public until tomorrow, today may see the biggest news to come out of the massive trade show. This evening, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has summoned reporters, analysts, and industry types to gather for its press briefing, initially believed to be three hours long.

The new PS3 Slim up close.

While the briefing's runtime is now closer to just an hour, that gives Sony plenty of time to use the event to broadcast its PlayStation brand plans for the world. There has been much interest in those plans, fueled by a steady stream of rumors that the company will use GamesCom to unveil a cheaper, slimline model of the PlayStation 3. Speculation has been percolating about such a device since photos surfaced in May and was apparently confirmed this morning by product listings on US retailers K-mart and Sears.

As for the rest of Sony's conference, reports out of the UK indicate that the financially troubled electronics giant will use it to unveil its European PS3 video store. The television show and movie marketplace launched in North America last summer shortly after Sony's 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo presentation.

The Sony GamesCom press conference is at a club called E-work, about 10 minutes out of town.

[9:35] After a 30 minute delay, Sony has let people into the main hall. On the stage are letters that read "The game is just the start…"

[9:35] The room appears to be a converted German dance club, complete with house music playing over the speakers. Welcome to Cologne.

[9:35] So far, the stage is completely free of people. No one is milling about doing last-minute AV fixes.

A massive billboard directly outside the venue says "watch this space."

[9:37] PA Announcer: The conference will start shortly. Also giving out general housekeeping rules.

[9:38] Back to the dance music, but not the dancing

[9:38] The first two rows of the audience are reserved for Sony staff. A good mix of Japanese, European, and American Sony employees.

[9:39] The stage is still very empty.

Everyone files in and patiently waits for the conference to kick off. The crowd is a mix of Sony employees, media, and business partners.

[9:41] No one seems to be handing out K-Mart flyers. Yet.

[9:41] Interesting Note: Outside the venue was a large billboard reading "Watch this space 18-08-09."

[9:41] Possible cover for a PS3 Slim billboard to be yanked down during the show?

[9:43] The wait continues. PA announcer continues to assure everyone that the show will, in fact, begin shortly. Really. No foolin'.

[9:45] It's a good thing Sony has provided such a pleasing screensaver to run on the JumboTron during this wait. It really would make a great screensaver on the PS3.

[9:45] Security is now milling about in front of the stage. Good sign?

[9:46] The teleprompter at the rear of the room reads simply "GAMESCOM." No word yet whether the opening speaker will speak or scream this first word of the show.

[9:48] Completely packed house settles as the music fades out and lights dim.

The opening video features a montage of Sony's key franchises, such as Buzz.

[9:49] Screen now playing opening montage: Modnation racing, God of War III, SOCOM PSP, PS Home, Ratchet and Clank, Heavy Rain flash by.

[9:49] SingStar store shown now.

[9:49] Showing clip of VidZone, music-video channel currently available on European PS3s.

[9:50] Video continues to show first-party Sony games with little in the way of new games or new footage.

[9:51] President and CEO of SCEE Andrew House in the, er, house. On the stage, to be more exact.

Andrew House, president and CEO of SCE Europe, takes to the stage.

[9:51] He says the PlayStation brand prides itself on always changing and innovating.

[9:52] The original PlayStation revolutionized CD format in games, then the DVD format with the PS2. The platform has recently done the same for social games with Buzz, SingStar, and EyeToy.

[9:53] House continues to stress importance of creativity in PlayStation games as part of its overall business strategy.

[9:53] Now, what everyone wants to hear--numbers!

[9:53] The PS2 has sold 51.8 million in Europe and 138.8 million globally.

[9:54] PSP sales continue to grow at a healthy rate: 52.9 million globally, 17 million in Europe.

[9:56] The PS3 has a 10-million-unit install base in Europe, 23.7 million globally.

[9:56] The PlayStation Network has 27 million registrants worldwide, 11 million in Europe.

[9:57] The PlayStation Network has a 60 percent connection rate on the PS3, with 560 million content downloads to date globally.

11m SCEE customers have registered with the PlayStation Network, 27m globally.

[9:58] House now talking about Home. Apparently the technically still-in-beta service has been greatly enhanced since its initial launch last year.

[9:58] 3.3 million people use Home in Europe.

[9:59] House says Sony continues to add new content to Home. On average, people spend an hour with it at a time.

[9:59] House announcing new SingStar gamespace for Home.

