Gamescom 2011: Sony PLAYSTATION Drops to $249, More

Official: SONY PS3 SLIM $299

After EA's Press Conference, Sony brought their PlayStation brand to the stage in Cologne, Germany at Gamescom 2011. While focused on their European games market, some of Sony's presentation applied worldwide, like the global, immediate price drop of the PlayStation 3 to $249.

A trailer montage showed off some of the major titles coming soon to the PlayStation 3, from new Uncharted to new Resistance, and even multi platform games like Batman: Arkham City. The PSP, PSN, and other non abbreviated named things like PlayStation Vita were displayed as well.

Andrew House, CEO and President of SCEE took the stage to start things off, thanking the crowd for coming and for the warm reception. "The European market is incredibly important to the PlayStation business," said House, promising to look at "What's now, what's new, and what's next." House said PlayStation endeavors to take the imagination and make it real. Telling the crowd that PlayStation is stronger than ever, he also said that many games aren't just exclusive to PS3, but only possible on the console. After his introduction, he brought out Jim Ryan, who is taking over as President and CEO of SCEE on September 1, when House moves up in the company.


Ryan started his part of the presentation by talking about the PlayStation Vita, detailing the various inputs of the portable system. He focused then on the social features of the system. Near allows you to find nearby friends, send and receive gifts. Party allows you to chat, whether playing games, or visiting websites. Live area lets you check the latest news and updates. Social Essentials allows you to use Twitter, Skype, Facebook, and foursquare with the device as well. Trophies will sync between Vita and PS3 for the "serious" or competitive gamer. Group messaging, friend's profiles, and of course the PlayStation Store all come into play as well in their social moves. Ryan pushed the 3G model of the Vita to stay connected at all times.

A trailer focusing on staying connected and pushing the 3G aspects again was shown before Ryan brought the conversation to the games for the new portable.

SVP of Worldwide Studios Europe Michael Denny took the stage next, saying they've been "truly inspired" since working on the PlayStation Vita. "We're confident we'll have the strongest launch lineup of games ever on a PlayStation platform." He wanted to show four games in particular, starting with Resistance: Burning Skies. The game features a new timeline, new levels, and is made specifically for the Vita.

The game features a new hero, Tom Riley, and takes place between Resistance 1 and 2. Riley is a fireman and a "local folk hero." The developers love having the dual analog sticks on the system so that they can deliver a familiar experience to fans. Unique to Vita, they showed off some of the touch screen functions. the Fireman Axe is always available via a virtual button on screen for quick melee. Secondary fire, a staple of weapons in the series, is driven via various touchscreen inputs as well. An auto-cover is enabled when you crouch behind something. Players can look over cover using the analog stick, or by tilting the Vita forward. Grenades were also shown using the touchscreen, throwing and "cooking" grenades by dragging an arc across the screen.

The "Play, Create, Share" genre of games will be perfect for the new portable, said Denny, thanks to the various touch inputs, plus the front and rear cameras. A demo reel for LittleBigPlanet's Vita edition showed a player taking pictures of objects in the real world and designing levels and objects in game with them. The touch screen, meanwhile, allowed the player to easily alter the world he was making.

After the video, Denny talked about Augmented Reality Gaming using the Vita's dual cameras. A new title, Reality Fighters, "uses the front and rear cameras to make the world your arena."

The development team came out to demo the game on two Vita systems. They used images of the current and future SCEE CEOs as their fighter characters. The stage at Gamescom was their arena, with the actual audience in the game image as an audience watching the fight.

For the first time ever, Sony then showed off Escape Plan. Billed as a game that is both innovative and plain fun, two strange characters named Laarg and Lil were shown. The goal of the game is to help Lil and Laarg escape "by any means." Lil was shown observing air so he could float through part of a level, and Laarg and Lil both were shown dying many, many ways, from electrocutions to giant fan blades, and even hammers that fell from the ceiling to crush them.

Assassins Creed Logo

Ryan then came back on stage to talk about third-party publishers for the PlayStation Vita. He announced that Ubisoft is supporting the Vita with 6 titles, including an entirely new storyline and characters for the Assassin's Creed franchise in 2012. He also announced that FIFA will hit the portable in 2012. Call of Duty, Bioshock, and many other titles were also briefly shown on screen.

An updated model of PSP was announced, for those interested in a "value-minded" portable game console, coming to Europe at 99 Euros.

After the mobile devices, Ryan switched gears to the PlayStation 3 home console. He noted there are now over 200 games available for the PlayStation Move, then announced that in next year's FIFA 13, full Move functionality will be included. No word yet on if that means you'll have to strap the move controllers to your feet.

Denny came back to talk about a new Move game, Move Fitness. Like other motion-controlled fitness games for other consoles, the game includes "25 fun exercises" that have you holding the Move controllers while doing various things like slashing with a sword, boxing, shooting baskets, and other arm-active moves.

Resistance 3 and LittleBigPlanet Move Pack are two more coming this fall that will have Move functionality. A trailer showing off other Move games was shown at the conference as well, but didn't introduce anything else new.

Denny did introduce DanceStar Party, from the SingStar team, which includes all of the artist videos, 40 to start, plus live streaming video and a new "Dance creation" mode, allowing you to make your own dances to share with friends. There is also a karaoke line along the bottom so friends can still sing along while you're shaking your groove thing. A dance troop took the stage to show off a routine, albeit one that is more complex than something you'll see in the game.

Resistance 3's art style is unique, said Denny introducing the game. A new trailer featured a stark contrasted white, red and black look similar to the box art for the game. It featured dual narration, one part the lead character, and one part a young child.

One last title Denny wanted to talk about kicked off with a trailer. The Sucker Punch-developed inFAMOUS 2: Festival of Blood showed off imagery of a creepy fair. The game features Cole going up against a troop of vampires, "exploring the darker side of the familiar universe." It will be available for download via the PSN this fall.


Ryan took Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception for himself [Click here for our interview about the upcoming Uncharted Comic!], calling it the biggest achievement at blurring the lines between Hollywood and video games. A live gameplay demo came up next, showing the same airstrip infiltration level we saw at E3 2011 in the behind-closed-doors presentation.

After the demo, Ryan announced the Sony PlayStation 3D Display for European territories. It will come to Europe in Fall 2011, priced at 499 Euros, including two pairs of 3D Glasses.

House took the stage one more time, to announce the global price drop. The 160gb PS3 is now 249 Euros, $249 dollars, or 24,900 yen, down from $299 in the US. The 320gb model is now available for $299, with inFAMOUS 2 bundled in, making the double-harddrive space and free $60 game model the biggest value.

Related Stories

Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

Twitter activity