PSP News

E3: Sony hand-held bombshell

The PSP unveiled

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE to you and me), has dropped something of a bombshell today with the announcement of a Sony hand-held device - a rival for Nintendo's GameBoy Advance. The all-in-one portable entertainment platform, titled the 'PSP' will be out come the end of 2004.

Here's the word on this new gizmo straight from the horses mouth:

The foundation of this new platform is Universal Media Disc (UMD), which comprises of a 60mm optical disc (1.8 GB) in a cartridge, developed by the Sony Group, utilizing its latest disc technologies. Compared to the out-dated mask ROM cartridge, optical disc has huge advantages such as shorter turn around time for manufacturing, larger data capacity and lower media costs. The latest copy-protection technology will be applied to offer content developers and publisher a safe and copy-protected environment.

PSP will be equipped with a wide screen 480 x 272 pixel (16 by 9) TFT LCD monitor with a backlight, and powered by super chipsets utilizing the latest 90 nm semiconductor technology. For graphics, 3D rendering will be enhanced by the employment of curved surfaces (NURBS) along with conventional polygons. Video quality will also be enhanced with MPEG4, which delivers quality equivalent to DVD video at a low data rate.

PSP will have an USB 2.0 port for further expandability and connectivity to other devices, such as PSP, PlayStation 2 and many other systems, along with a Memory Stick slot for network applications and data transportability in a wireless environment.

SCEI will offer PC-based development tools starting from fall 2003 for the preparation of a new range of computer entertainment content. A new license scheme for PSP software development will be announced in summer 2003. Pursuing the founding principles of the PlayStation business, Sony Computer Entertainment will expand its efforts to support content developers to create new forms of computer entertainment.

Together with its business partners, SCEI aims to aggressively promote this new platform to further broaden the arena of entertainment.

"Just as PlayStation and PlayStation 2 revolutionized in-home computer entertainment, we aim to become a new driving force in the portable entertainment platform arena," enthused Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi. "The world of PlayStation encompasses hundreds of millions of users worldwide, most of whom view computer entertainment as part of their everyday lives. We look forward to extending the experience through a portable entertainment platform, and are excited about the possibilities and impact 'PSP' will have on the market. Along with game applications, 'PSP' will have a huge potential for delivering other forms of entertainment as well as live entertainment through the network, anywhere, anytime. This is the 'Walkman' of the 21st century."

More news on this huge and rather exciting new product as we get it.

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