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Live from Sony's GamesCom press conference


[12:14PM ET]: We're here, in Germany, waiting in a cocktail reception (read: holding pen) for Sony's much-anticipated GamesCom press conference to start. Keep this page live and we'll keep updating it. Ooh, snacks ...

[12:33PM ET]: And we're inside the theater, have taken our seat, and are patiently waiting for things to start. We're sitting next to former Joystiqer Mr. Jem Alexander. He's asking, "Are you excited?" I'm saying, "I may be. Let's see the goods!"

1:38PM And ... scene! That's it! House says goodnight and we're off to ogle the PS3 Slim.

1:38PM As for the existing PS3s out there in the retail channels, there's a price drop coming tomorrow (tough to keep those under wraps, eh?).

The PS3 Slim looks like the leaked box model rumored forever ago. It will be available everywhere the first week of September. It's a staggered launch so it could be earlier.

1:35PM The PS3 Slim will have a 120GB hard drive, will consume 34% less power and will be 32% smaller. Oh, and the price? $299! That's €299, $299 US, and ¥29,980.

1:34PM "In 2004, we launched a slim version of the PS2." You see where he's going with this, folks! First week of September, the PS3 Slim.

1:33PM House is back – he says the PS3 Motion Controller will be shown off at the Tokyo Game Show next month (so if you were just reading along for Motion Controller news, you can probably sign off right about now). There IS a video clip for us of stuff being done with Motion Controller, but it looks like they'll be showing a bunch of staff at TGS.

Kaz Hirai takes the stage – President and CEO of SCE. He's the big boss. "Of course, in September we will be at Tokyo Game Show," he says. Cologne is now the third major date for Sony each year (we're assuming E3 and TGS are the other two major dates.) "It brings the world media together with hundreds of thousands of consumers."

"It's the shape and form I'd like to talk to you about today." Shape? Form?!

1:29PM Clip shows Ethan taking care of his other son after the first one was hit by a car. The second son is apparently kidnapped by The Origami Killer. "Everything I did, I did for love," says Ethan.

Cage: "Until Heavy Rain is released, ask yourself, 'How far are you willing to go for someone you love?'" Hey, when is that going to be released, David? No date, no hint. Strange. Cage is off stage.

1:25PM David Cage from Quantic Dream is on stage to talk about Heavy Rain. "Would you do anything for love?" he asks. "But I won't do that!" Meatloaf responds ... in our imagination. Cage is going to talk about "the last character today" He was inspired after losing his son in a mall.

"It was the most frightening and horrible 10 minutes of our lives," he says. He introduces the character of Ethan, who lost his son in a crowd and the boy was hit by a car. Now playing the trailer for the character.

1:23PM House lists some games that are coming "next year" including MAG, God of War III, and ... The Last Guardian? Alright! Kitty dragons in ought ten.

1:21PM Eye of Judgment PSP will be playable on the show floor. And they announced that EyePet will be €49.99 and will include the camera.

An Uncharted 2 video is up!

1:20PM They're showing off new colors for the PSP-3000 ... are any of them "better screen" colored? The new colors are "Turquoise" blue, "Lilac" purple, and "Blossom" pink. For "girlz".

House: "To celebrate the launch of PSP Go, I've got an exciting offer." For those in the European and PAL territories between the 1st and 12th of October will get the full GT on PSP for free.

1:16PM Electronic Arts is onboard with the plan (they're big backers of the iPhone, if you'll recall). They're bringing Sudoku and Tetris (no Scrabble? The iPhone version is excellent!).

They're showing Fieldrunners, one of the most successful iPhone games to date. Yup, that's the strategy.

1:15PM House says, "We've understood a shift in their entertainment needs." So, they're going to be delivering "bite-sized, snackable games" for PSP users. Introducing "Minis on PSP" – a section on the PSN, available exclusively through digital distribution. The games have a 100MB limit.

1:10PM House is showing off the Digital Reader, coming to PSP this December. It will launch with a service called Digital Comics. "Digital Comics will launch with hundreds available including the Marvel Comics stable." Also, Archie comics and Image comics.

Ira Rubenstein from Marvel Entertainment takes the stage (with a totally boss Wolverine jacket on). "We are very excited to be offering our catalog of our comics to the PlayStation community," he says. What's this? Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 coming September 15.

1:08PM And here's the big news: PlayStation Video store announced! Shows Star Trek, Batman, Harry Potter, Bond, playable on PS3 and PSP for rent or purchase, in SD or HD. Coming November 2009.

The service will only consist of films to start but will expand to include local content. They're now showing a trailer.

1:05PM SCEE is also introducing PSN voucher cards for 20 and 50 Euros, available in September. And now House is teasing that that's not the biggest change to PSN ... and teasing ... and teasing ... what is it, House?

VidZone has been downloaded 1 million times, it's being rolled out for Sweden, New Zealand, and other smaller countries.

1:04PM They're also improving the aesthetics for PSN. Introducing animated themes. One is showing a SackBoy running on a globe.

For European customers there are shortcuts. BBC, RTVe, Antena 3, LaSexta and more European channels. Those will be found under the video setting.

1:02PM SingStar is coming to Home. With interactive dance floor, jukebox. They'll be adding more content soon. "Home is a place constantly growing and improving to constantly keep up with the community."

1:00PM PlayStation Home ... and here we go! According to House, Home has reached 7.5m global users, with 3.3 of them in Europe. House. Home. This is getting confusing.

The average user spends an hour in Home. And now for the big news: SingStar is coming to Home!

12:57PM There are 27 million registratns on the PlayStation Network, with 11 million of those in SCEE's territories (uhh, Europe!). Global downloads on PlayStation Network have surpassed 560 million. "We have generated $280 million in revenue in downloads."

12:55PM And, it wouldn't be a Sony press conference with numbers! House calls the PS2 the "Michael Schumacher of games consoles." It just keeps going. Those of you who aren't fans of the German Formula One driver probably didn't get that joke. "Who's Michael Schumacher" says the dude next to us. Exactly!

12:51PM President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (read: he's the new David Reeves!) Andrew House takes the stage. Everyone claps. What else did you expect?

12:49PM Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to GamesCom press conference! They're playing a video clip of LBP, God of War III, PixelJunk Shooter ...

[12:43PM ET]: The recorded announcement told us the press conference will start in 5 minutes ... oh wait, it's the same one that said that five minutes ago, so we're not sure what to think.

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