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Buy one, get one free: Sony introduces Cross-Buy

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While many were betting Sony would use its pre-Gamescom press conference as the launch pad for a new round of PlayStation 3 price cuts -- or even yet another redesigned model of the home console -- the electronics giant opted to leave well enough alone for the time being.

That's not to say the company didn't have a couple new offers up its sleeve for fans. Though hardware prices weren't reduced, Sony did unveil a new program dubbed Cross-Buy that will allow purchasers of select PS3 games to receive the Vita version as a free bonus.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale will lead that charge. Sly Cooper Collection and Ratchet & Clank: Qforce will also be included in the program. And more titles are on the way.

"We will continue to invest heavily in cross platform in the future, because we know it's no longer just what you play but where you play," said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony computer Entertainment Europe.

The Cross-Buy program is similar to what Sony has been doing with recent PSN games such as Sound Shapes. It's also a bit like buying a universal app: pay one price, get it for multiple systems.

Sony used the event in Cologne, Germany to showcase the PS Vita, which many felt it gave a short shrift to in Los Angeles at E3. The company unveiled a Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified bundle for the device and offered a look at two upcoming games for the system.

Tearaway, the latest game from LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule, is set in a world made entirely of paper. Players will help the hero Iota through a series of adventures using some of the Vita's more unique features. The back touch panel plays prominently in the game; at certain points, you can poke your fingers 'into the game' by touching it to dispel enemies. You can also use the Vita's camera to select skins for certain creatures in the world, blow on the screen to create windstorms and even shout at the game to give Iota a power shout.

The company also showed a trailer for the Vita exclusive Killzone: Mercenary, showcasing the brutal nature of the profession. And the PS3 will be getting a few of its own new games next year: the horror game Until Dawn, a mellow, artsy game called Rain, and another ode to arts and crafts in Puppeteer.

Sony also continued to build the case for PlayStation Plus memberships, announcing that September's game of the month (free to subscribers) would be 2010 smash hit Red Dead Redemption, and that it planned to increase the cloud storage space from 150 MB to 1 gigabyte.

Additionally. the company announced PlayStation Plus will also be extended to PS Vita owners in the months to come.

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