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PSP US Launch Date and Price Revealed

Uh-oh. It's going to be more expensive than anticipated.

By Matt Casamassina

February 3, 2005 - Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced the North American launch date and pricing structure for its anticipated PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld. The device, which launched in Japan last year, is set to debut in the US and Canada on March 24 for suggested retail prices of $249 USD and $299.99 CND respectively.

Unlike the Japanese launch, which offered a base PSP package for approximately $185 USD, North American buyers will only be able to get one bundle, the pricier PSP Value Pack. The good news is that the Pack comes standard with a good number of extras that help make the purchase worthwhile, including a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones with remote control, battery pack, AC adaptor, soft case, and cleaning cloth. In addition, the bundle boasts a movie/music/game sampler UMD disc with non-interactive demos. On top of everything else, the first one million people to purchase a PSP in the US will receive a bonus UMD featuring the full feature film Spider-Man 2.

"PSP will evolve and elevate portable entertainment, giving users the freedom to play full 3D games, watch movies, listen to music and connect wirelessly on their terms, their time and their place," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief executive officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "More than ever, today's consumer demands access to entertainment outside the home without compromising quality. With more than 100 PSP game titles currently in development worldwide, and the ability to download and listen to digital music and view feature films with breathtaking screen quality, PSP lets users control their entertainment options, all in one package."

Sony also announced the preliminary list of launch titles, to be released simultaneously with the handheld:

    * Ape Escape: On the Loose, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Capcom

    * Dynasty Warriors, KOEI

    * FIFA 2005, Electronic Arts

    * Gretzky NHL, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * Lumines, Ubisoft

    * Metal Gear Acid, Konami

    * MLB, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * MVP Baseball, Electronic Arts

    * NBA, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * NBA Street Showdown, Electronic Arts

    * Need for Speed Rivals, Electronic Arts

    * NFL Street 2 Unleashed, Electronic Arts

    * Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory, Konami

    * Ridge Racer, Namco

    * Smartbomb, Eidos Interactive

    * Spider-Man 2, Activision

    * Tiger Woods PGA TOUR, Electronic Arts

    * Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix, Activision

    * Twisted Metal: Head On, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, Sony Online Entertainment

    * Wipeout Pure, Sony Computer Entertainment America

    * World Tour Soccer, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Sony said it would manufacture one million PSP units for sale in the North American market by the end of its fiscal year on March 31.

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$250, with no game. Wow. The headphones and Spider-Man 2 are nice, but the headphones are probably crap and there's no way the industry even bothers to adopt this UMD standard.

None of those titles is a killer app, either (except for MAYBE Metal Gear Acid, people love card games for whatever reason).

Right now, I'd rather get an N-Gage QD than this.

It's sad when it's cheaper to import.

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It's sad when it's cheaper to import.

Tell me about it.

Luckily for me, the PSP is released one month after my birthday, so Jenny has promised to get it for me as a late gift.

As for titles, I'm most excited about Lumines. I'll probably take a look at Metal Gear Acid... but card battle games seem weird to me.

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A Darkstalkers chronicle game? Sweetness.

I heard it was just a port of the one released on the dreamcast in Japan, but whatever, I'm still getting it, because I've been a Darkstalker nuthugger since the orignal one. And I'm deffinantly getting one. People that think this isn't going to sell through, I got a bridge to sell you.

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Just got back from the store, but haven't had time to play it yet. I bough the unit (obviously) as well as Ridge Racer, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Lumines, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade and Metal Gear Acid. Who else bought one?

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Just got back from the store, but haven't had time to play it yet. I bough the unit (obviously) as well as Ridge Racer, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Lumines, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade and Metal Gear Acid.

:twitch:

Unless those were made cheaper with a bundle pack, you have a whole lot of spending money to spend.

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Just got back from the store, but haven't had time to play it yet.  I bough the unit (obviously) as well as Ridge Racer, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Lumines, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade and Metal Gear Acid.

:twitch:

Unless those were made cheaper with a bundle pack, you have a whole lot of spending money to spend.

Well, uh, I'm actually unemployed and have been for a year... so, uh... no I don't.

Truth be told, the PSP itself was purchased for me as a belated birthday present, so that saved me $275 (after tax). The rest can be chalked up to my inability to spend within my means.

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Just got back from the store, but haven't had time to play it yet.  I bough the unit (obviously) as well as Ridge Racer, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Lumines, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade and Metal Gear Acid.

