Sony just announced a bunch of tweaks and additions to the PS3, PSP, and PlayStation Network at GamesCom, chief among them the new PS3 firmware 3.0. The new code features animated themes with avatars, a new status indicator, a modified friends list, assorted interface changes, tweaks to trophies, and a What's New section that replaces the Information Board. Sony's also bringing the PlayStation Video store to the UK, France, Germany and Spain in November, with more planned expansion in 2010 -- customers will be able to rent and buy films in SD and HD, and while it'll open with just movies, other content will be added as time goes on. The PSP is also getting a Digital Reader comics viewer, with lots of heavy hitters like Marvel on board to provide content -- Marvel says the PSP could become their biggest distribution outlet. We'll see about that -- for now, check a video of firmware 3.0 after the break.
Update: Digital Reader press release after the break.
Join the Reading Revolution: Digital Reader Coming to PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable)
Take your favorite comics everywhere you go with Digital Comics for PSP
COLOGNE, Germany, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- gamescom -- Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced the digital reader for PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), a new service that will allow PSP owners to access a range of media on their PSP. The digital reader service will be launched with Digital Comics this December in select countries, the U.S., and regions in Europe with other PAL territories to follow in 2010, putting PSP owners in control of a huge library of Digital Comics from provider partners including one of the leading comic publishers, Marvel Entertainment. Content from other partners such as IDW Publishing, iVerse Media and others, as well as graphic novels for bite-sized entertainment on demand and on the go will be available.
The new Digital Comics service will let you download hundreds of classic and new comics from PlayStation®Store to your PSP, to read page by page or frame by frame wherever you are. The service lets you take a huge collection of comics out and about with you, allows you to pick up the latest edition from any Wi-Fi hotspot, and gives you a brand-new way to use your PSP for entertainment on the go.
The digital reader for PSP will offer the biggest names in comics, including content from Marvel Entertainment's Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four, from IDW: TRANSFORMERS and Star Trek and in partnership with iVerse Media, brands like Archie Comics, and Image Comic's Proof, while other content will include graphic novels, comics from a variety of local publishers and the latest underground sensations. More and more titles will arrive on PlayStation Store with monthly content updates, offering a huge choice of quality titles at your fingertips, allowing you to take your favorite comic characters with you on the move.
"This is a great new service that offers PSP owners even more options for entertainment on the go and makes PSP a must for comics fans," says Isabelle Tomatis, European Marketing Manager, Hardware and Platforms, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. "Digital Comics will sit alongside the new PlayStation®Network video download service as yet another way that PSP offers a whole world of entertainment in your hands."
"PSP's new digital reader offers an unprecedented consumer experience that will extend the world of Marvel from print pages into the hands of fans around the world. We are excited to be part of this launch," said Ira Rubenstein, executive vice president, global digital media group, Marvel Entertainment.
The intuitive Autoflow feature allows you to zoom in and move from frame to frame on each digital page, mimicking the way your eyes would move across a print page from left to right. It's straightforward and simple to use, and thanks to PSP's high contrast LCD screen, your comics will be looking better than ever as the stunning graphics leap out from the screen.
Digital Comics will be launching on the UK, US, Irish, Australian, New Zealand and South African PlayStation®Stores this December, with other PAL territories to follow, and with more and more comics and graphic novels arriving every month. Consumers will first need to connect their PSP via Wi-Fi to the PlayStation Store to download the digital reader. Once downloaded, they can return to the PlayStation Store to choose from a wide variety of comics available. To find out more, visit www.eu.playstation.com.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®3, PlayStation®2, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 99 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories. Since the launch of PlayStation 3 in November 2006, over 23.7 million units have been sold globally and continue to be sold at a record level. Maintaining its position as one of the most successful consumer electronic products in history, PlayStation 2 has sold over 138.8 million systems worldwide. Since its launch at the end of 2004, over 52.9 million PSPs have been sold globally, highlighting the importance of the portable entertainment market. With the huge increase in interest and accessibility of network applications and network gaming, over 27 million accounts have registered to PlayStation Network, the free-to-access interactive environment, and over 560 million items have been downloaded.
More information about PlayStation products can be found at www.playstation.com or visit the Virtual Press Office at www.scee.presscentre.com.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system and its digital services PLAYSTATION®Network and PLAYSTATION®Store.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, PLAYSTATION 3 and the PSP system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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