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CES: Stringer, Hirai Talk 61.3 Million Userbase, Tease 3D Gaming

Together, the PlayStation 3 and PSP have an install base of 61.3 million, said Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer at the company's CES presentation today, as the company touted other strong stats for the PlayStation Network, LittleBigPlanet, Hom
Together, the PlayStation 3 and PSP have an install base of 61.3 million, said Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer at the company's CES presentation today. According to a liveblog of the event by consumer site GameSpot, SCE CEO Kaz Hirai joined Stringer on the stage to explain how the company's presented philosophy of networked experiences and multiple-function devices carried over to the company's gaming business. Hirai said that 330 million pieces of content have been downloaded to date on the PlayStation Network, which has seen the creation of 17 million accounts. Just a few weeks ago on December 12, Sony pegged the number of PSN accounts at 15 million, suggesting an increase of 2 million accounts in less than a month. LittleBigPlanet, also representative of the company's networked-shared experience philosophy, has sold 1.3 million units worldwide since its October 27 launch, Hirai said. Users have created 300,000 levels and accumulated 2 years worth of collective play time, the exec added. On the PS3's video delivery services, Sony announced a partnership with MTV to offer the latter's video content on the PlayStation Network. The Life With PlayStation channel will receive an update this spring, Hirai continued, and as for the somewhat-controversial PlayStation Home, Hirai said it's seen 3.4 million downloads to date. $1 million in virtual goods have now been sold via Home, Hirai said. At the end of December, Sony said virtual items in Home were 'selling like hotcakes', and that they were generating more revenue for the company in the first week than video services had. Electronic Arts is now a Home partner, Hirai added, and is crafting a new Home space to be unveiled soon. GameSpot reported that Hirai talked about SCEA "now shifting its way it thinks about its hardware design to better serve customers." However, no specific further announcements were made about Sony's games business during the talk. However, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg arrived to tout the potential of 3D, and a still from Gran Turismo 5 rendered in 3D was shown following the presentation of a 3D Pixar digital short. Tech site Ars Technica also reported it had seen Sony demos of games running in 3D during CES, including Gran Turismo 5 and Wipeout HD, although the company was reportedly not forthcoming on details, release dates or 3D strategy.

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