Amid months of public and industry speculation, Sony has officially unveiled its Playstation Portable (PSP) handheld console.
The PSP comes in black with a TFT LCD that displays full color (16.77 million colors) on a 480 x 272 pixel high-resolution screen. The dimensions are 170mm x 74mm x 23mm with a weight of 260g. The system has 32MB of main RAM along with 4MB of embedded DRAM, and a 333mhz processor not dissimilar to the PS2's Emotion Engine chip. It also comes complete with the basic functions of a portable player such as built-in stereo speakers, exterior headphone connector, brightness control and sound mode selection. Keys and controls inherit the same scheme as the Playstation and Playstation 2. The PSP also comes equipped with USB 2.0, and 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless LAN, providing a wide array of connectivity. Multiple PSPs can be linked to each other directly via the wireless network. In addition, software and data can be downloaded through a USB or wireless network onto a Memory Stick.
The PSP adopts a small but high-capacity optical medium dubbed UMD (Universal Media Disc) which is 60mm in diameter and can store up to 1.8GB of digital data. UMD can hold games, music, and videos. A copyright protection system has been developed which utilizes a combination of a unique disc ID, a 128 bit AES encryption keys for the media, and individual ID for each PSP hardware unit.
The PSP is scheduled to be launched in Japan in the end of 2004, followed by the North American and European launches in the spring of 2005.
Source: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.