Sony’s Pre-TGS Press Con.

Sony held their Tokyo Game Show press conference earlier today at 12PM (GMT+8) and I was one among many others (mostly Japanese)  who joined in on the livestream. Frankly I’m surprised there even was a livestream in the first place and am still undecided whether these should happen more often or not. Hmm.

News that is surely known by many gamers now is the official announcement of the new slimmer-bigger PS3. Fully redesigned to be 25% smaller than the previous Slim version and looking like an air cooler, this successor sports shiny strips of glossy piano black, fond recollections of first-gen PS3s bubbling forth from the miasma of memories. While there are no changes to performance, Sony has bumped hard drive capacities from 160GB and 250GB up to 250GB and 500GB respectively. (via IGN)

With prices similar to those of the current PS3 Slims, these new models will be available for sale as early as next week for the US region.

US Region:

  • 250GB Charcoal Black $269
    25 September
    +Uncharted 3: GOTY Edition and $30 worth of Dust 514 digital content
  • 500GB Charcoal Black $299
    30 October
    +Assassin’s Creed 3

Japan Region:
Prices for the Japanese sets varied between sources, so I’m just listing the more common figure here.

  • 250GB Charcoal Black/Classic White ¥24 980
    3 October (Blk) / 22 November (Wht)
  • 500GB Charcoal Black ¥29 980
    4 October
  • 250GB Charcoal Black/Classic White ¥29,980
    22 November
    +Hot Shots Golf 6

EU Region:

  • 12GB (Flash Memory) Charcoal Black €229
    12 October
    Optional mount for external drive or upgraded to 250GB HDD
  • 500GB Charcoal Black €299
    28 September
    +FIFA 13

Phew. No word yet for the Asia region but we’ll no doubt get wind of dates and prices once suppliers trickle info down to local retailers, making this a great grab for any late-adopters. This concludes what I dub the ‘Playstation Cycle’, paving the way for the next generation’s announcement which many speculate to occur in late-2013.

Moving on from the home console, Sony shifted our attentions to the PS VIta, showcasing neat cross-platform gaming for two players via Little Big Planet 2. While it does offer developers more tools for interesting gameplay mechanics, I can’t help but feel this will not see much use, seeing how it’ll be limited only to first-party Sony studios.

What seems more practical is the cross-save functionality between the Vita and PS3, allowing you to continue the game you’ve played while outside from the comfort of your own home.

An app for reading comics and manga was another highlight of the show, allowing vertical rotation for better readability. For those of you without a tablet, this is likely the next best thing for e-comics.

If that doesn’t interest you in the least bit, then perhaps the November launch of PS Plus for Vita is. The subscribed service works just the same as the PS3 version with free games, discounted digital content, cloud save storage and sometimes even beta access. All current PS Plus members will get the Vita service at no additional cost, making it considerably more worthwhile to invest in.

Soul Sacrifice has been pushed to 2013, unfortunately. In it’s stead, the studio behind Dynasty Warriors, Omega Force, have revealed a new IP called Toukiden. This cross-platform game between the Vita and PSP features a female samurai as the protagonist; no other information was detailed aside from a short trailer.

Continuing a worrying tradition, Sony had no news of The Last Guardian either. Perhaps we’ll get some mention of it on the show-floor so we’ll keep our fingers crossed til then.

Now to brace ourselves for the incoming flood of updates as Tokyo Game Show 2012 swings into full force.

Note to self: Don’t skip the morning and afternoon cups of coffee or you’ll feel strangely fatigued and weird like a sack of meat by evening.

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