Is Sony set to regain dominance in the gaming sector?

At a launch event in Sydney yesterday, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia set down a serious challenge to its competitors by unveiling a host of new products and services. The new PS3 Slim and PSP go were obvious standouts, but a little character called EyePet really stole the show.

At the Sony wide launch, the Playstation sector was definitely one of the most popular, due to the extensive line up of products on show.

Patrick Lagana, marketing manager at Sony Computer Entertainment, spoke to and was very confident of strong signs ahead for the Playstation brand.

“The world of Playstation is continuing to grow, one of the most exciting things for us at the moment is the PS3 Slim which has been very well received by consumers so far,” he said.

Lagana also spoke about the obstacles the brand had to overcome in the category.

“The difficulty we had in the past was that a lot of consumers were concerned with the price point, and the main obstacle we found was that people weren’t fully aware of all the possibilities of the PS3,” he said.

“For the technology incorporated in the unit, it used to be great value for money before the price cut, now that the price is down to $499 we are expecting a huge uptake in consumer demand.”

Another boost for the company is with its VidZone music service and the signing of its first major advertising partner.

“VidZone is doing exceptionally well. We have just got our first advertising partner signed up with Optus and this is a real boost for the service,” he said.

“The service is primarily ad funded, and that’s why we can provide it free of charge to PS3 users. May artists are now supplying exclusive content directly to VidZone before any other medium and that is really exciting.”

The PSP platform is also expecting a major boost in the coming months with the release of the new PSP go, which has scrapped the UMD drive and offers consumers the ability to download their games and store them directly on the 16GB hard drive.

Some of the titles that are expected to do very well for the platform are Gran Turismo and Little Big Planet which will both be out before Christmas.

But one of the most impressive games on display was EyePet for the PS3 which seemed to capture the attention of almost everyone who walked by.

EyePet is the new ‘Augmented Reality’ game from Sony that uses the Playstation Eye camera. The game is basically a virtual pet that you take care of and play with in a variety of ways.

But the unique thing about this game is that everything is controlled by you, via the Playstation Eye. The EyePet is fully aware of people in the room and reacts accordingly to your movements.

EyePet will be available later this year and will come bundled with the Playstaion Eye for RRP: $79.

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