PSP guessing continues as new games announced
Sony's press conference yesterday proved somewhat disappointing in that the pricing and dating news everyone expected were omitted, in a favour of some new word on the launch titles planned. Indeed, Sony may have changed tact concerning the pricing, after Nintendo unveiled a very low $150 price-tag, and a November debut, for their rival DS system.
Not that Sony's conference was a total damp squid, forty-six new titles were confirmed - from several major third-parties - which will certainly be encouraging for Sony. A Tenchu title is coming, as is a new drumming game from Namco, and SNK are also plotting a King of Fighters outing. Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi's new game, Lumines, was also announced - and will be playable at the Tokyo Games Show this weekend. Twenty-one games will be demonstrated at the Sony booth in total, we're informed.
Concerning the UMD media format, Sony Computer Entertainment head Ken Kutaragi revealed that whilst it will be possible to save data on UMD media via the PSP, Sony will not be enabling such functionality from launch. "But if the market starts to get stabilized and things are going well, there might be companies that want to take advantage of UMD recording capabilities in their games. If that happens, we'll have to discuss with the companies about what kind of recording format to use, whether to add on stronger copy protection, or to even to make it into an international standard," he told reporters at the conference in Tokyo.
The increasingly used Cross Media Bar (XMB) navigation system will be used to control the PSP, Sony revealed, and is part of a general trend at the firm spreading this user-interface across most products. XMB began life on the PSX. Whilst it is supposed to be out in Japan this 'winter', Kutaragi would not be drawn on a specific date or indeed pricing, stating that reaction at this week's expo in Tokyo will be used to gauge such variables.
Kutaragi would not be drawn on whether the PSP will be more expensive than the Nintendo DS (which it surely will given the DS is out for $150 or 15,000 Yen) either, but stated that even if it was costlier it would still sell well as it appeals to a different audience. The launch date will be determined by software availability, the head honcho revealed, pointing to a strong line-up of post debut titles as the major factor. The hardware itself is said to be ready, then. More soon.