Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 console will launch on November 15 in North America. Europe will get the console two weeks later, on November 29. As previously announced, the system will launch for $399, €399 and £349. Sony says it\’ll be available in 32 countries upon launch.
The date gives a more definitive time frame for Sony\’s oncoming holiday battle with Microsoft and its Xbox One. That next-gen system doesn\’t have a specific release date yet, but will launch in 13 countries sometime this November for $500.
Sony made the launch date official this afternoon as part of its conference at the annual Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany. There, the company announced that the PS4 has received more than 1 million pre-orders since they opened up this past June.
Sony also revealed that its fledgling PlayStation Vita handheld will be getting a permanent and immediate price cut: the WiFi-only model has been slashed from $250 to $200, while the 3G-enabled model has gone from $300 to $250.
The company addressed another common complaint about the system by slashing the prices of the Vita’s external memory cards. The cuts there go as follows: the 4GB memory card has gone from $20 to $15; the 8GB card has dropped from $30 to $20; the 16GB card has gone from $60 to $40; and the 32GB card has gone from $100 to $80.
Sony used the conference to showcase a slew of games that will be coming to the PS4 and PS Vita as well, ranging from previously announced PS4 blockbusters like Killzone: Shadow Fall, Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to soon-to-arrive indies like Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Sony says that 33 games will be coming to the PS4 before the end of 2013, while more than 180 games are currently in development for the console overall.
The company announced that the ever-popular Minecraft will be arriving on PS4 as a launch title, that Borderlands 2 will be coming to the PS Vita in 2014, and that Gran Turismo 6 will hit the PS3 on December 6 as well. It also revealed a limited time deal that will let those who purchase the PS3 versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts, Watch Dogs, Assassin\’s Creed IV and Battlefield 4 buy the PS4 versions of those games through the PlayStation Store at a \”significantly discounted price,\” though it didn\’t say how big the discounts will be.
But those independent developers–whom Sony has made a concerted effort to attract over the past several months–may have had the largest showing of the conference. A variety of titles were shown off from smaller studios, including platformer N++ (coming to PS4), roguelike Wasteland Kings (Vita and PS4), side-scrolling space shooter Resogun (PS4), and cel-shaded adventure game Rime (PS4), among many others. Previously released hits like Fez and The Binding of Isaac were also revealed to be getting Vita and PS4 and Vita releases, respectively.
On the technical side of things, Sony confirmed that the PS4, like the Xbox One, will see integration from popular game streaming site Twitch. The rumored $200 PS3 model that carries 12GB of flash storage was confirmed as well. The company also announced that it will be “enhancing” its Music Unlimited streaming service for PS4 with a new interface that will let you play music in the background while you play games. Finally, Sony revealed that it is entering into “strategic partnerships” with European internet service providers like Orange, Virgin, Ono and Deutsche Telekom to provide PS4-friendly broadband services, though Sony is keeping mum on specific details there for now.