Sony answers Xbox 360 Slim with 320GB PS3

New model to come with 320GB hard drive

Not to be outdone by Microsoft's updated Xbox 360, Sony introduced two new PS3 models at today's Gamescom presser, including one bundled with the company's forthcoming 'Move' motion control peripheral, and packing a whopping 320GB hard drive.

The Move bundle--dubbed the PS3 Sports Champion Move Bundle -- will include one controller (the bulbous glowing wand thingy), a copy of Sports Champion, the requisite PlayStation Eye camera, and a Blu-ray game demo disc.

All that, for US$399.99.

The other model validates the recently rumored 160GB PS3, and Sony says it'll sell for US$299.99, which we already kinda knew, since it's was showing up this morning for $299.99 on popular U.S. retailer websites like Amazon and Newegg.

Sony offered a few intriguing PlayStation Network updates, including the option to text chat during shows via PlayTV live, though I'm not sure I see the point. Aren't we distracted enough already?

And then there was Mubi, "your online cinema, anytime, anywhere," a service that looks a bit like the lovechild of Twitter, Netflix, and Facebook. It's coming to the PS3, which should make things interesting as the streaming video wars loom. The PS3 already does Netflix with a disc, will shortly support Netflix disc-free, and just started offering Hulu Plus in beta, with a public launch sometime early next year.

Alas, the PSP 2 wasn't even a twinkle in Sony's eye. Instead, the company trumpeted the PSP's sales to date--62 million sold worldwide since launch--and verbally recommitted to the platform.

The rest of the show involved a series of gameplay trailers and demos, including inFAMOUS 2, Medal of Honor, MAG (the latter's gaining Move compatibility, if that matters to anyone), Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5 (still launching November 2 in the U.S., thank goodness), Virtua Tennis 4 (with Move support) a clutch of games with 3D support (Hustle Kings, Wipeout, Mortal Kombat 9, Motorstorm Apocalypse), and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, a four-player online version of the popular series with dynamic cooperative play, coming fall 2011.

Oh, and Resistance 3 was finally announced. Let's hope whatever malaise settled over Insomniac resulting in the thoroughly mediocre Resistance 2, they've managed to shake it off, because the original viral-alien-invasion-themed first-person shooter was terrific.

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Matt Peckham

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