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SCEE predicts UK PS3 sales doubling this holiday

Ray Maguire sat down with Edge magazine and talked about the upcoming surge of PS3 console sales this holiday season. Maguire treats this surge like fact -- we all expect it to happen. He's so confident the PS3 will sell this holiday that he believes in the UK, sales of the PS3 will double. That means 1 million PS3's will have been moved off the shelf since launch.

In addition to the sales of the console itself, Maguire believes that games will no longer be an issue this holiday season: "we're in the period of crossover now, where people will start to develop on PS3 as the lead [platform] if they're multiformat ... because of the Cell chip and because it's got a hard disc in every device, the way of generating games - if you start with PS3 - is you can create the optimal, ultimate game. And then you can knock out functionality to put it onto other platforms." Ouch! Well, since we have yet to see those claims bleed over into actual games yet, maybe something like Devil May Cry 4 will cause that statement to become fact. Who knows.

SCEE opens new division for Poland


The Sony Computer Entertainment empire continues to grow. Today, SCEE is proud to announce the formation of SCE Polska to capitalize on the growing Polish gaming market. The company will be based in Warsaw and will officially begin operation on April 1st, 2008.

"Our commitment to the Polish games market is clear', said Marcin Ziobrowski, the General Manager designate of the new Polish subsidiary. "Not only have we today announced the launch of the Polish PLAYSTATION®Store, online store front for PLAYSTATION®3's (PS3™) PLAYSTATION®Network, but we will also be focusing on delivering even more game titles to our Polish consumers in Polish. We already do this with PlayStation®2 and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) titles but we will also be localising PS3 titles as well."

PVR planned for early 2008 release


Announced at Leipzig, the incredible new HD PVR accessory for the PS3 looks to hit retailers some time in the beginning of 2008, after the holiday rush. In an interview with GI.biz, SCEE head David Reeves revealed the difficulties of bringing the PVR system to PS3. "The PVR - it looks simple, but within it there's a lot of licences that you have to obtain. Sometimes you're just not sure if you're going to get that licence ... you know what Europe is like - we have to get safety compliance on a thing like a black box from, I don't know, fifteen or sixteen independent bodies."

Because of the difficulties facing licensing, Sony wasn't sure if building a system for PS3 was even possible. With all the pieces in place, it appears Sony will release the PVR in Europe early next year, after focusing on their key games this holiday. "We'd build up the installed base to Christmas, and then we'd put it out in January-February, which is what we're going to do, and people would then be able to buy it."

Sony is glad Nintendo broadened the gaming market

David Reeves is up in arms over at Leipzig, issuing statement after statement. This time, Reeves tipped his hat at Nintendo, saying "...We're very happy Nintendo broadened the market to where we have never gone. But Sony is going places where EA and Microsoft have never been. We're very happy about [market expansion]. It keeps growth of the industry going up and up and up instead of just recycling gamers." Reeves also gave an innovative nod at Sony's own EyeToy, SingStar, and Buzz! from the past on the PS2 that actually first broadened the market, but digresses.

With Sony's PlayStation Eye coming out and set to innovate the gaming world and broaden the market even further, it's nice to know Reeves can display at least some semblance of humility. Even so, he goes on about price cuts and bundle packs, which we've already learned his position on. Bundles will continue in Europe for a while, but if the US demands another price cut, they'll probably get one in the future. Do you think the PS Eye will draw in some more casual gamers for the PS3? Or is that initial investment too much of a hurdle for the casual crowd?

David Reeves says no more price cuts, more bundles

According to SCEE head, David Reeves, Sony has no plans to cut the price of the PS3 again anytime soon. Instead, he says, "...we'll probably put out more hard bundles than the Starter Pack ... We're not making any pricing announcements at Games Convention at all. There's none. And we don't have any plans in that regard. We're really happy with the way that things are going for the PAL business. We really are. It's on track." We're glad to hear that and we hope that the bundle packs come with a wide variety of choices, but wouldn't it be easier to let the consumer decide what game or games to get for free with their console? There ought to be a way to do that, too.

Sony didn't announce any new games at Leipzig and there's a reason for it, Reeves explained. Sony wants consumers focused on a few games at a time -- they don't want to pull everything out from behind the bushes at once, or else we'd have happy attacks and fall over in a state of euphoric shock, never to awaken. At least, that's what we think would happen. Besides, Reeves said, consumers "don't have huge wallets and they can't go out and buy five games at 59 Euros all the time. So we're trying to do pillar titles every month." That makes sense to us and our wallets thank you.

