In case you didn't notice, Sony unveiled the latest PSP model yesterday at LGC. Basically, the PSP-3000 will have a built-in microphone, improved screen with faster response time and better resistance to glare. You can read all about it here and here.Australia will get getting their PSP-3000s starting on October 16th for AU $299.95. Unfortunately, there will not be any bundles like the North American release, just the stand-alone system.
Future Gamez is reporting that Atari Australia's release schedule listed Kane & Lynch: Dead Men as not just a PC and Xbox 360 game, but also for PS3, PS2 and most importantly, PSP. The game is due out June 2007 and features (at least on home consoles) co-op play with two characters. One is a morally challenged mercenary and the other is a pill popping psychopath. If this listing is more than just a mistake, it could mean great things for PSP fans. The game is developed by Io Interactive, creators of Freedom Fighters and the Hitman franchise.
This game was a must buy for me on the Xbox 360 and if it comes out for the PSP as well, I'm such an Io Interactive fan that I'll likely buy both.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Game Developer's Association of Australia are teaming up to give PSP gamers more original games. The two companies will work together to foster development teams specifically for the PSP platform.
Zeno Colaco, SCEE's Vice President commented, "SCEE are excited to work closely with the GDAA to kick start this initiative in the region. PSP has rapidly established itself as a global format for today's digital consumer. Our goal with this programme is to nurture new talent and widen the spectrum of content providers with traditional and new products which use the full breath of PSP's powerful functionality."
This seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved: the Australian games scene is certainly ready to boom, and PSP gamers are always eager for original content, regardless of what EA thinks.
The second video shows a very impressive parody of the original dustball ads that Sony ran to promote the PSP. It highlights one of the PSP's less attractive attributes: the dumb loading times. One has to wonder if this stigma will stick with the PSP for much longer: games like Daxter show impressive lack-of-load times that prove great developers can do amazing things with the system.
"If you look at the markets, they are completely different. The DS really appeals to a lot younger, very female skewed, and the DS has done a fabulous job. PSP is a product that if you go back to the analogy of PlayStation and PlayStation 2, they are leaders in their field as far as the consumer offering. Price points, perceptions, or consumers coming to grips with what the device truly offers and the value that it offers, does take time. At approximately just under 200,000 PSPs sold in Australia and over 22 million sold worldwide, if you hold that up against any other gaming category, it's done extremely well."I completely agree, Mr. Ephraim. At 22 million sold worldwide, the system is certainly not a failure, like people are trying to paint it to be. The system is quite successful, and with its ability to do so much, it really is a great value. Sure, it costs $70 more than DS, but you get a whole heck of a lot more.
"All our research shows that the consumers that have purchased the device think its one of the sexiest and best designed digital devices out in the marketplace. The screen quality is exceptional. But we know we have more work to do on PSP and we have some plans for Christmas this year that will think will help pick up sales, and of course when PS3 comes out, the compatibility with PSP will add even more value. So we would like more sales but we have an incredible foundation, research shows those people who have bought it love it, and we need to just educate the consumers a bit more and show them what applications the PSP is capable of to show the device's value for money."
Australia has given the world some really great things like Steve Irwin, kangaroos, Nicole Kidman and her first film - BMX Bandits, which just so happens to be one of my favorite childhood movies. So in honor of Steve, Nicole, BMX Bandits and kangaroos the world over, I bring you the Australian software chart.
Top 10 games
1. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (DS)
2. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (GBA)
3. Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)
4. FIFA 2007 (PS2)
5. Lego Star Wars II (PS2)
6. AFL Premiership 2006 (PS2)
7. Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360)
8. SingStar Anthems bundle (PS2)
9. Tekken Dark Resurrection (PSP)
10. Saints Row (Xbox 360)
It's nice to see a Tekken in the top 10 since PSP games haven't necessarily been tearing things up in Japan. However, it's clear that even the mighty Aussies have fallen victim to the disease that is Pokemon. Is no one safe?