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Sony Europe releases new PSP ad, head scratching ensues

All right, we admit, Sony Europe has the most insane and off-the-wall ideas when it comes to advertising. This latest advertisement for our lovely PSP shows a man and woman pulling, stretching, snapping, and popping each other's faces while talking about ... well, we weren't really paying attention because this is just ridiculous. We imagine it had to do with the features of the PSP, all with sexy British accents!

[via DCemu]

Phil Harrison leaves Sony Computer Entertainment

In a surprise announcement, Sony Computer Entertainment announced the resignation of Phil Harrison. Effective February 29th, the current President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) will resign from Sony Computer Entertainment Group. In his place, Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO of SCEI, will immediately assume responsibilities as president of SCE WWS, in addition to his current duties.

"As one of the founding members of SCE, Phil played a key role in the development and growth of the PlayStation business and our industry," said Kazuo Hirai. "It is sad to see him departing from SCE, but I wish to express my gratitude for his many invaluable contributions and also wish Phil the very best of luck in his future endeavors."

"The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far," said Phil Harrison. "I am grateful to all the PlayStation family for their incredible support, guidance and friendship. It has been a privilege to serve as part of the team and be inspired by them on a daily basis. I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can."

Phil Harrison is responsible for a major refocusing of the PlayStation group, through his "Game 3.0" initiative, announced at last year's GDC. He recently lamented that Sony Japan was not outgoing enough about social gaming.

[Via Joystiq]

PS Network to become "feeder" of PSP games

How does David Reeves propose to bring more original content to the PSP? In an interview with, the SCEE chief admitted that the PSP had too many uninspired ports of PS2 games, something they're willing to address. The source of their future inspiration will come online: from the PlayStation Network. "Honestly, probably we should have had more original PSP games, and there were some PS2 ports of course, but what you're going to see now is - on PSN there are a lot of good, original games, so the situation you might be seeing in the future is some of those games coming onto PSP. They might be shorter, but they would be far more original."

Games like Calling All Cars, which was recently revealed to be coming to PSP, make a perfect match for handheld gamers, and Reeves understands that. By looking at the response titles receive on the PSN, he's able to see what will work, and what won't work, on PSP. "On PSN you get an instant reaction - 'Calling All Cars, great game, okay, can I have it on PSP?' Okay, why not?"

Could that mean we'll see fan-favorite Super Rub-a-Dub on PSP in the future? One can ... only hope.

Hard drive for PSP still a possibility

As with many statements by David Reeves, bigwig of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, we're left with a feeling of slight confusion and bewilderment. Even with the release of the PSP-2000 (or Slim or Lite or whatever you want to call it) on the horizon, Reeves is already implying that a different PSP is still being considered -- one with a hard drive. However, he says, the option hasn't been included yet because "flash memory is simply so cheap - you can get an 8GB Memory Stick for under 100 Euros, and on 8GB you can get a lot of content."

The battle between a hard drive and flash memory is sort of like the two initial Xbox 360 SKU's, except the PSP hasn't decided which one to support wholly just yet. Reeves likened the decision to driving a stake into the ground (a vampire's chest would also have been appropriate), claiming the stake that finalized either flash memory or hard drive support had not yet been driven into said ground. Next year, perhaps, we'll hear something, Reeves implied.

Crush wins Develop Award, is best New Handheld IP

Congratulations to Zoe Mode and Crush -- the game just scored the best New Handheld IP award from the Develop Awards. The Develop Awards are focused on European companies and were judged by almost 100 "industry experts."

In addition to Crush, PSP fans will be glad to hear that Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe (SCEE) picked up the biggest award of the evening: the Grand Prix award for their efforts with PlayStation 3.

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

Pursuit Force designer promises "the whole cow" for meatier PSP sequel

Designers say the darnest things sometimes. Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice lead designer for Chris Whiteside recently sat down for an interview with IGN and immediately responded to past forum suggestions and direct pleas for more content in the sequel. According to Chris, "many people commented on forums that they wished there was a little more 'meat on the bone', and with Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice you get the whole cow." No kidding.

For the second go-round, the team of developers decided to sit down for a fireside chat with Hollywood script writers to encapsulate that "blockbuster-type feel" and from the sounds of it, it worked. The extra content includes Pursuit Force "recruits" that will have "their own behaviors and characteristics" of which to help the player progress. The game will also feature a new "Boss" feature, in which the boss battles seem more of a stage on their own, taking the player "onto huge vehicles and navigating huge hazards to reach your opponent." Lets see. 24 new weapons (including our all-time favorite in just about any game, the flamethrower), assault rifles, rocket launchers, 54 drivable (and more responsive) vehicles, control sentry guns, hovercrafts, 4-player ad hoc wireless, story mode with purchasable content, three difficulty settings and more ... the whole cow, no kidding. Look for more on Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice as we near its September release.

Gallery: Pursuit Force Extreme Justice

SCEE CEO knows nothing about a PSP phone

The PSP phone isn't happening ... or David Reeves, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has been left in the dark. After some very detailed patent filings were unveiled, the Sony CEO has responded, flatly denying the possibility of such a product. "I know the head of Sony Ericsson very well," he told MCV. "He has a Walkman phone and a Cybershot phone available, but I know nothing about a PSP phone."

He adds, "I haven't heard anything about it at all – and I would know. They wouldn't develop it without our knowledge."

Of course, in the games industry, it's not uncommon for an executive to be kept out of the loop.

[Via Next Gen]

Go!Cam heads to Europe May 16th

Months after the initial Japanese release, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is finally announcing the release of Go!Cam, the PSP camera. The video and photo camera will release on May 16th and will retail for €49.99 (£34.99). Go!Cam has a built in microphone and the ability to change the direction of the camera lens vertically by 180 degrees. The European equivalent of Chotto Shot appears to be Go!Edit, an application which allows users to edit their photos and videos.

''Go!Cam is fantastic news for all those PSP owners looking for something new, fun and creative," said Stephane Hareau, PSP Marketing Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. "With Summer around the corner and the ability to turn your PSP into a mini camcorder and capture all the best moments in your life, this is yet another reason to get a PSP and to take advantage of truly portable entertainment. It demonstrates yet again the potential, versatility and evolving nature of PSP.''

No American release has been announced yet.

Sony UK talks redesign plans, then denies it (again)

What a tumultuous ride this has been: SCEA says no redesign, and then SCEE managing director Ray Maguire slipped that Sony's current PSP offering was just the "first iteration" of the platform. Speaking at the PSP in Education event, he noted that a smaller, lighter version of the console was coming. Like John Koller, he made specific note that the screen size will never get smaller: it's one of the PSP's best features.

Immediately after the event, a Sony spokesperson told that there are no immediate changes planned for the system: the only developments would come in the form of firmware updates. So, what's the truth, Sony? We've been hearing way too many conflicting reports about this touchy subject.

[Via Eurogamer]

Australia to foster PSP game development

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.

[Via IGN]

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