Sony launched a pre-emptive strike on the E3 grapevine with its announcement yesterday that it's cutting the price of the 60GB PlayStation 3 to $500, and offering a new 80GB model for $600 in August. But what else does the company have up its sleeve for the show? There are still at least a couple of unanswered questions offering grist for the rumor mill:
rumble-enabled Sixaxis controller: Sony has already shot down rumors that the 80GB PS3 will come bundled with a new rumble-ready Sixaxis controller. (Of course, the company was denying rumors of a PS3 price cut as recently as last week.) But Sony's settlement with Immersion means that a rumble-ified PS3 controller is no longer an impossibility.
video download service: The Xbox 360's Video Marketplace gives users access to downloadable movies and TV shows, including plenty of HD content that looks far better than anything Apple's iTunes Store has offered to date. Newsweek (via Kotaku) reports that a Sony online media store may be announced at the show, even though it won't be ready to roll out until later in the year. Given Sony's ample content holdings--including all those Columbia, Tri-Star, and MGM movies and TV shows--this has always been a question of when, not if.
On the games front--which, after the price cut, is where the PS3 really needs to prove its mettle--there are quite a few exclusives to keep an eye on: Lair, Heavenly Sword, Warhawk, Metal Gear Solid 4, The Agency, and Killzone 2 will be among the titles making yet another E3 appearance. And we'll no doubt hear more news about the console's Second Life-like PlayStation Home service as well. But only time will tell whether one of those titles--or an as-yet-unseen game--will be the killer app that spurs PS3 sales back to the glory days of PlayStation dominance.
The Sony press conference is Wednesday, July 11 at 2:30pm ET/11:30am PT (directly after Nintendo's). Crave will have complete coverage at that time.