[10:00] Cue SingStar gamespace video. The virtual joint features a jukebox and (natch) a dance floor.

Get ready to party with the SingStar PlayStation Home gamespace.

[10:00] House also announces Audi-branded space in Home, for all the Top Gear types out there.

[10:00] Audi screenshot appears to be futuristic city, no further details given.

[10:01] Home players can now carry cameras, shrink themselves, and…roll dice? Are there virtual alleyways to get a game of bones on?

[10:01] PlayStation Network to roll out new features with new navigation and aesthetics.

[10:02] There will be new themes, a new area called What's New, and quick links from the XrossMediaBar.

[10:03] House announcing new video features for the PlayStation 3: BBC iPlayer in the UK, Spain rtve, ABC in Australia.

[10:03] PSN users can use PSN voucher cards next month: 20 euro and 50 euro denominations offered initially.

[10:03] They will be available in all major retailers starting in September.

[10:04] House announcing that VidZone is coming to all Scandinavian countries.

[10:05] Now playing video for PSN video delivery service, which is new to Europe after being live in North America for over a year.

TV catch-up services will allow customers in a number of European territories to watch shows they've missed on the box.

[10:06] Videos available to rent or purchase in HD or SD, just like in the US. Will launch in UK, Germany, France, and Spain in November. More launch dates for other countries to be announced later.

[10:06] Will support the PS3 and the PSP.

[10:07] Viewers can use the same wallet system as the standard PSN.

[10:08] Digital Reader for the PSP to be released in December. Will start with a service called Digital Comics releasing new comics every month.

"What's that you say, sonny? The PlayStation video store is finally coming to Europe?"

[10:08] Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four comics to be included in first round, with smaller publishers to be supported as well.

[10:09] Ira Rubenstein from Marvel Entertainment now taking the stage--rocking a leather Wolverine jacket.

[10:11] Rubenstein happy to be part of this agreement between Marvel and Sony, says Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk will be available.

[10:11] Rubenstein doesn't forget to plug Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2--due out in September y'all!

[10:12] Digital Comics video now being shown. Large roster of Marvel characters being shown, Civil War storyline pictured on PSP mock-up.

[10:12] Sony will announce more Digital Comics publishers soon.

Browsing through Digital Comics on your PSP will look something like this.

[10:12] House now talking about big new PSP games.

[10:13] LocoRoco Midnight Carnival and The Eye of Judgment PSP to be playable on the show floor.

[10:14] House talking about smaller "snackable" PSP games. Oh boy, digital Lunchables.

[10:14] The solution: "PSP Minis."

[10:14] PSP Minis will be new area on PSN store offering smaller, cheaper games with 100MB size limit. Yes, the rumors were true.

Meet the new European PSP-3000 colors: turquoise, violet, and pink.

[10:14] Aqua Panic Oasis is the game shown on the mock-up. Description shows "Lorem Ipsum" text used in design mock-ups.

[10:15] EA to release Sudoku and Tetris at launch, as it did on iTunes some time ago.

[10:15] PSP Minis service goes live October 1 and will have 15 games at launch, 50 by the end of the year.

[10:17] House announcing new PSP-3000 colors for Europe: turquoise green, violet, and pink.

[10:19] The green PSP will be bundled with Little Big Planet PSP, violet with the Hannah Montana game (as was in the US last month), and pink with an unspecified game.

[10:19] People who preorder Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 October 1-10 will receive a free download of Gran Turismo PSP.

[UPDATE] Sony US has confirmed to GameSpot the Gran Turismo PSP/Gran Turismo 5 pre-order deal is valid in Europe only. EU gamers can also get the game for free if they register a PSP Go between Oct. 1-10. "The offer is not valid in all other territories," a Sony rep told GameSpot.

[10:20] EyePet will retail at €49.99 ($70.60), including the PlayStation Eye camera and game.

[10:20] Cue a new trailer for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It's very slow-motion and dramatic and set to orchestral music. Wonder what wisecrack Nathan Drake would offer in this situation…

[10:23] French-born Heavy Rain director and writer David Cage now taking the stage to discuss…Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer. Quelle surprise.

Quantic Dream's David Cage reveals a brand-new Heavy Rain character.

[10:25] He announces a new character: Ethan Moore. Cage says the inspiration character comes from losing his own son at a store. But while Cage's son was found, Moore's son wasn't so lucky--his child was hit by a car and died.

