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Engadget ears-on says Skype has lag


At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, our friends at Engadget were able to go ears-on with the upcoming Skype feature for PSP. The UI and sound quality were commended -- "pretty decent" according to the team.

Unfortunately, there is one major flaw holding the feature back. "The only caveat is a bit of lag time in the audio transmission, less than a second but enough to be noticeable." A second of lag isn't too bad, especially for a free feature. However, those that wanted to use SkypeOut to make calls to traditional phone lines may find this unacceptable. We're going to have to find out for ourselves when the firmware update goes live at the end of the month.

[Thanks, Gregger!]

Keyboard attachment announced at CES


NOTE: Image is just a mock-up. This is not the real PSP keyboard. [Image source]

Do you hate the virtual keyboard the PSP has? Well, looks like a solution is coming. An official first-party keyboard attachment is in the works. The problem? It won't be due until next year, according to GameSpot. "We're looking at several designs, but can't tell you anything more specific," a rep said.

[Thanks, Joe!]

Video: how to Skype

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that PSP is getting Skype functionality later this month. But how will it look on your PSP? This new video from GameTrailers will show you how to use this free VoIP feature. It integrates fully into the XMB, making it seem like a natural fit to the PSP experience.

Blu-ray disc offers PSP owners portable movies


The upcoming BD Live standard (Blu-ray Profile 2.0) brings good things for PSP owners. Movies that follow the updated Blu-ray protocol can optionally offer handheld versions of the movie to be copied off the disc. You can, for example, have a Blu-ray version of Men in Black on your PS3 and copy a handheld version of the movie directly to PSP. "This way, you can have a portable copy you can take with you," explained David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, to PC World.

Sony's attempt to create a new format with UMD never worked out, but their efforts with Blu-ray have been more than commendable. With the HD format wars looking clearly in their favor, it's great to see that even PSP owners will be able to benefit from Sony's next-gen disc medium. We can't wait to take advantage of BD Live.

[Thanks, Russ M.!]

CES: GPS peripheral coming soon to the US


The Consumer Electronics Show has been big for the PSP. Sony officially revealed plans for Skype on the PSP. Now, they've shown off GPS navigation for use with the PSP. The peripheral has been readily available in Japan for quite some time now, but this is the first official sign that the US will also receive the device.

The Sony CES website reveals that the peripheral will work with navigation software, provided on UMD. "Your PSP will provide 2D/3D locations, driving directions, POI's, and even downloadable city guides. With an easy search feature feature and customizable settings, GPS on PSP is the easiest way to navigate new areas and new cities."

An official release date and price have yet to be revealed, but we're glad to see it's finally coming. Hey, didn't we predict GPS coming out this year?

[Thanks, kspraydad!]

16GB of love: the new $300 Memory Stick


Can you ever have too much? Sony says not, as it has just announced a 16GB version of its PSP/PS3-compatible Memory Stick PRO Duo. Coming this March, it will retail for $300. If you buy one, please tell us so that we can be very, very jealous of you. There isn't much else to say -- it is what it is. And it is awesome.

[Thanks, lordshadow!]

Sony CES site mentions Skype


A long time ago, we reported that references to Skype were hidden in the PSP's system code. Looks like these hints may become something more at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Sony CES website has a brief mention of Skype in their text (see picture, above). Will we see a new firmware revision that takes advantage of this oh-so-desirable feature? We hope so.

[Thanks, Jorge H.!]

Lucrative waterproof case market expands with new offering


Why do companies release products like this? The gameSEAL seems like a cool idea: it's a case that can hold your PSP, charger, and 10 UMDs ... and it's waterproof as well. I guess Aquaman would find this useful, but I doubt there's a large market vying for products such as these. At $40, it's a little pricier than the norm, but it's nowhere as expensive as those bullet-proof cases we've shown you in the past.

[Via Engadget]

Sony CES keynote reveals PSP importance


Did you know that Sony launched a new system in 2006? Yeah, I know. Crazy. Sony's hyping up the PLAYSTATION 3 machine, but it's nice to know that the PSP will not be ignored in 2007. In fact, the PSP continues to be an integral part of Sony's plan for world domination. Peter Dille teased PSP fans with the following tidbits:
  • PSP has sold over 20 million units worldwide. This ain't no Game Gear, folks.
  • Remote Play hype: "So if you want to access Spider-Man the Movie in Milan from your PS3 in Milwauke... it's possible."
  • Expanded "online community" for PSP (pictured).
  • Portable gaming is increasingly important to the consumer: Sony obviously wants a large cut of the market.
Feel free to read Engadget's continuing coverage of CES, or check out GameSpot's archival video of Dille's keynote.

CES: 8GB Memory Stick Duo priced


Portable flash memory continues to get more and more impressive every year. Sony has announced pricing for the impressive 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo at CES ... and as expected, it's not coming cheap. It'll be released in February for $300.

You'll need firmware 2.81 or above for your PSP to recognize such a massive card.

[Via PSP-Vault]

The guide to snagging major schwag


Ever wonder how you could score a free PSP at these tech conventions without having to deal with the sticky mess of petty larceny? The guys at The TechZone had a chance to test out their smiling faces and thick skins at the recently-concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and walked away with roller bags, RAM sticks, and yes, two -- count 'em -- TWO PSP units.

[via /.]

[UPDATE:] The site is currently down, the sad victim of another Slashdotting. Wait a few hours and they should have it back up.



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