Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment America have finally announced the launch details of the PlayStation Portable console in North America. The console will be released on March 24th for $249.99.
This price is somewhat close to the current Japanese figure, but unlike that launch, there will be only one enhanced hardware bundle, bumping up the price a little compared to the near-$200 basic Japanese package. The compulsory U.S. bundle includes a 32MB memory stick, AC adaptor, and a UMD optical disc copy of the movie Spider-Man 2 in the first million units shipped.
Kaz Hirai, president and chief executive officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., commented: "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." He also noted that there are more than 100 PSP game titles currently in development worldwide.
Sony plan to be able to ship 1 million units for the launch day – twice as much as was available for the fairly low key launch in Japan. The launch day line-up of games is not specified, but Sony has announced that around 24 titles would be available in the launch window period.
The company named the following diverse set of launch window titles, from publishers including Activision, Capcom, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Koei, Konami, Namco and Sony itself: Ape Escape, ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower, Dynasty Warriors, FIFA 2005, Gretzky NHL, Lumines, Metal Gear Acid, MLB, MVP Baseball, NBA (Sony), NBA Street Showdown, Need for Speed Rivals, NFL Street 2 Unleashed, Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory, Ridge Racer, Smartbomb, Spider-Man 2, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix, Twisted Metal: Head On, Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade, Wipeout Pure, World Tour Soccer
However, the March 24th date is just one week before the end of Sony’s current financial quarter, the time period during which the company had previously indicated it would like to launch the PSP in both North America and Europe. A European launch has still not been announced, with current rumors ranging from April to September.