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Sony to ship PlayStation Portable for under $200

PSP debut set for 12 December, company says

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Sony will ship the PlayStation Portable for ¥20,790 ($195), the Japanese consumer electronics giant said today.

The PSP-1000 - to give the device its official model number - will go in sale on 12 December, achieving Sony's goal of shipping the handheld by the end of the year. It is due to debut in the US and Europe by the end of March 2005.

Sony PlayStation Portable Box

At that point, Sony said, non-gaming content - ie. music and movies - will go on sale encoded on the handheld's unique 1.8GB Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical drive format.

The PSP's Japanese ship date has been the subject of much speculation, most of it centring on Sony's ability to meet the deadline. A company executive recently admitted that the chosen date would be largely determined by games publishers. The deadline would be achieved only if they were able to offer sufficient launch titles, he said.

Well, Sony today announced some 21 titles will go on sale in December. Titles from Sony itself include a multiplayer golf game and what appears to be a network messaging product.

Touting the unit's WLAN functionality, Sony said up to 16 PSPs can talk to each other in 'ad hoc' mode. There's also infra-red and USB 2.0 for networking and connectivity. A Memory Stick Duo Pro slot paves the way for expansion. Indeed, Sony will offer a 32MB Memory Stick with suitable PSP branding.

Other accessories include remote-control headphones and - crucially - a battery pack. Sony said the 280g PSP will run for between four and six hours on a single charge; four to five hours if you're watching movies rather than playing games. Power comes from an internal Lithium-Ion battery. ®

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