As part of a Japanese press conference discussing Sony's wider video game strategy, the company, headed by chief executive Ken Kutaragi, has made a number of important announcements relating to the PSP portable game console.
In particular, version 2.0 of the PSP's operating system was officially announced. The upgrade, which will be made available to Japanese consumers next week, includes a fully-featured web browser (so far only officially available to Korean consumers), as well as support for downloading video in MPEG4 AVC format. Wireless PSP-to-PSP photo transfer and support for new media formats including the iTunes-compatible AAC were also announced.
According to an IDG News report, specifically demonstrated was fee-based movie downloading from a PSP portal site that will be launched next week by SoNet, a Sony-affiliated Internet service provider in Japan, though pricing has not yet been revealed.
Kutaragi also revealed that, thus far, 5.7 million PSP units had been shipped worldwide, and the company expected to ship 12 million units in the current business year, and that the company expected to increase its monthly UMD manufacturing amounts from 3 million to 5 million, largely due to a greater variety of (and hopefully demand for) UMD movies.
Also announced at the conference was a variant white-colored PSP, scheduled to ship in Japan on September 15th for 24,800 yen ($220), the same price as the standard black-colored PSP. A Western release for the variant color has not yet been confirmed.
Finall, the news conference revealed a number of new PSP games, including Luckluck Island
, described by attendees as an Animal Crossing
-style freeform title, as well as Namco's similarly expansive Portable Resort
, and other titles including Gundam
games, Metal Gear Acid 2
, and a Talkman