Well, that took a long while. After almost a decade of being an underground market, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Asia finally recognized the existence of a viable (Read: pirate free PS3) market here in the Philippines. SCE Asia officially initiated the PlayStation business in the country with a two-day event at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati, on March 27. The Philippines becomes the ninth country and region in the SCE Asia territory that includes Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Along with the “initiation” of the PlayStation business in the Philippines, SCE Asia formally introduced the PlayStation 3 (PS3) Slim models with 120GB (CECH-2012A) or 250GB (CECH-2012B) hard disk drive and the PlayStation Portable (PSP-3006). The PS3 and PSP system will now be available at Sony stores from at suggested retail prices of P18,999 for PS3 120GB model, P20,999 for PS3 250GB model and PHP 9,999 for PSP-3006 respectively. With the launch of the PlayStation platforms, Pinoy gamers will be able to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment content including games, music and movies on the popular entertainment system, and more importantly, get a one-year warranty for their console.
The event marks a historic first, as the PS3 is the only console that has been officially launched in the country. Previously, most gaming consoles had no official support and had been sourced out from dealers outside the country.
Besides the launch, characters from several PS3 games such as Kratos, from the God of War and Sackboy from Little Big Planet, made an appearance to highlight the Cosplay competition. A lady dressed as the lead character Lightning, from Final Fantasy XIII, won herself a PS3 console. There was also a game ala Amazing Race wherein the winners took home a PSP.
Gamers flocked to the demo area where they had the chance to try out the latest PS3 games such as God of War on Sony’s latest HD TVs. The most exciting part, for me, however, was being able to check out the Bravia LX900, Sony’s 3D TV. The LX900 showcased 3D demos of games, sports broadcasts, nature shows, and movies. Sony promises to bring together the full 3D experience by delivering both hardware and 3D content soon. Now if only I could muster up P300,000 for the complete setup.
The event was capped-off with a performance by Ely Buendia and his band Pupil, who delighted the crowd with their latest songs.
With the official launch of the PS3, plus the recent report that showed the PS3 having the best lineup of games, it looks like Sony will once again dominate the Pinoy market— and this time everything would be official. Hopefully, the Playstation shop would soon be accessible as well.
Hopefully, the official launch of the PS3 here would also translate to simultaneous game release dates with other countries especially with the imminent release of Move—the Playstation 3’s motion control device.
The new device would be Sony’s version of the Nintendo Wii remote and will require both the new wand controller and the Playstation Eye camera to work. The price has yet to be finalized although Sony has confirmed that a “starter kit” of one controller, one Playstation Eye and one game will be sold for under $100.
The Move has a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a magnetic field sensor that works together with the camera to provide more accurate spatial recognition than the Wii remote. The colored orb on top acts as the marker that will pinpoint the location of the controller. The orb also changes its color to distinguish it from the room’s dominant background. In addition to providing a tracking reference, the controller’s orb light can be used to provide visual feedback, simulating aesthetic effects such as the muzzle flash of a gun, or the paint on a brush.
According to Sony, the Move will be the next step for Wii users who are looking for a high-def experience and hopes that its increased accuracy will work for both casual and “core gamers.”
The PlayStation Move is set for worldwide launch before the end of the year.
DATABLITZ PICKS OF THE WEEK
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (PS3)
Based on the upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation, the How to Train Your Dragon™ video game launches gamers into a third-person action-adventure as a Viking hero where they must embark upon an epic quest to become the ultimate dragon trainer. Gamers can play as characters “Hiccup” or Astrid” on the vast island of Berk, which features expanded locales from the film including Vikings’ Village, Wild Zone, Training Zone and Fight Arena. In this truly larger-than-life adventure, players will train dragons, explore environments and battle in prestigious dragon tournaments as they battle for Viking victory. Plus, gamers can become the Dragon hero of their living room as they square-off with friends and family in endless head-to-head multi-player combat!
JUST CAUSE 2 (360)
With more stunts, vehicles and weapons than ever before and an incredible overhauled grappling hook, Rico returns to action in Panau, an incredibly detailed and vast 1000-sq-km game world of different climates and ultra-realistic weather effects. Leap from your plane and skydive from 10,000-feet-down into a tropical jungle, tear across an arid desert in a dune buggy or climb your way up a snowy mountain in a 4×4. The vast open-ended, unique gameplay is back, allowing you full freedom once again to free roam and explore the massive world of Panau, and tackle your assignments however you want.
With a new and improved air, land and sea stunt system featuring Rico’s notorious parachute and grappling hook, taken to incredible new extremes and a massive array of new vehicles featuring an advanced driving model, players can now pull-off some of the finest action stunts ever seen in a video game in a truly massive and beautifully rendered environment.