PSP Price Drop, PS1 Emulator, New Peripherals Announced
Sony didn't just talk PS3 at their Spring 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing. Get the full PSP scoop...
It's true that the majority of Sony's Spring 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing focused around PS3-related announcements, but the company also revealed a bevy of PSP news for all of us portable enthusiasts.
Arguably the biggest news is that the system will be recieving a $50 price-drop... sort of. From day 1 in Japan Sony offered a PSP "value pack" that included a soft carrying case, headphones, and various other bonus items. It also offered a cheaper, stripped-down unit that included nothing but the system, an AC-adapter, and a battery pack The latter, cheaper package never made it to American or European shores. Until now, that is.
On March 22nd the unit will be available in the US and Europe for $199 and 199 Euros, respectively.
Sony also revealed that a PSOne emulator would be coming to the PSP, as part of a greater PSOne game download service. The PSP hacking scene has been booting games from memory sticks for almost as long as the PSP has been around, but Sony's service would formally allow memory stick game boots - for purchased PSOne games only, of course. Various details of the service (including pricing) were not announced, but Sony did reveal their intention to make essentially all 1st-party PS1 games available for PSP download.
On the internet front Sony announced expanded RSS channel support, allowing for podcast subscription, and eventually video subscription for auto downloads/updates.
Lastly, Sony expanded on its desire to make the PSP a true multimedia device by formally laying out plans for a number of peripherals, most notably a GPS device and a USB Eyetoy-style camera/microphone. The camera, slated for a September release, doubles as a gaming device and a communication device (realtime video conferencing) using VoIP technology.
The GPS device is also slated for a fall release, with a new Hot Shots Golf already confirmed as using the new peripheral. It takes 40 seconds to get an initial location fix with a refresh rate of 60 times per minute. Development tools for both devices have been released to PSP developers.