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PlayStation Portable Launches in the U.S.

Sony's new PlayStation Portable handheld gaming system has debuted in America, with 1 million units shipped to retail across the country. Unlike the Japanese launch, whic...
Sony's new PlayStation Portable handheld gaming system has debuted in America, with 1 million units shipped to retail across the country. Unlike the Japanese launch, which offered buyers the choice of a barebones system or a slightly more expensive "value pack" with extra items included, all 1 million units in the U.S. consisted of the value pack; the $250 system comes with a soft carrying case, wrist strap, screen cleaning cloth, battery, sampler disc, and 32MB Memory Stick Duo Pro. In addition, the first batch shipped will come with a free copy of the film Spider-Man 2 on Sony's proprietary UMD format. The system launched with 17 games available, with seven first-party titles from Sony: Ape Escape: On the Loose, Gretzky NHL, NBA, Twisted Metal: Head-On, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, Wipeout Pure, and World Tour Soccer. Other games currently on shelves are Ubisoft's Lumines, Konami's Metal Gear Ac!d, Namco's Ridge Racers, Capcom's Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Koei's Dynasty Warriors, Electronic Arts' NFL Street 2: Unleashed, Need for Speed Underground Rivals, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and Activision's Tony Hawk Underground 2 Remix and Spider-Man 2. Though some online sources are reporting an ample supply of the system in selected stores, the high number of launch units available did not stop some determined players from attending midnight launch events, complete with all-day queuing. The largest such crowd was outside the PlayStation store at the Metreon entertainment center in San Francisco, where hundreds of eager gamers attended a combination vigil and party with free food and goodies, as well as a live DJ, to celebrate the system's launch.

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