[10:25] Moore is thus a distant and depressed character in the Heavy Rain story. Can you blame him?

[10:27] Feeling tremendous guilt and remorse, Moore decides to go after the Origami Killer after reading about his murders in the newspaper.

[10:28] Cage touting that all the footage he is showing is in-game, leaves stage to applause.

"How far would you go to save someone you love?"--Heavy Rain's new character.

[10:29] House greets the crowd once more.

[10:29] Newsflash: New PS3 motion-sensing controller details will be announced at the Tokyo Game Show next month.

[10:30] Cue motion controller tech demo footage of archery game, painting game, pinata-smashing simulator.

[10:33] Motion sensing controller will work with PS Eye camera. Haircut simulation shown as the fruit of this union.

[10:33] One last guest to take the stage.

Kaz finally reveals the new PS3 Slim.

[10:33] It's Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment.

[10:33] Kaz talking about success of this year's E3, plugs Tokyo Game Show.

[10:34] Kaz saying GamesCom shows how the European market has grown so much.

[10:34] Kaz doesn't want to beat around the bush…

[10:34] Kaz announces new "shape and form" of PlayStation…

The new PS3 Slim being whisked away by white-gloved security.

[10:34] Kaz reveals new PS3 Slim--surprise?

[10:34] PS3 Slim available first week of September worldwide. September 1 in the US, September 3 in Europe, Japan, and Australasia.

[10:34] Noticeably thinner, appears just as tall.

[10:35] The top has a matte finish--as shown in the leaked photos in May--and the sides are glossy.

[10:35] The PS3 Slim will be 120GB and will retail for $299 in North America, £249 in the UK, €299 in the EU, and ¥29,980 in Japan.

[UPDATE] The console will cost A$499 in Australia and NZD$629.95 in New Zealand, launching same day as Japan--Sept. 3.

[10:36] That price will also apply to all current 80GB PS3s starting tomorrow. In the US, the 80GB will be $299, and the 160GB will be $399.

[UPDATE] According to Sony Computer Entertaiment America CEO Jack Tretton, the price drop is effective "immediately."

[UPDATE 2] A press release says the price change begins on August 19, not today.

[UPDATE 3] Like the current PS3 models, the PS3 Slim is not backwards compatible with any PlayStation 2 games.

[10:36] The PS3 Slim is 32 percent smaller and 36 percent lighter and has 34 percent less power consumption than the current model. It will have all the same features and functionality as the current PS3.

[10:36] Kaz exits to roaring applause.

[10:36] House returns to stage, says new price and model will continue to drive momentum to new levels.

[10:36] Release date will vary by country but will be first week of September internationally.

[10:37] House now summarizing press conference.

[10:37] House thanks the visitors for attending.

[10:37] Conference has concluded--that's all folks!

Discussion

1304 comments
EGOE
EGOE

Cool! Real happy about the new slim.

andreabduch
andreabduch

there's a wrong update in this page, it says that ps3 is not bacjwards compatible, but i can play with no problem any of my old ps2 games

iboo01
iboo01

Im sure the Fatter more bulky version is still more safe and reliable and has a longer life expectancy at that while looking cooler, but if your low on budget or like me have the 360, and wii as it is and just wants a ps3 this is perfect

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

to everyone who says it looks like s***, I know you are secretly buying one now.

_roger_
_roger_

SilverSlider "WTF.....a real gamer can use any console to have fun" AWWW. Amazing comment! I don't have anything to say after this.

YellowJello
YellowJello

@ drdoris The PS3 library may not have the same quantity as the Xbox 360 library, but if you take a long, hard look at the two libraries, you will find that the quality of the PS3's library far surpasses the quantity of the Xbox 360's library.

samespot
samespot

Now I have a dilemma, I have owned two 360's and love the machine but had to sell each of them and have been without one for about six months... I have games, wireless guitar, wireless controllers, memory packs, chargers, etc, just no 360 machine. I really am now tempted to get a PS3... Do you guys think that's a smart move or should I get another 360? Anyone else had a 360 and then changed it for a PS3 and if so, what are your thoughts? Cheers... This is good news for everyone by the way, more choice!

samespot
samespot

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thunderboltx7
thunderboltx7

No one can determine the victor of this price drop until around Q1-Q2 of 2010. So don't argue about it till the numbers come out, but as of yet, Microsoft still has the best deal with an xbox 360 at 199, that's just standard not saying anything about online or harddrive.

