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What Sony's John Koller thinks about the DSi

So what does Sony think about the newly announced DSi, the main competitor to Sony's PSP Brite in Japan this holiday season?

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?

PSP Brite preview reveals battery life and details on firmware 4.20

Eurogamer got some hands-on time with the PSP Brite (PSP-3000) and spilled some details on the upcoming piece of hardware as well as the firmware installed on it, version 4.20.

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.!]

PSP Brite boxart shows direct PSP Store

This is the boxart for the PSP Brite Limited Edition 4GB memory stick pack. Notice anything interesting? PS3 owners among you might recognise two things. Firstly, the PSN logo, which the PSP has previously not been associated with. Secondly, the screen shows the PSN Store. The actual PSN store, not the PC-based website. Interesting. That means we should be seeing the direct PSP store before this bundle releases on November 30th. Will we be hearing an announcement regarding the exact release date for the WI-FI based store directly on the PSP soon? With the Tokyo Game Show just around the corner, it's a strong possibility.

PSP is number 1 in Japan the first half of 2008

During the past few weeks the PSP's sales have been less than ideal, but Sony's portable is still on top in Japan for 2008 ... so far. According the Enterbrain, the PSP has sold 1,583,731 units the first half of the year in the land of the rising sun. The PSP's main competitor, Nintendo's DS, sold 1,314,919 units during that same period. Nintendo's portable is still way ahead of the PSP in terms of lifetime sales though -- 23,484,680 units of the DS were sold versus the PSP's 10,157,757 units sold.

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?

Dissidia limited edition PSP is ridiculously limited edition

You're not getting one, sorry. The Limited Edition Dissidia PSP-3000 bundle bound for Japan is being sold exclusively through a lottery system that only Square Enix members in Japan can enter in. The entry period is limited to a one week window, and amongst those entries, random people will be selected to purchase those systems.

So your best bet: eBay.

[Thanks, Darryl!]

Sony revises battery life statement: says Brite will be the same

It seems like Sony crammed a bit more magic juice into the upcoming PSP Brite (PSP-3000). Before, they claimed that the upcoming hardware revision would have a slightly shortened battery life. However, a new post on the says otherwise. John Koller admits that the "screen of the new PSP draws a little more power" but he claims that "our engineers in Japan worked to reduce the power consumption of the overall system including its components." As such, final battery life on the Brite series will be nearly identical to that of the previous model: "about 4 to 6 hours for games and about 4 to 5 hours for UMD videos," says the post.

Sony clarifies UK PSP-3000 release

The previously announced European PSP-3000 bundles might not see their way across the English channel. According to, The bundles for the silver PSP-Brite with Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and the black PSP-Brite with a 4GB Memory Stick remain a continental affair that might not be seen in the UK at all. That leaves Britons with future packs for Go! communication, FIFA, Harry Potter, and Buzz! Master Quiz.

In addition to this, Sony corrected previously known information regarding British prices and dates, saying that the £149.99 price tag and October 17 date are set for a bundle yet to be revealed. A stand-alone system will be released in the UK sometime after the launch of the new bundles.

As for the rest of Europe, you should not worry. You're still getting all eight promised bundles with the R&C pack hitting the market first on October 15 for €199.99 as previously announced. The 4GB Memory pack will release across the European continent in "early November."

PSP Brite battery life will decrease by 20-30 minutes

PSP main man John Koller went to Gamespot to talk about the upcoming PSP Brite, and revealed a few key facts. He admits the change is "minor," one in a continuing series of changes the PSP may see along its proposed life cycle. Most revealing of all is his comment about battery life: the brighter screen will draw more power, diminishing battery life by 20-30 minutes.

He does say that the now-discontinued extended life battery will make a return, possibly rebranded for use with the PSP-3000 series.

PSP Brite may lead Sony's fight against piracy, homebrew

While many argue that the homebrew community offers PSP owners a wealth of content that doesn't hurt games developers, Sony would disagree. The staggering amount of piracy on the system has created a situation where even cheap, high-profile games like Patapon are downloaded illegally far more than actually purchased. In spite of terrific hardware sales, software simply hasn't performed well, especially outside of Japan. With developers and publishers reluctant to create new content on a system that never breaks NPD's software top 10 charts, Sony had to change something ... and fast.

Kris Erickson of PSP World postulates that the speed in which Sony has upgraded its PSP hardware from the popular PSP-2000 series may be indicative of a new plan to combat piracy and homebrew. While the brighter screen is appreciated, it seems like too little to warrant yet another reboot of the hardware -- that is, unless something internal has changed. The new PSP-Brite system may have better hardware measures against piracy -- a direction foretold by SCEE boss David Reeves not too long ago.