Sony Europe shooting off "fireworks" at Leipzig

If only Sony were being literal! It's been a while since a lot of us have seen fireworks, so when we heard Sony had some, we squealed a little bit inside. However, the meaning behind the words was more symbolic, proving to us once again that the PS3 has a lot of big announcements coming. SCEE head David Reeves said E3 wasn't where the real announcements started -- Leipzig is the place for Sony Europe to shine: "We prefer to make our big statements in Leipzig, it suits us much better ... There will be absolute fireworks at peak, that I can promise you. We will be doing things no-one has seen yet for both PS3 and PSP."

What could there possibly be in store for us? More games? Firmware 2.0? It's anybody's guess at this point -- we're running out of ideas for things the PS3 can do. It can already accomplish quite a bit. Whatever the case, whether it be a European price drop or the announcement of a few new titles for PS3 and PSP, we'll be excited enough to set off fireworks of our own.

[via PS3 Forums]

Sony wins Grand Prix prize for publishing awesomeness

At the Develop Industry Excellence Awards, the European segment of Sony walked away with the most prestigious award available at said ceremony. When given the award, the statement given for Sony's excellence was described as follows: "capping 12 months which have seen the firm deliver a new hardware format that has inspired developers around the world to make cutting-edge next generation games." That's right -- the PlayStation 3 is getting the clout for developers worldwide making fantastic new titles.

Other Sony products receiving awards were SCEE/Evolution Studios for best new IP with Motorstorm, and Zoe Mode got the same nod for their PSP game Crush. There were other awards for many other titles, but as far as Sony goes, this is about the extent of their excellence. We give them similar props because, well, we're sure next year they'll get an award for LittleBigPlanet. It's inevitable. Anyone care to make a wager?

Reeves says Christmas isn't that critical for Sony

A lot of critics are pressuring Sony for a strong showing of not only hardware sales, but powerful software sales as well this holiday season. They're citing it as a critical moment for Sony -- the make or break, if you will. SCEE president David Reeves sees it a little differently, arguing "I think each peak is crucial to maximise what you can do, but I don't think this Christmas is necessarily the most critical one - I think that's going to be Christmas '08."

In addition to these claims, Reeves again associates the PS3 with a tsunami -- a force to be reckoned with, indeed. Along with that, he squashes the European price drop rumors with the explanation of July not being a big month for games or gamers in general, so a price drop now would be annoying to consumers. He may be indirectly implying a holiday price drop, but he may not. Reeves concludes by saying this wonderful tidbit: "We're not putting our heads in the sand - we know it's not selling that well, but we know that it's selling according to the targets." We're glad to hear it and we can't wait to hear what's going to get announced at Leipzig!

Heavenly Sword is a trilogy -- second story already complete

Following even further into the footsteps of action-gaming-powerhouse Kratos and the God of War games, Heavenly Sword was recently given the trilogy treatment. In an audio interview with co-founder of Ninja Theory, Tam Antoniades, this information was divulged to us in addition to the exciting tidbit that the second part of the story is already complete! By complete we mean "written" and not "developed".

If you're curious, it's right around the 11:00 mark in the interview (the last minute of it, really). Also mentioned were downloadable content possibilities (based on what players would like to see added) and support for Home. The sequel depends on the original game being treated to a successful run, so let's all pitch in and make sure Heavenly Sword makes it through the trilogy loop.

[via N4G]

Heavenly Sword demo gets a date, no tongue

It shouldn't be a surprise to any of us that the demo for Heavenly Sword is on its way. Heck, we already said that it was making its debut sometime in July. We've now got confirmation that the demo is, in fact, complete. Part of the Ninja Theory team came out on their official forums and said "it's in the bag ... so now it's a case of Sony deciding when they feel is the best time to release it to PlayStation Network." By that, we couldn't help but squeal like a schoolgirl with a crush. Could they mean this Thursday's update?

Not likely. Seems the demo itself is actually slated for next Thursday. You know, the 26th. We don't mind waiting an extra week, since most of the PS3 Fanboy staff is still in a hot competition to keep the highest score amongst one another in Super Stardust HD. As far as the game itself, Heavenly Sword is complete and going through the bug-fixing stage. If that's true, they should release it early. We're tired of waiting for this fantastic looking "launch title", honestly.

[Thanks, DolphGB!]

[via PS3Attitude]

David Reeves calls PS3 "tsunami", will win console war

A rather lofty quote from David Reeves to open this post: "PlayStation 3, you will see, will be far and away the winner when you look at it by March '08. They really, really will ... It's something that is going to be a slow burner, and suddenly it's like a tsunami; it will just overtake you." This quote goes hand-in-hand with the announcement of the new PS3 bundle package in Europe, which also tells us that the 60GB PS3 model isn't going to be available in the US anymore after July (price cut rendered useless).

