- 01. Macross Ace Frontier (PSP)
- 02. Pokemon Platinum (DS)
- 03. Rhythm Tengoku Gold (DS)
- 04. Dynasty Warriors 6 Special (PS2)
- 05. Super Robot Wars Z (PS2)
- 06. Wii Fit (Wii)
- 07. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
- 08. Powerful Major League 3 (PS2)
- 09. Dragonball DS (DS)
- 10. Daigasso! Band Brothers DX (DS)
While the PSP Brite may be launching rather stealthily in America, Japan is taking a different approach. Sony has two ads for the newly redesigned system, one for the black system and one for the white. The system isn't changed too much, but at least Sony Japan's customers will know that this system exists -- something we doubt Sony America will let happen here at all.
See the other ad, after the break.
- The [PlayStaiton Network] category has been added, and [PlayStation Store] is now available under this category.
- PlayStation format software can now be output in interlace format on a connected device.
- PlayStation format software can now be output in full-screen size on a connected device.
- The sleep timer feature can now be used under [Music].
- The system will automatically change to USB mode when a USB Cable is connected.
- The [Original] theme has been redesigned.
While this is great for our Mac-owning friends that weren't able to purchase games in the past, this deal will be far more enticing if it ensured that our weekly PSN updates were slightly more robust than wallpaper downloads. Let's hope that the US can have a downloadable lineup as great as Japan's.
Japan will then get a regular release of downloadable titles through the rest of the holiday season. Games include:
- Yuusha no Kuze ni Namaikida or2 (10/16)
- Bleach Soul Carnival (10/23)
- Secret Agent Clank (11/20)
- Patapon 2 (11/27)
- LocoRoco 2 (12/4)
- Resistance Retribution
We didn't even have to ask -- because Sony's John Koller, director of hardware marketing, approached Gizmodo directly in hopes of discussing their side of the story. Does this new iteration provide enough differentiation from its predecessor? "Nintendo has kind of a history of these [moderate] kinds of updates, and even with DS Lite, there was a lot of discussion, 'Is that enough?' And they seemed to do pretty well there."
How will the DSi fare? "I can see the DSi being successful. The DS lite was obviously very successful. Will DSi do well with [the DS's] demographic? It probably will. Will it be a product that expands their user base [beyond] under 12? I'm not sure." Unfortunately, Koller did not directly address how the DS's hardware refresh compares to the PSP's hardware refresh. But it did seem like Koller was giving a backhanded compliment to Nintendo's handheld -- it will do reasonably well, but you'll only be selling it to children again. How do you guys feel? Do these hardware refreshes matter? Or is it ultimately software that determines the winner?
In terms of the hardware, they noticed that the screen was significantly brighter; the PSP Brite's highest brightness setting not plugged in to an outlet is noticeably brighter than the PSP Slim & Lite's brightest setting with the PSP plugged in. Unfortunately, they did not test the PSP Brite's performance in the sun, which was something we were looking forward to finding out. The battery life was then tested, and they clocked the PSP Brite's battery life at 5 and a half hours -- exactly the same as its predecessor.
The PSP also came equipped with the latest firmware. Firmware 4.20 appears to bring only minor updates -- there is a new "USB Auto-Connect" feature, which will allow the PSP to automatically enter USB mode at any time (except during gameplay) when it becomes connected. They also noticed a "Flicker Reduction" option, but nothing else noteworthy. For their full preview of the PSP Brite, check out Eurogamer.
[Thanks, Zach M.!]
In the software arena, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G is in second place with 1,602,386 copies sold. It was beaten by yet another Nintendo product, Mario Kart Wii, which sold 1,744,387 copies.
With the PSP Brite launching in about two weeks and DSi launching in a month, the two handhelds' struggle for dominance in Japan will truly begin. Now we gotta ask: who are you rooting for?
Other features like a revamped RSS reader would (*gasp*) be able to read text files. The inclusion of a screen capture tool echoes another rumor which is also said to be available in the upcoming PS3 Firmware 2.5. Regarding this, parallel development for screen grabs does seem to make a whole lot of sense.
Some of the known titles to be showcase at TGS this year include Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Patapon 2, Bleach: Soul Carnival, and Loco Roco 2. For the complete list (in English), visit PSP-Hyper.
Waltz wasted no time and took out her trusty cell phone and begin recording the multitasker in action. When the bus stopped, Waltz and her son hurried off the bus. Oahn Transit Services has suspended said driver, who is an eighteen-year veteran with no complaints lodged against him in the last three years, without pay pending an investigation.
Children, don't play and drive!
While we understand that many of these unannounced titles may be far off from now, we're a bit saddened to see Sony (and their third party partners) remain so secretive about the upcoming 2009 lineup. Right now, it appears Sony is abandoning holiday 2008 altogether. How will they drum up support for the handheld this Christmas season, when they've shown no guarantees of what will be available in the coming months? Sony -- it's time to stop playing the same ol' game of secrecy. Now, when your customers are losing faith in your system, is when you should bypass the typical product marketing schedule -- and you give us something to get excited about.
Well, thanks a lot jerks. When you put it in graph form like this, obviously it's going to hurt. (sobs)
But in all seriousness, the piece does an excellent job in articulating the finer details of PSP's slow loss of support. In spite of the smaller games library this year, the percentage of exclusives is also steadily dropping. While this piece could be yet another mantra against piracy and the likes, we want to direct you to an excellent piece by PSP World, which offers an alternative: it's all Xbox's fault. Kris Erickson postulates that a number of excellent XBLA games would be perfect for play on PSP. We'd agree. Developers may be moving resources to XBLA, away from PSP, when thinking up short, accessible games that would play well on handhelds. An interesting theory, yes. However, we're confident that upcoming PSN ports of Super Stardust and Everyday Shooter are just the beginning of a slew of downloadable PSP games.
"They should look at what the PSP can do for their titles and the potential for the business that their IP has," he says, pointing out Sony's first-party support of the handheld through titles like God of War, Resistance and Buzz!. Of course, Yoshida's job is to convince third party developers to support the platform. His strategy? "We have to show by examples. What's happening in Japan is interesting - because of the massive success of Monster Hunter, Japanese publishers realise, 'here's a resource'. Lots of people are playing PSP in groups of fours and when you go to Japan it's hard to find a train or a bar where you don't see some people playing a PSP. So other publishers in Japan are seeing these consumers, and thinking, 'Wow, we can make games for those consumers'."
In line with this, Koei has acted accordingly by revealing plans to announce new PSP titles at this year's Tokyo Game Show in October. What those titles are, it won't say, but we're certainly curious to find out. Deducing from the article, it sounds like Koei is aiming to make a game that utilizes Monster Hunter's team-focused gameplay. Hmm, perhaps a game where Guan Yu and friends go around Han Dynasty China looking to slay mythical creatures? We wouldn't be surprised ...
Anyway, don't get too excited yet. While Koei sings a PSP paean, it can't deny a lack of enthusiasm from Western markets. Perhaps, these new games will be Japan-only. Stay tuned, we'll have more from TGS next month.