Leipzig GC 2007: Sony Press Conference

Okay, so we’ve already heard from EA, but what of the company who many still feel has most to prove this generation? I was sitting in on Sony’s Leipzig press conference and now, a bit later than planned due to the failings of hotel WiFi, here are the details.

18:22 – Screen explodes with a montage if Sony franchises old and new, accompanied by some pretty damn dramatic choral music. I get a strange feeling Sony may have some big things up their sleeve.

18:23 – David Reeves enters the stage and greets us. He tells us he’s looking forward to sharing some key announcements with us. He says Sony are delighted to announce a whole load of new products specifically for Europe. (Preference? At last? What?) He also mentions that a games convention is for showing off new games, so that’s what he will be doing.

18:25 – David tells us growth is vital. There will always be competition but is a sign of a healthy vibrant industry and he welcomes it. All growth trends are upward. Software for TV  based consoles up 200%, handhelds 900%. At 5 moinths after launch, PS3 enjoyed faster curve than ps2. This news is great for everyone presenting at Leipzig.

18:28 – He wants to go over some key Sony sales numbers. Says PS3 enjoyed a stunning European launch., Resistance and Motorstrorm top sellers. Million sellers globally. He says that 36 titles were available at the end of tune and 65 will ber at the end of the year. He says the new European value pack added 170 Euros in value. As a result of its introintroduction, sales have gone up 61% in Germany after 3 weeks. PS2 hardware and software sales continue to rise. The PAL install base is 44 million. UK strongest territory. Middle East and Eastern Europe are now growing too. Social gaming now a key part of Sony’s strategy. This started with the Eye-Toy and continued with Singstar. Women gamers went up from 11% to 33% after the Eye-Ttoy launch. David thanks Phil Harrison for bringing social gaming to Sony. Phil waves from the crowd

David moves on to the PSP. He tells uys it has a 8.6 million install base, with 320 games available.

18:36 – He shifts to the PS3 and announces new service for the console as an entertainment hub. In the new year Play TV will launch which turns youR PS3 into a digital video recorder. The system is based around peripheral which allows you to watch one channel while recording another. It can receive both HD ans SD. Receives TV on terrestrial format, like Freeview. You will also be able to save TV shows and watch them on your PSP.

18:39 – Mark Bunting comes on to do demonstration. Shows user-friendly interface, based around icons using still frames of recorded shows. The system allows 15 second demos to let users to check the show before watching. PSP can use remote launching to watch whatever’s on the PS3. Live TV channels also work on PSP from the PS3. Play TV Launching in Europe in the new year.

18:42 – Comes back to games. 275 titles are currently scheduled for all PlayStation platforms

– PS3 Trailer Montage.

18:48 – David mentions Metal Gear Solid 4. Says it will be truly special when it comes out exclusively on PS3. He repeats this in Japanese. Kojima waves from the crowd.

Buzz Quiz TV for PS3 announced

18:50 – Trailer. For the first time, anyone can chooser the topic. Thousands of questions available on every topic. Online play. Uploading user-created questions is possible and DLC question packs will be available.

18:53 – Brings up Gran Turismo. We are told GT5 Prologue will allow 16 players, be 1080p, feature 50 cars and 5 tracks. We are shown the trailer.

18:58 – PSP is brought up. David mentions Wipeout Pulse and Echo Chrome. Trailer montage of upcoming PSP games. Pursuit Force, Wipeout, Echo Chrome and God Of War: Chains Of Olympus are shown.

19:00 – Moves on to to PSP hardware. We are told that rather than just a gaming handheld, it is a versatile entertainment machine. We are told the PSP Slim and Light is coming in September. and shows us the white, silver and black models. We are also shown special Simspons yellow and Spiderman red and black models, which will come as bundles.

19:02 – New range from of non-gaming peripherals is coming from SCE, called the Go brand. Three new ones are announced. Go Messenger is a voice and video chat application for PSP which will be launched in the EU in January.

19:04 – Trailer

19:06 – Announces Go Explore, a satellite navigation PSP product. It uses a GPS accessory and is a fully functional sat. nav. for vehicles and pedestrians.

19:10 – David talks about the Sky TV download sevice for PSP. It will be exclusive to PSP and open with a selection of shows spanning all of Sky’s output. Sky is also working with 3rd party channels. There will be a choice of payment plans. Can it can be downloaded via PC or WiFi.

19:12 – Trailer

19:13 – Service will be out in UK and Ireland in early 2008. In talks across Europe for releases in other countries.

19:14 – David announces partnership with EA as presenting partners for Interactive World Cup 2008 using FIFA ’08 on PS3. Brings on Chuck Blazer, FIFA executive member. He tells us thousands of players will compete in qualifying competitions on PSN and the top 32 will compete at the Sony Centre in Berlin. There is a $20, 000 dollar prize and registration is now underway at www.fifa.com/fiwc.

19:17 – David is back. Welcomes Andrew Wilson, executive producer for football at EA, to present FIFA ’08. Says he is proud to working on the the official WC game. Says the social interaction element of football is key to fandom. FIWC takes that one step further. He shows a live demo of FIFA ’08, Englad Vs. Germany, and repeats the details of the new engine from the EA conference. 

19:23 – They run through German market details (in German). Then they announce Die Toten Hosen (most successful German live act in history ) in Singstar. The band come on-stage and perform one of their songs in the game. The rest is in German. I don’t speak German. Those who do applaud a lot, so I assume it must have been good.

19:34 – David recaps and rounds off, and thanks us for coming. 

David Houghton