Will the PS3 win this holiday season with their insane lineup of games that has the PS3 Fanboy staff crying at the abuse their wallets are going to get? We'd like to think so, but every console has some heavy hitters coming out, but by the end of the fiscal year, we do believe the PS3 will have created a much larger install base. Perhaps not enough to render Mr. Reeves' predictions true, but one that will show Sony has no intention of passing off their crown.

SCEE boss predicts 60GBs will be sold out by month's end - After that? No more

Gameindustry.biz has stated that SCEE president David Reeves has clarified that the 60GB PS3's days are numbered. At an E3 event in which Reeves revealed the PlayStation 3 Starter Pack for the European region, he was questioned over whether SCEE should have given Europe a price cut, as has happened in America. Reeves claims that "they aren't really" getting a price cut "because what the US are offering from the 1st of August is a USD 599 version with one game."

Reeves went on to say that "all they're doing is taking their stock in trade that they've got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July." When asked whether this was truly the end of the 60GB model, Reeves replied with "in America, yes."

We see this as a very strange move on SCEA's part. Why undermine your announcement of a price drop by phasing out the lower end unit? Because the 80GB systems have had their Emotion Engine removed (which means PS2 games will now be software emulated, as in Europe) they are cheaper to build than the current 60GB models. Will we see this saving passed down to the customer with another price cut before the end of the year? This doesn't really bode well for those waiting for it to drop below $500 dollars.

Our solution? Drop the 80GB to $500 in a couple of months, in time for the big Christmas releases. Then bring back the 20GB system, without the Emotion Engine, for $400 dollars. Things would make a lot more sense if that were to happen.

EU price cut on the horizon? Big SCEE announcement on Thursday


GameIndustry.biz has received word directly from SCEE that they will have a large announcement to give at E3 this week. While seemingly keeping as tight lipped as possible, SCEE stated that it would be related to the just-announced price drop and introduction of the 80GB system in the US.

The announcement will occur on Thursday and so won't be part of the Sony keynote. We'll keep our ever-vigilant eyes open to make sure we get you the news as it breaks. A price drop in Europe would be very interesting, considering how well the system has been received already. In the UK most stores sell at around £400 (£25 off RRP), including bundle deals, so a further drop would have a large effect on those who are still straddling the fence. Even if they just want a decent priced Blu-Ray player.

Heavenly Sword devs promise blood, one edition, demo

If you don't want to get any information about Heavenly Sword by cycling through the comments section over at Ninja Theory's blog on IGN, don't worry. We've got the skinny and we're delivering it to you, list style! All answers come courtesy of Mat Hart, producer of Heavenly Sword.
  • Blood: "We took a conscious decision to deliver a fairly elegant blood effect rather splashing it all over the walls as this is far more in keeping with the look and feel of the game." We take it that means we'll see some stylish blood-letting.
  • Special Edition: In a word, no. Sony has decided that, instead of making you pay extra for a special edition of the game, they're going to let Ninja Theory cram as many as they can onto the single Blu-ray disc. So far, they're planning for the retail disc to feature "a series of behind the scenes features as well as the first 2 episodes of a special 'animated series' exploring the history of the Heavenly Sword prior to the start of the game." Can you say, awesome?
  • Game Length: "It's hard to estimate exactly how long it'll take someone to run through it the first time but we believe that you can expect somewhere between 12-15 hours of play."
  • Demo: He explains they've got plans for a demo in the very near future and have been working on it for some time. If you want his words exactly, he says to "keep an eye out for this in the very near future...and i mean very near future!" Our clocks are ticking.
That's it for now. We think the word about no special edition is fantastic. It's a great example of a developer really taking advantage of all that extra space. Much better than shoving an extra disc in the case and upping the price $10-20. We'll look for a demo every week until we get one, but from his tone of voice, we might see one either right before or right after E3. Our bet is on right after.

[via N4G]

Rumor: New Jak and Daxter due out this Christmas for PS3?

Here's one of those rumors that hit you hard out of left field or some other such sports analogy to better facilitate understanding between messenger and receiver. SCEE representative Jonathan Fargher spilled a short list of exclusive titles due to hit shelves before the end of the year while defending the PS3: "Title due to hit shelves in the Christmas run-up include the latest installment of favourites such as Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Ratchet and Clank, Crash Bandicoot, and Jak and Daxter." Yeah, he said Jak and Daxter. We had very little idea this game was even beyond the planning stage!

It's true that Sony has been holding out a lot of information to win the hearts of everyone at E3, but this is a huge and successful franchise they've been keeping a lid on. We're going to add this to the list of wishful thinking, but who knows. It very well might make a showing at E3, TGS, and retail shelves this holiday season. We'll keep our fingers crossed if you guys do!

[Via TotallyPS3]

[Thanks, Joe!]

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