August 23, 2007 In an ironic twist on the convergence theme, Sony has made some significant announcements at the Games Convention in Leipzig moving the PS3 and PSP towards becoming general entertainment and convenience platforms. Announcements included a TV Tuner and PVR software for PS3, a Video Download Service for PSP in conjunction with BSkyB, a voice chat, video chat and instant messaging service for PSP, and a satellite navigation accessory for PSP. On top of the recent release of the EUR50 Go!Cam which turns a PSP into a video and still camera, the “c” word (convergence) is very relevant.
Go!Cam offers a built in microphone to ensure continuous audio, the ability to change the direction of the camera lens vertically by 180 degrees and Go!Edit, an editing software package which allows users to save and edit photos, video and audio clips.
With clear designs on the PS3 becoming the epicentre of family entertainment, Sony announced the PlayTV TV Tuner and PVR accessory that is certain to have an impact on the home entertainment market. The twin channel, High Definition TV tuner and PVR software turns the PS3 into a TV recorder, allowing users to watch, pause and record live TV. With seamless connectivity to PSP, PlayTV allows you to set recordings, watch live TV and recorded TV programmes remotely on the PSP via a WiFi connection, or quickly transcode recorded TV shows for high quality viewing to the PSP by USB cable for remote viewing away from the home.
SCEE also introduced a host of new services for the company’s new non-gaming Go! Entertainment brand for PSP.
The Go! Video Download Service will launch in early 2008. Developed in conjunction with Sky, it will allow PSP owners in UK and Ireland to turn their PSP into a personalised library of programmes and will feature a vast selection of high quality entertainment. With content from Sky’s existing multi channel offering and support from a whole range of third party content owners, PSP owners will be able to subscribe to dedicated Sports, Entertainment and Animation packages as well as watch premier content on a pay per view basis.
Go!Messenger is a new voice chat, video chat and instant messaging service, scheduled for rollout throughout the SCEE territories in the New Year. Developed in conjunction with BT, Go! Messenger places a small application on PSP’s XMB (XrossMediaBar), which when downloaded separately from the web and installed to the Memory Stick, allows users to voice chat, video chat and instant message each other using VOIP from any WiFi hot spot.
To be launched early in 2008, Go!Explore is a satellite navigation product for the PSP that uses a GPS receiver accessory. Go!Explore incorporates both vehicle and pedestrian functionality, the very latest in three dimensional mapping technology and over 100 different categories of overlays for such things as speed cameras, petrol stations and restaurants.