PSP Does Europe and the Antipodes

PSP Does Europe and the Antipodes PSP Does Europe and the Antipodes

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today launched its eagerly anticipated PSP system across the European market and throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Following the success of the PSP launches in Japan and the USA, and with over 5 million PSP systems already shipped worldwide, PSP launched today in a single version Value Pack, priced at eUROS 249 (GBP 179). The PSP Value Pack contains an added-value package of accessories and entertainment content, including the PSP system with a pouch, 32MB Memory Stick Duo, Battery Pack, Headphones with Remote Control, AC Adaptor, Wrist Strap, cloth and a video/music/game sampler Universal Media Disc (UMD) including several game demos.

A copy of Spider-Man 2 on UMD Video will be available free of charge to early purchasers of PSP, who register their PSP through the Your PSP Website. The official SCEE web portal for PSP, allows PSP owners to view trailers and screenshots from a wide selection of PSP Game, UMD Video and UMD Music titles, as well as accessing the latest software updates and a host of regularly updated competitions, news and features about PSP. Consumers will also be able to download exclusive content to their PSP.

PSP in Europe will launch with over 30 game titles. The usual launch blend of known franchises and new titles will accompany Sony's ambitious handheld. For speed demons, there's the new Ridge Racer; sport fans can try World Tour Soccer and Everybody's Golf; there's some monkey business in Ape Academy with mini-games ranging from monkey hockey to the '1m Dash'; and the MediEvil: Resurrection title.

A key feature of the PSP is its Wireless LAN capabilities, enabling users to connect to the internet via a 'WiFi hotspot' and play online across a Wireless Network. In the wireless Ad Hoc Mode, up to 16 PSP systems can also be connected to each other directly, allowing for head-to-head competition with other players in the immediate vicinity.

Wireless functionality is also exploited in many of the game titles available at launch; GameSharing allows owners of games such as WipEout Pure and Fired Up to share levels of their game with other PSP users, whilst with WipEout Pure gamers can download new crafts, tracks and other content to Memory Stick to further enhance their enjoyment of the game. FORMULA ONE fans will be able to expand their gameplay with a downloadable end of season pack for F1 Grand Prix, including all the grid line-ups for the season and a bonus historic car.

PSP also has the support of third party game publishers, and there will be over 20 third party game titles available during the initial launch period and over 50 before the Christmas peak selling season gets under way.

PSP will also launch with 30 movies from a variety of top Hollywood studios including Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista and Universal. With studios now planning to release 'Day and Date' with DVD releases, and an extensive catalogue of some 100 movies scheduled for release on UMD Video by Christmas, European PSP owners can look forward to a lot of choice but someone will have to explain why they would prefer a UMD disc to the DVD version when Sony's new format is more expensive.

The enjoyment of listening to music is a key part of the PSP's exciting entertainment offering and, in addition to playing music stored on the Memory Stick in MP3, ATRAC 3plus and MPEG-4 AAC format, music videos on UMD Music Videos will also be available. During the initial launch period, three classic music videos will be available from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment; Iron Maiden - Rock in Rio, INXS - Live Baby Live and Bob Marley- Live from Santa Barbara. Along with eight titles from Sony BMG including compilations from Usher, Outkast and The Offspring, and live concerts from Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Good Charlotte and Incubus, with many more music videos scheduled for release in the run up to Christmas.

European PSPs will also come ready with the latest system software upgrade. This means the handheld will already include an internet browser to ease the downloading of game trailers and video content from WiFi hotspots, a new codec for optimising the quality of video content on Memory Stick and the various other improvements introduced to the U.S. by firmware 2.00 recently.

Retailers throughout Europe will be opening their doors at midnight on Wednesday 31st August to satisfy the enthusiasm of fans, keen to get their hands on one of the first European PSPs.