Addressing the new iPhone App Store, which has many games available for download on it, Koller feels that the iPhone "is more of a threat to DS than anything else" because of its nature as a secondary gaming device, hence attracting more casual gamers. We agree -- with an onslaught of specialized exclusives coming up like Resistance: Retribution, Papapon 2 and Dissidia: Final Fantasy, it certainly seems the PSP is poised to have a bright future.
In addition, more details about the mysterious PSP keyboard have been unearthed: the keyboard will plug into the AV/headphone port at the bottom, and will flip over to cover the PSP screen when not in use. Other than that new tidbit, the keyboard remains an elusive mystery. Hopefully, we'll learn more during E3.
Europe gets all the fun stuff! Watch David Reeve's PlayStation Day presentation about the PSP, which talks about two key PSP products available across the Atlantic: PlayTV and Go!Explore. PlayTV gives PSP owners access to DVR content, through connectivity with PS3. Go!Explore is an affordable GPS utility, which adds yet another fancy tool to PSP's ever-expanding features list. C'mon, SCEA! Give us GPS ... now!
The same PowerPoint presentation also mentions that SCEA is planning to release the GPS peripheral in America for under $150. Unfortunately, when asked for comment, a SCEA rep informed us that "any information is speculation and rumor."
Let's hope for more news on an official release soon.
- GPS receiver and UMD (including maps of the relevant country): RRP €119
- GPS receiver, UMD (including maps), Car Adaptor and Car Mount: RRP €149
- PSP, GPS receiver, UMD (including maps), Car Adaptor and Car Mount: RRP €299
The system's release has been set for Spring of this year.
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?
There will be seven geographic versions, each focusing on a different territory: UK/Ireland, Iberia, France, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Italy, Benelux, and Scandinavia. Each UMD will feature 11 unique audio languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish. Go!Explore will also be upgradeable through the PlayStation Network, and will be able to access new maps, points of interest, and other upgrades.
See the full press release, after the break.
Bringing downloadable games to PSP is one of the next things to tackle for Sony. echochrome was originally meant to be a downloadable PSN game for PSP, but it became much larger than anticipated. "It was initially going to be a download-service-only game," Koller said. "We changed it to a UMD because it's a very rich game. That's where their mind is. They're developing that kind of game." Thankfully, other downloadable PSP games are in the works. When can we expect them? In the next six to eight months.
In regard to the homebrew scene, Koller says that there were no talks between Sony and Dark_Alex, saying that "I think he's taking a hiatus." For even more, please visit MTV News for more.
While the rest of the world watches, GPS continues to gain support and popularity in Japan. The latest commercial for Minna no Golf showcases a happy woman playing golf. Then, she uses the GPS device on her PSP to get details on the course she's actually playing on. Yatta!
It's interesting to see SCEJ promote the GPS peripheral so strongly in Japan. Certainly, the diminutive device deserves to get all the attention it can get. When will the rest of the world be able to join in?
[Update: IGN has revealed more details about the GPS support of Minna no Golf Ba. The game spans two UMDs due to the incredible size of these maps. "The first disk will include sixteen courses from southern Chiba along with one special course. The second disk will include fifteen courses from northern Chiba." Additional volumes are planned to be released later on, featuring even more golf courses throughout Japan.]