UltimateHero94
UltimateHero94

Xbox 360 or Ps3 slim. Which one should i get? pm me your answer

Luiz_AF
Luiz_AF

Lol have you guys seen this poll: "Sony just introduced the $299 PS3 Slim while Microsoft dropped the Xbox 360 Elite price to match. What's the best value in gaming today?" PS3 slim has a huge advantage above the others: "1 $299 PS3 Slim 48% 4,508 2 $299 Xbox 360 Elite 22% 2,112 3 $199 Xbox 360 Arcade 5% 529 4 $249 Wii 2% 233 5 $1,200 gaming PC 14% 1,400 6 Same as it's been for decades: $0.25 for a round of Ms. Pac-Man at the arcade. 6% 593" Sony is heading to victory.

NeoGamer741
NeoGamer741

They missed a few things. DS3 or 6-axis? RCA or Component Cables?

ishan9
ishan9

finally,i'll upgrade to a ps3.whooo!!!

Will47
Will47

@zombey1333 - wow, very well said. I have to minorly disagree with a bit of your view on nintendo. They at least know what they are doing when it comes to handhelds. But as you said alot of that is still based towards children, lucky they have many RPG's (and other games) that can be enjoyed by everone. But back to your subject. I totaly agree with your view on the 360 and PS3. Even though I only play the 360 I don't diss on the PS3 it is obiously a very good system. I don't understand why some people believe that you must sign a "I will diss all other systems" contract when they buy a system of one kind or another.

MSTHEAT1
MSTHEAT1

Wow,Sony can NOW sell their awesome mighty machine with it's 900.00 blue-ray for only 299.00? How is this possible when only a few months ago I read they COULDN'T instute a price drop or they'd be losing money on every unit?? Those crazy Japanese and their whacky calculators!!

SilverSlider
SilverSlider

WTF.....a real gamer can use any console to have fun, i've have had Atari2600, nintendo NES, SuperNES, Nintendo 64, PlayStation1, Xbox, PlayStation2, now i will first buy PlayStation3 for it's amazin features, but i enjoy playing xbox360 ass wel, it'ts just that i don't have the money to get it at the same time....but Who gives a sh+++ what console do you prefer? just "Shut the Fukk up and PLAYYY"

drdoris
drdoris

Pepsi_Maywest93 Posted Aug 24, 2009 3:02 pm GMT PS3 doesn't have half the game library as XBOX360. PS3 is more of a home theater system than a console. If you want a fun console get a 360. Why do people post things like the above comment? I don't understand it all, why should anyone care what somebody else enjoys playing games on. How does it affect them? I would love it if someone could explain it to me.

zombey1333
zombey1333

Sigh...why can't we all get along?? They're video games, for crying-out-loud. You like VIDEO GAMES, don't you? Why settle for just one system? Why all of the hate for one or the other? Heh...as far as I'm concerned, Microsoft and Sony are in it MOSTLY for the money. Neither one of them started off as a video game company. But, at least both of them are trying to please gamers. Wanna throw your hate somewhere? Throw it at Nintendo. All the big N is is video games. Heck, they used to know exactly what to do to make an excellent game for EVERYONE. Now, they can't even do that. Sure, their core games are fun, but they don't have the charm (lulz, nor the difficulty) of what once was...they're pandoring to their now core demographic: children, and casual adults. Real gamers, the people who'd kept them alive through the painful Gamecube years? Enjoy the un-original scraps occasionally thrown your way, you're pretty much forgotten. And as far as which one's best (PS3 vs X360) really, when you take in all of the ups and downs of both, they're on an even playing field.

Darryl_Green
Darryl_Green

Well now, that was quite the industry bombshell. It's about damned time Sony came to it's flippin' senses and dropped the price on the PS3. Maybe now we can finally see the console really compete with the Microsoft juggernaut. But I wonder it is a bit late in the console generation to drop the price the PS3 is quite a bit behind in sales when compared to the 360. But then again with a 54.2% failure rate among 360 owners, the price drop, and all the amazing exclusives Sony has under it's belt currently this just might be the shove needed to shoot PS3 sales through the roof. Guess everyone will just have to wait and see.

