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Sony to expose PSP insides at September show

'Most detailed technical discussion' yet

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Sony is set to give its "most detailed" public look into the capabilities of the upcoming PlayStation Portable (PSP) in September, three months ahead of the handheld console's Japanese debut, The Register has learned.

The discussion may well take in the PSP's spoken language translation software and peer-to-peer wireless gaming technology unveiled this week.

Sony Computer Entertainment America senior development engineer David Coombes and colleague Peter Young will take to the stage on 9 September to discuss PSP programming at the Austin Game Conference.

Both gave a similar presentation earlier this year at the San Jose Game Developers Conference (GDC), but the September show may well feature a greater focus on the hardware's abilities now the Sony has announced the product and has started to talk about its capabilities.

Certainly the blurb for the presentation talks up what Coombes and Young will reveal. They will "detail the architecture and design of the PSP to as great an extent as possible", it says. "Key features that will impact game design decisions will be highlighted. Important production-related considerations will be discussed."

Crucially, it will be "Sony's most detailed public technical discussion of the PSP and developing for the PSP to date".

That may include a mention of Talkman, software which translates spoken input into another language and plays it through the console's speaker. Nine languages will be supported, Sony said this week, and demonstrated Japanese to English.

The consumer electronics giant also provided some more information about the PSP's wireless technology. While the console is known to support 802.11b, Sony this week said it would allow up to 16 players to compete against each other simultaneously. Crucially, they can do so without the need for a base-station unit or a hotspot.

Wi-Fi does allow computer-to-computer networks to be established, and it's possible Sony will use that aspect of the technology. But Nintendo, which is also planning to build Wi-Fi into its upcoming DS console, is nevertheless using a proprietary protocol to support multi-player gaming, leaving Wi-Fi for Internet access. ®

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