However, the incredibly dedicated homebrew community -- whether or not they understand their responsibility in creating the current drought of PSP games -- will undeniably continue to hack the new PSP to find new exploits. Unfortunately for Sony, backwards compatability with old PSP firmware and software will continue to work as a Trojan horse against the company.

PSP-3000 screen is berry colorful

Famitsu posted some comparison shots of the new PSP-3000 and the older PSP-2000 series, and this is easily the most interesting one to note. Here, you see how much better images off the new screen hold up in comparison to the old one. Looks like we're going to have to change our PSP nicknaming system:
  • PSP-1000: PSP Phat
  • PSP-2000: PSP Lite PSP Dim
  • PSP-3000: PSP Brite?
Help us brainstorm here, folks.

[Thanks, Zach M.!]

PSP-3000's LCD screen is twice as fast

So what exactly are the improvements made to the PSP-3000's newly upgraded LCD screen? According to a report by Engadget Japan, the screen is more colorful, has a stronger contrast ratio, and to the praise of gamers everywhere, has a faster response time. The official stats? Color gamut is twice as wide. The contrast ratio is improved 5 times. The response time has doubled. For gamers that have complained about the PSP-1000 and 2000's slow response time (which creates a ghosting effect in certain games), this is certainly good news.

PSP-3000 North American details

SCEA just announced the North American details concerning the PSP-3000. The previously announced Ratchet & Clank PSP Entertainment Pack will launch on October 14th for $199.99. It will now include the following:

  • Mystic Silver PSP-3000
  • Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
  • National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets UMD
  • echochrome PSN voucher
  • 1GB Memory Stick PRO duo
A second entertainment pack has also been announced called the PSP 4GB Memory Entertainment Pack. The will launch in November for $199.99 as well. It includes:
  • Piano Black PSP-3000
  • 4GB Memory Stick PRO duo
  • Everyday Shooter PSN voucher
The Piano Black PSP-3000 will be sold separately later this year as a PSP Core Pack, which includes only an AC adaptor and battery pack for $169.99.

Gallery: PSP-3000 series

PSP-3000 features enhanced screen & built-in microphone

Sony just announced at their Leipzig press conference the PSP-3000 series. It will look exactly the same as the current PSP-2000 (Slim & Light) model, but will add a built-in microphone and enhanced screen. Apparently, the screen will work better outdoors, being able to resist glare. The built-in microphone will be a huge plus for regular Skype users, and those that take their PSP online via Infrastructure.

Video-Out has also been enhanced, with the system now able to interlace for televisions that don't support a progressive output (that means non-HDTVs).

The PSP-3000 series will be available on October 15th in Europe and will retail for €199. There will be 8 bundles, each adding one game to the package.

PSP-3001 discovered on FCC website, reveals nothing new (so far)

The PSP-3001 is real, folks. The next generation follow-up to the current PSP-2000 series system was discovered on the FCC website. Problem? We don't see anything particularly new about it ... yet. Unfortunately, many of the more interesting details about the system are still unavailable for public access. Expect to see more info coming out of Sony about this next PSP revision in the coming weeks.

[Via Engadget]

Rumor: A 'design sample' of the PSP-3000

According to a poster on the PSPChina forums, the above is a "design sample" of another iteration of the PSP. The poster claims this information comes from a "reliable inside source" and that Sony had already finalized this basic design by the end of 2007. The only new addition so far is a built-in microphone, but otherwise the size and shape is the same as the PSP-2000. The Home button has been replaced by a PlayStation logo button just like the PS3 controller. Also noted is the hole between the volume buttons and the PSP logo, which the poster claims is where the microphone is located. The size of the metal ring has been reduced, allegedly to reduce scratches on it.

The poster claims he doesn't know the actual model number of the this PSP -- it could be a PSP-2100 or 3000 or something else entirely. "The pictures are actually of a design sample; whenever a new system is to be created, designers will follow Sony's instructions in creating several different versions. This is one of the versions that was created and then discarded. Next year when we buy this PSP, it will be slightly different, but I believe the microphone and smaller metal ring will remain."

Another set of pictures shows a black version of this so-called PSP-3000. The PlayStation button is slightly rounder and larger. The poster admits that the final design of real PSP-3000, or whatever the model number happens to be, is still unclear. Basically, even if everything this dude/dudette says is true, what we'll be seeing on store shelves might look completely different, assuming there is even a redesign in the works. Six more pictures after the jump.

[Via Joystiq]

Continue reading Rumor: A 'design sample' of the PSP-3000

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