Pepsi_Maywest93
Pepsi_Maywest93

PS3 doesn't have half the game library as XBOX360. PS3 is more of a home theater system than a console. If you want a fun console get a 360.

BLEEDGREEN27
BLEEDGREEN27

SONY HAS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT 24 MILLION SALES COMPARE TO MICROSOFT RED RING OF DEATH IS WONDERFUL AT A PRICE OF$399.99 NOW WATCH THE SALES OF THE PS3 WITH THE PRICE TAG OF $299.99 THE BASE PRICE FOR A RED RING OF DEATH IS $200.00 ON TOP OF A LOT OF REPEAT BUYERS DO YOU THINK THE 138 MILLION PEOPLE WHO GOT THE PS2 WONT UPGRADE COME ON XBOT 360 FANBOYS IT'S OVER

sonicmask
sonicmask

PEOPLE JUST NEED TO FACE FACT SONY HAS BETTER QUALITY GAMES AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS SCARED!

xXZak-ataKXx
xXZak-ataKXx

alright! Not getting the ps3 slim though,i already have a ps3 and its working perfect,unlike my 360 which breaks ALL the time,ps3 works and 360 doesnt. The color looks cheapish though,i like the piano black alot better,and thats why i got one.

simmeon1
simmeon1

good news for the price cut,but they should have made it a different color,like the piano black,this color looks so...lame

X-iHuman_-X
X-iHuman_-X

Anyone know if and or when any bundles will be released this year for the 120gb model?

HeadshotAce
HeadshotAce

I agree the matte finish makes the slim look cheap. The shiny finish made the original PS3 look sexy and it cost Sony more to make it with this finish. Yes they have saved some costs but not worth it in my eyes. Sorry but it's true!

techzilla77
techzilla77

I'm tryin to sell my fat one now so I can get my hands on the new one.

rockutd
rockutd

Wow looks great.Now the competition heats up....

aaaaaa12
aaaaaa12

it actually looks nice in real life... lets see when it comes out.

alpha546
alpha546

oh man!!! its not that shiny any more!!!

zakkess
zakkess

people are so picky..so go to a store, and put the 80gb ps3 in layaway if u dont like the slim..its a console..do u stare at a console? or a tv?

Nerissa
Nerissa

Good news, but I still like my shiny 60GB fatty w/ BC :)

Dreski83
Dreski83

I can't lie... the slim PS3 is pretty attractive... 120gb is definitely the way to go, but I still wish the BC feature was in the PS3's. Tired complaint, I know. As long as thats missing, I can't see where Tretton gets off declaring it the best gaming console in the world :roll:

Herenr
Herenr

"@LosDaddle Microsoft has responded by bringing the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite from $399.99 to $299.99 " So, they confirmed it? I thought they hadn't actually confirmed it yet.

AirPortugall
AirPortugall

@LosDaddle Microsoft has responded by bringing the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite from $399.99 to $299.99 And i might buy a normal PS3 now with the price cuts and all !

ChelseaFC94
ChelseaFC94

Thank you sony........ I'm definetly getting a PS3 Slim!!

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Great pressy, Sony. MS needs to respond

gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

lets call the old ps3 the hulk! anyway i might pick this up next year, but tbh its a bit steep if im getting a go! aswell, plus i have a 360 which is a very anticompetitive product with xbox live charges ect. now all sony need to do is push for headsets!

mjax211
mjax211

BACKWARDS. COMPATIBILITY. Why must is be cut from all models? Why? It is the most important feature to me, and yet they seem to refuse to even consider it anymore. I can't have a backwards compatible ps3 because I didn't buy one right away? That's the worst.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

i wondering when this would happen, good on ya Sony, but seeing this i'm happy i have my 80GB original-size PS3, cos that thing just looks ghastly. it looks plain and worthless, why did they pick Matte? didn't they think Nintendo made a mistake when they replaced (sorta) the glossy DS lite with the matte DSi? hopefully, HOPEFULLY this isn't the final design (like the boomerang controller) and they'll make something more appealing. needless to say this will rocket the PS3s sales in an instant.

badman11226
badman11226

Holy crap $299 for 120 GB freaking awesome i can finally have a PS3 just in time for GOW3 yes thank you jesus.

NejiKusa
NejiKusa

I just pre-ordered this, it's gonna rule, Killzone and GOWIII!