Forget the NW-HD5, the PSP is Sony’s true iPod killer, and at today’s Australian launch the company went all-out to prove the credentials of the PSP as a ‘total entertainment’ device.
The PSP does movies, music, photos, web browsing, and of course games, and when the device launches on September 1, 2005, not only will Sony release games titles on its proprietary UMD format, but blockbuster movie titles as well.
The new UMD format will itself be the focus of a new marketing campaign, and Sony will deliver 18 movie titles at launch including Spiderman 2, Hellboy and Bad Boys. Prices start at $24.95, but most premium movies will be available for $34.95. Speaking at today’s launch, Michele Garra of Sony Pictures said most major movie titles will be released on DVD and UMD on the same day. Ms Garra said all major movie houses, bar Dreamworks and Warner Bros, would release movies on the UMD format.
“The home entertainment industry now looks forward to offering consumers new ways to enjoy our movies and hopefully attract new collectors to the market via this mobile format”, she said.
To coincide with the launch, Sony also revealed several other new sources of content. Bipond would make sports coverage available in the PSPs MP4 format, and Sony’s new website, yourpsp.com.au would enable users to download new media content. It also announced a new short film competition, called Expose, which will enable film-makers to produce 3-minute films especially for the PSP.
Sony is expecting a huge response for the PSP, and predicts that as many as 250,000 units will sell by Christmas in
Sony also confirmed the PSP would ship with the new firmware 2.0 which enables web access, and is definitely one of the PSPs best features. But the units won’t have the update onboard, but will come with a UMD disk with the update on it.
But the PSP is renowned for its games, and there will be eight available on September 1, including Ridge Racer and Wipeout Pure, with up to 25 available by Christmas.
The PSP comes with an, as-yet, unused IR port which has fueled speculation that it will become a controller/remote for the upcoming PlayStation 3.
The Playstation Portable Value Pack will be available at $399.95 and includes the PSP with a 4.3in screen and 32MB Memory Stick Duo, a carry pouch, remote and headphones. Extra memory is available, with the maximum Memory Stick Pro Duo maxing out at 1GB. There have been rumours of a 2GB stick arriving in September, however.