COLOGNE, Germany--Last year, Sony used Gamescom to announce a major hardware revision of its PlayStation 3 console, the PS3 Slim. The popular console, which is cheaper to both produce and purchase than its "PS3 fat" predecessors, helped Sony achieve its goal of selling 13 million PS3s during its last fiscal year.
Sony's last financial report, for the three months ending June 30, saw Sony continue to profitability. That was in large part to a 32.4 percent increase in sales in its Networked Product and Services division, which includes Sony Computer Entertainment. That department was also behind the recently launched premium service, PlayStation Plus, which launched at the end of June.
What Sony might announce today is unknown. With the European (September 15) and North American (September 19) launches of the PlayStation Move just a month away, it is likely the company will offer its continental consumers a closer look at its motion-sensing system. Other possibilities include new hardware bundles, the rumored 500GB PS3, and updates on first-party titles such as Killzone 3.
[10:27] Welcome to Sony's Gamescom 2010 press conference! The lights have just dimmed and a video is now rolling on the screen showing off Sony's upcoming titles.
[10:28] Killzone 3, SingStar, and EyePet PSP seem to be included in the video.
[10:30] Andrew House, president and CEO of SCEEE takes the stage as the video ends. House says he tried to get Kevin Butler out here to Cologne, but he's far too famous now after his E3 appearance.
[10:31] He wants to keep the evening "relatively short but fun and informative"
[10:31] House is strolling down memory lane with talk of Sony's 2009 Gamescom press conference.
[10:31] Anyone remember the PS3 Slim unveiling?
[10:31] "That was the instant the PS3 truly sprang to life."
[10:32] House touts the unveiling as a turning point in the sales of the console.
[10:33] PS3 sales have now reached over 38 million worldwide and 16 million in Europe.
[10:34] PS3 software sales have increased 38 percent since last year, compared to a 2 percent dip for all consoles total.
[10:34] House points to the PS3's average Metacritic score, higher than both the Wii and 360's.
[10:35] He then extols the virtues of Little Big Planet 2 and shows the audience a new trailer.
[10:35] The trailer shows off LBP2's storytelling capabilities.
[10:36] Players can add their own cameras, non-player characters, and edit music on a virtual keyboard.
[10:37] Back to House. He's just announced two new PS3 models: 320GB and 160GB bundles.
[10:38] The 320GB bundle will sell for 349 Euros; the 160GB bundle for 299 Euros.
[10:38] These will be available in October.
[10:38] Sony will introduce a new feature called Play TV Live Chat later this year.
[10:39] Users can record, pause, fast forward, and rewind live TV. It also introduces community functionality.
[10:39] It also allows people to chat with other viewers on the fly--they're showing a screenshot of a chat room on top of a soccer match.
[10:40] House is now confirming details for MUBI, a free-to-download movie streaming app. He describes it as offering a select, quality-focused library.
[10:41] "A never-ending film festival."
[10:41] It'll be available in 18 countries starting in October, including UK and Australia. No mention of the US.
[10:42] House has just tossed to a MUBI trailer. The focus is very much on indie, classic, and foreign films.
[10:42] Pan's Labyrinth is shown, as is Donnie Darko.
[10:43] Now House changes gears to talk about the PlayStation Network.
[10:43] One million pieces of user-generated content have been uploaded in ModNation Racers.
[10:45] House announces six new Catch Up TV channels for the PS3, iTV in the UK, and Yahoo 7 in Australia, among others.
[10:45] Now, House is talking about the PSP. He admits the handheld market has been "fairly challenging as of late."
[10:46] Last year, Sony sold 9.9 million PSPs, and the system is now at over 60 million worldwide to date.
[10:47] The PS2 has sold over 146 million to date and is estimated to sell 6 million this year.
[10:47] Gran Turismo 5 is coming out in Europe on November 3.
[10:48] Now, House is talking up Infamous 2.
[10:49] He's just tossed to a trailer focusing on the sequel's new setting.
[10:50] Yes, there is still lightning in Infamous 2.
[10:50] Now, Medal of Honor executive producer Greg Goodrich takes the stage.
[10:51] He's going to treat the audience to a new Medal of Honor demo called "Gunfighters."
[10:51] Actually, Greg isn't demoing the game. It's Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park.
[10:52] Both men have fairly mighty beards. Goodrich, however, has the mightier one.
