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How the PSP sizes up to the DSi, iPhone

Note: Relative sizes approximate
Learning the art of "never sleeping," Joystiq has gone ahead and created a comparison chart of the new Nintendo DSi, comparing it to the PSP-3000 and Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone (by tech specs, not games library). Check it out.

EMI deal allows PSP users to use iTunes?

As reported on Engadget, Apple and EMI today announced their plans to offer music files without DRM protection on the iTunes Store. Although the new files will cost 30 cents more ($1.29), they will come at a much higher bitrate (256kbps) and will no longer have copyright protection. PSP-Vault intelligently points out that these unprotected files should work in PSP systems, as most firmware revisions allow the playback of AAC audio files.

For now, the option to purchase unprotected files will only apply to artists under the EMI label. Wikipedia lists many of the artists signed to the record giant. While it'll be great to have fully unrestricted access to music in the future, this is a great first step for PSP owners that want to purchase their music legally from a service other than Sony's failing Connect store.

See also:
Comprehensive guides for making your PSP a better music player
Stream music from your PC to your PSP

iPhone and Zune become new competitors

Apple's announcement of the iPhone has changed a lot of things: it is a device that has the potential to strike terror into the hearts of all electronics and gaming companies. The iPhone comes with features that a PSP owner would die for: a gorgeous 480x320 display, with 2MP camera, Bluetooth, OS X, iTunes video and music, and up to 8GB of storage (oh yeah, it makes phone calls too). All in a profile that fits in less than 12mm. It has the potential to change gaming, as explained by Joystiq. With its dual touch screen, PS3-styled accelerometer, and Internet capabilities, this device can do seemingly everything that the PSP and DS can do. But, will its high PS3-styled price scare off consumers? $600 including a 2-year contract with Cingular is a mighty price to swallow. The PSP at $200 (not including memory) seems like a bargain compared to this device. Although the iPhone is a phone, and not a gaming machine, it will certainly compete against the PSP, especially as a multimedia device.

Microsoft also announced that it will enter the portable games market with its Zune, however PSP fans should have nothing to worry about. The games will be comparable to the games available on iTunes ... and the Zune's install base is nothing to write home about. If Microsoft were serious about portable games, they'll show off something far more impressive than today's announcement. However, it's clear that the portable gaming battle is no longer going to stay as a simple two-sided battle: Apple and Microsoft will both make things a bit more complicated.

Sony moving forward with video download service is reporting that Sony is finally revamping its pledge to bring PSP owners more video content. With the UMD format dead, Sony is looking towards digital distribution. Strangely, it appears that Sony is avoiding their failing music store, Connect, and are in talks with other content providers, such as Amazon's Unbox, MovieLink and CinemaNow. Unlike downloadable PSone games, which require the purchase of a PLAYSTATION 3, the movies will be downloaded to a PC and then transferred to the PSP.

This move gives PSP more of an edge in its continuing struggle against Apple's iPod and iTunes Store. Apple's iTunes Store offers a wide assortment of downloadable movies from big-name partners like Disney, but the iPod itself currently features only a 4:3 screen, making it less than ideal for movies. Sony's PSP will provide a better movie-watching experience, but users will be responsible for purchasing sufficient flash memory. With Microsoft also providing video content downloads via Zune and Xbox Live Marketplace, this battle is sure to be an interesting one.

[Via Joystiq]

Rumor: PSP redesign coming before March 07

People love talking about a redesign of the PSP. Heck, PSP Fanboy ran a contest to see fans make up their own crazy contraptions. Well, a very believable scan of PlayStation Magazine seem to suggest that Sony's working hard on one, and it's coming very soon: March 2007, two years after the US release of the handheld. The article states that Sony's taking a page from Apple (very much like Nintendo), and will provide the same core functionality, while providing a new aesthetic and non-game affecting additions. The biggest changes appear to come in size and memory: the theoretical system will have 8GB of hard disk space, be smaller, and have a retooled UMD drive, all at the same price as the current model. EyeToy will also be integrated into the system, and function as the upcoming external version for current PSP owners.

A redesign has worked wonders for the DS, and Sony's portable can certainly benefit from the same image boost that Nintendo received when retooling their handheld. Sony just has to remember one thing: ensure that a redesign doesn't interfere with current PSP owners from playing future games. Also remember, until Sony confirms otherwise, we're taking this story as a rumor.

Read - Page 1 of magazine scan
Read - Page 2 of magazine scan

[Via QJ]

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