:twitch:

Unless those were made cheaper with a bundle pack, you have a whole lot of spending money to spend.

Well, uh, I'm actually unemployed and have been for a year... so, uh... no I don't.

Truth be told, the PSP itself was purchased for me as a belated birthday present, so that saved me $275 (after tax). The rest can be chalked up to my inability to spend within my means.

I can relate...

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I went back to Best Buy and grabbed WipEout Pure. All in all I wound up purchasing one-third of the launch titles.

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I went back to Best Buy and grabbed WipEout Pure. All in all I wound up purchasing one-third of the launch titles.

That is one reason why you are my hero.

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I went back to Best Buy and grabbed WipEout Pure.  All in all I wound up purchasing one-third of the launch titles.

That is one reason why you are my hero.

Hmm. And here I was thinking it was my sexual prowess.

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From IGN:

PSP 1.5

Japan gets its first firmware update. Find out more inside.

by Anoop Gantayat

March 24, 2005 - Just as America at last sees the long-awaited release of the PSP hardware, Sony Computer Entertainment is giving Japanese gamers something to celebrate with the first firmware update for the system. Owners of Japanese PSP units can now upgrade the PSP's system software to version 1.5.

The update adds a number of small features to the system. Here's a list of what's included, as provided by Sony:

SETTINGS

-- Support for German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian and Portuguese

VIDEO

-- When playing movies through Memory Stick Duo, the video mode is maintained even when you switch to a different video.

-- When returning from sleep mode while viewing a video from Memory Stick Duo, you're now able to continue from the point where you left off.

MUSIC

-- Similar to video, when returning to music from sleep mode, you're now able to start from the point where you left off.

-- MP3 data and file name fields can now use accented characters

PHOTO

-- Picture file names and folder names can now use accented characters.

SCE has also fixed a number of bugs via the update, as we've been able to observe for ourselves.

The update can be accessed in three ways. The simplest way is to turn on your PSP and select "Network Update" from the main menu. You'll need to have access to a wireless LAN and will need a Memory Stick Duo with at least 14 megabytes clear space loaded inside the system. See the PSP update information page for more details.

For those who don't trust wireless, you can also download a file directly to your computer and copy it to your Memory Stick Duo. The file has to be placed in the PSP/GAME/UPDATE folder of your Memory Stick. For the actual download, check out SCE's website.

Finally, the system can also be updated via UMD. Certain games include the new system software, and when these titles are loaded into the PSP, a separate "Update" option appears under the UMD section of the cross bar menu, right below the game icon. By selecting this icon, you can begin the installation.

It's a bit unfortunate that the update doesn't add any major new functionality to the PSP. We eagerly await a version 2.0 update and whatever features it will bring to the system.

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I went back to Best Buy and grabbed WipEout Pure.  All in all I wound up purchasing one-third of the launch titles.

That is one reason why you are my hero.

Hmm. And here I was thinking it was my sexual prowess.

That's one of the other reasons. Sometime I'll write the 50 reasons why Yoda is my hero.

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:lmfao:

I just got back from Thunder Bay.

PSPs sold at the Future Shop over there were $100 more than they are here in Manitoba!! And you don't even get to pick the game!!!!

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:lmfao:

I just got back from Thunder Bay.

PSPs sold at the Future Shop over there were $100 more than they are here in Manitoba!! And you don't even get to pick the game!!!!

Northern Ontario truly sucks

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Here I go doing it again, pulling something from the graveyard. Although in all fairness this one has been pinned up to the top, so its like I am supposed to bring it back to life.

Ok, here is what I do not get about the PSP, and I don't know if I have just been grossly misinformed or waht. The movies that come out for the PSP, they cannot play on anything else can they? I mean is there anything else out there that can take one of those disks and play it? Why would anyone buy a movie to watch it 2.5 inches wide? Movies are for bigger screens, not things that could fit in the palm of your hand.

Besides playing PSP games, and playing movies on PSP disks... I heard it had a slew of other features like playing music and the like. How does all of that stuff stack up?

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You are correct; the UMD discs can only be played on the PSP, and they're primarily meant for traveling. Despite that, sales of UMD movies are surprisingly well, thus indicating that people are actually watching them at home and not just on the go.

I've yet to use mine for music (that's why I have an iPod) or pictures, but the video and audio quality of the handheld is awesome when it comes to games and movies, so I can only assume it looks and sounds great for the former two items.

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Any of the other PSP owners out there download the 2.0 firmware yet? Web Browser, background support & the ability to share pictures are all fairly nice upgrades

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