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E3: Harrison Outlines PlayStation Network Plans

Broadcasting a large part of the conference inside Sony's Home community itself, Phil Harrison announced a number of exclusive PSN titles such as the duo-tone puzzler Echochrome and Wipeout HD, and revealed a new web-based social networking
Broadcasting a large part of the conference inside Sony's Home community itself, Phil Harrison announced a number of exclusive PSN titles such as the duo-tone puzzler Echochrome and Wipeout HD, and revealed a new web-based social networking site based around Home. SCEA president Jack Tretton said PSN has garnered nearly 2 million users since its launch, 950,000 of those in North America alone, with more than 20 million downloads from its PlayStation store. Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison then came to the stage brandishing a quick jab at Microsoft by saying that because of the PS3's included hard drive, no PSN developer was limited by predetermined file sizes, allowing them to think not only big, but creatively and bizarrely. To that end, Harrison revealed that one of the 80 games in development for the service through next March was Japan Studio's puzzler Echochrome. Coming to both PS3 via the PSN and to PSP via UMD, and inspired by the Rubik's Cube and other logic puzzles, Harrison said the title had the "least graphics and most gameplay" of any title seen at E3 this year. Featuring blatantly M.C. Escher-esque level design rendered in flat black and white line drawings, players take the role of an artist's poseable wooden model who traversing the optical illusion levels. Sony also revealed other upcoming PSN titles, including the exclusive Wipeout HD, Pain, and the PSN and retail Blu-ray titles Warhawk and SOCOM US Navy Seals Confrontation. Returning to Home, Harrison showed off new additions to the service, including new and more lush spaces, and the ability to interface with the service through both a mobile phone, and via a new website that will go live with Home's launch. The website will serve as a new social networking tool like MySpace and Facebook, but will be auto-populated by content from Home, such as auto-blogs of Home activity. Finally, Harrison revealed that with the ability to launch any PS3 title directly from within Home, multiplayer sessions of games like Motorstorm can be organized through the service, which he demonstrated by launching a new Motorstorm track, Eagle's Nest, that will be also coming to the service soon.

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