[10:52] Now onto the demo. It's a vehicle sequence set within an Apache helicopter.
[10:53] Shinoda is flying through the Afghan mountains, shooting rocket after rocket at enemies down below.
[10:55] We can confirm here today that Medal of Honor will feature lots of guns and lots of explosions.
[10:56] It's time for House to talk about Move.
[10:57] Killzone 3, MAG, Heavy Rain, and SOCOM: Special Forces will all arrive or have Move support patched in by March 2011.
[10:58] Now they're showing a trailer with Move's casual titles. And whatever you would call Kung Fu Rider.
[10:59] Among the third-party titles shown is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
[11:00] There's also Toy Story 3 and Virtua Tennis 4, both featuring Move support.
[11:01] House announces that Virtua Tennis 4 is coming to the PS3 with Move and 3D functionality next year.
[11:01] Now House introduces a Killzone 3 multiplayer trailer.
[11:01] Two seconds in, a Helghast is stabbed in the neck. A few seconds later, the player jumps into a giant mech suit.
[11:02] Now it's time for House to talk about 3D.
[11:02] He asks everyone in attendance to put on their 3D glasses.
[11:03] Yes, everyone here was asked to trade in a form of ID for 3D glasses upon entrance.
[11:03] First up is Hustle Kings in 3D.
[11:04] Then there's MLB, MotorStorm, and Gran Turismo 5.
[11:04] The Sly Cooper trilogy will also offer 3D support.
[11:04] As will Mortal Kombat.
[11:05] The Fight will also let players engage in prison brawls in three dimensions.
[11:06] The trailer ends and the audience members collectively rub their eyes after taking off their glasses.
[11:07] Paul Rustchynsky and Matt Southern from Evolution Studios are here to talk about MotorStorm: Apocalypse.
[11:08] A live gameplay demo is shown on the screen. In 3D, of course.
[11:09] Southern mentions that many professional racers actually train on 3D simulators these days.
[11:10] Buildings are collapsing alongside the track, with rag-doll characters flying all around.
[11:10] "Du Wurdest 1st," says the German-language demo.
[11:11] The pair of devs leave the stage, and it's back to Andrew House.
[11:11] House introduces a guest: Ted Price from Insomniac Games.
[11:12] Price mentions that Insomniac has sold more than 30 million games with Sony. It's time for a new game announcement, folks.
[11:12] Price says that his studio didn't show a game at E3 this year for the first time in nine years, but that silence ends here at Gamescom.
[11:13] First, Price welcomes Chad Dezern, head of Insomniac's North Carolina studio.
[11:14] The new game is a Ratchet and Clank title.
[11:14] They want to let players explore the game as Ratchet, Clank, Quark, and Dr. Nefarious all at once.
[11:15] The game is called Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One.
[11:15] It's a four-player co-op title with drop-in, drop-out support.
[11:16] Nefarious uses a new device called the Vacu-4000, which lets you pick up and toss your friends.
[11:16] The game seems to use an isometric camera view that pulls farther out as the players separate from each other.
[11:17] The four can jump into a four-person cannon to launch across great distances, each having to rotate the analog stick in a certain fashion according to onscreen prompts.
[11:17] Four-person slingshots are used for the platforming sequences.
[11:18] You can create a chain of four people to swing across gaps.
[11:18] Now they've arrived at a boss fight.
[11:19] They're avoiding laser fire while, oddly enough, throwing each other at the big robot boss.
[11:20] They've weakened the robot, and he's conquered!
[11:20] The demo is over, and the audience applauds.
[11:21] As a bonus gift, Price offers a sneak peek at Insomniac Burbank's next project.
[11:21] He shows live-action video of old-timey railroad hobos traveling through the desert.
[11:22] No, this is no joke.
[11:22] The soundtrack is a somber blues number.
[11:22] Now they've grabbed some guns and are starting to look mean. They move from rural locales into a modern, demolished city.
[11:23] The screen goes dark and someone fires up a lighter to see. An ominous alien figure attacks them and a gunfight ensues.
[11:24] The enemy appears to be a Resistance chimera. It's Resistance 3!
[11:24] House comes back and confirms it.
[11:24] House wraps up the press conference and is proud of the last year's worth of momentum Sony has enjoyed.
[11:25] That's it for the press conference. Thanks for reading and check back with GameSpot throughout the week for more from Gamescom.