Sony Playstation news from Gamescom

Yesterday Sony held its Press Conference at Gamescom, and it turned out the PS3 Slim rumors were spot-on. The device that was shown is roughly 30% smaller and lighter than the prior PS3 versions and comes with a 120 GB hard drive. Priced at $299 and scheduled to start rolling out the first week of September. Sadly backwards compatibility with the Playstation 2 was not re-introduced (the early models of the PS3 had backwards compatibility and upscaled PS2 games to make them look very nice on big-screen televisions), and we've lost the ability to install Linux, which most owners probably won't miss.

Prices on the existing PS3 hardware will drop by $100 today. And just when you think things have settled down, another rumor pops up. Engadget claims that Sony has listed a 250 GB model of the PS3 with the FCC. So when will this second PS3 Slim SKU hit retail?

Sony also announced Firmware 3.0, coming September 1st. Probably the most exciting feature mentioned was new, animated themes. If you don't think that's very exciting, well, that's exactly my point. Mostly this release iterates on existing features and makes the Playstation Store more accessible from all over the interface. Not a lot to get excited about, really.

In addition to the PS3 news, the PSP got some attention. A line of digital comics was announced for the handheld, as well as the introduction of Playstation miniS, which are small (100 meg maximum size) downloadable games for the PSP. These are obviously targeted at the iPhone App Store gamers. PSP miniS will launch on October first; I've embedded a trailer, (thanks to Joystiq) below.

So next up on the list of video game rumors to check off: Microsoft's retirement of the Xbox 360 Pro model, and a $100 price drop for the Xbox 360 Elite. Maybe that'll happen today at Microsoft's Gamescom event.

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