At its Press Conference at Games Convention today, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe made a series of announcements that demonstrated the strength and innovation of the PlayStation family of products in the SCEE territories, which include New Zealand.

Games, games and more gamesAt the Press Conference, David Reeves, President of SCEE, announced that, together with its third party publishing partners, SCEE planned to release more than 275 new titles across the PlayStation platforms in the run up to Christmas.

A total of 62 software titles were planned for PS3 before the end of the year, including such eagerly awaited titles as Heavenly Sword, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

For PSP, 74 titles were scheduled for release by year end, including the latest titles from established IPs such as WipEout, Pursuit Force and Syphon Filter.

PlayStation 2, which was still showing incredible growth given its seventh year on sale, would enjoy over 139 titles. For the PlayStation Network more than 22 titles were on track for a pre-Christmas release, including Warhawk, WipEout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, the latest iteration of the best-selling racing game of all time.

Summary of other announcementsThe announcements of gaming and broader entertainment services for all the PlayStation entertainment platforms included the launch of a TV Tuner and PVR software for PS3, the introduction of a Video Download Service for PlayStation Portable in conjunction with British Sky Broadcasting, a voice chat, video chat and instant messaging service for PSP developed with British Telecom, and the launch of a state of the art satellite navigation accessory for PSP.

Amongst a host of software announcements was the launch of Buzz: Quiz TV, the PS3 version of the popular quiz game, which offers a variety of quiz channels on every subject, plus online challenges, downloadable question packs and opportunities to share and play bespoke user generated quizzes. Launch dates for the eagerly awaited Gran Turismo 5 Prologue were announced and a new video and playable demo of the PS3 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was shown by Konami.

PS3 - the hub of family entertainment
Proving PS3’s credentials as the centre of the family’s home entertainment needs, CEE unveiled ‘PlayTV’, a TV Tuner and PVR accessory for PS3 that is set to revolutionise the home entertainment market in Europe. The twin channel, High Definition TV tuner and PVR software turns the PS3 into a state of the art TV recorder, allowing users to watch, pause and record live TV. With seamless connectivity to PSP, ‘PlayTV’ allows you to set recordings, watch live TV and recorded TV programmes remotely on the PSP via a WiFi connection, or quickly transcode recorded TV shows for high quality viewing to the PSP by USB cable for remote viewing away from the home.

PlayTV will be available in UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain early in 2008, with other PAL territories to follow in due course.

Go! entertainment brand for PSPIn addition to confirming the 5th of September as the launch date for the new slim and light PSP in Europe, and introducing two new colours to the new PSP lineup – Simpsons Yellow and Spiderman Red, SCEE introduced a host of new services for their Go! Entertainment brand for PSP.

Designed to represent the best in non gaming services and features for PSP, the Go! Brand was launched with a fanfare of three new services that aims to make PSP the most desirable handheld entertainment device, bar none.

A Go! branded Video Download Service will launch in early 2008, and will be the first official PSP video download service anywhere in Europe. Developed in conjunction with Sky, it will allow several million PSP owners in UK and Ireland to turn their PSP into a personalised library of programmes to enjoy whenever and wherever they choose. Unlike lesser services, the Video Download Service will feature a vast selection of high quality entertainment. With content from Sky’s existing multi channel offering and support from a whole range of third party content owners, PSP owners will be able to subscribe to dedicated Sports, Entertainment and Animation packages as well as watch premier content on a pay per view basis.

Go!Messenger is a new voice chat, video chat and instant messaging service, scheduled for rollout throughout the CEE territories in the New Year. Developed in conjunction with BT, Go! Messenger places a small application on PSP’s XMB (XrossMediaBar), which when downloaded separately from the web and installed to the Memory Stick, allows users to voice chat, video chat and instant message each other using VoIP from any WiFi hot spot.

Go!Explore is a satellite navigation product for the PSP that uses the GPS receiver accessory. Go!Explore is a fully functional, state of the art satellite navigation tool for PSP, incorporating both vehicle and pedestrian functionality, the very latest in three dimensional mapping technology and over 100 different categories of overlays for such things as speed cameras, petrol stations and restaurants. Launching in the new year, Go!Explore will make the perfect accessory for the PSP owner with wanderlust.