Father of PlayStation reveals "Walkman of 21st Century." Nintendo, presumably, bricks it
Now that's what we call an announcement. It's been widely known in industry circles for some time now that Sony was working on a handheld games console, but none of us had any idea when the announcement would finally be made. Until now.
In a shock unveiling during its E3 press conference in the last couple of hours, Sony, via the legendary Ken Kuturagi, has unveiled PSP - the PlayStation Portable. Making use of a revolutionary 60mm optical disc based in a Mini-Disc-style casing, the storage format (known as UMD or Universal Media Disc) will find use not just on PSP but across a broad range of Sony products. All of which caused Kuturagi-san to label PSP: "The Walkman of the 21st century." And we wouldn't dare disagree.
Each UMD can hold a massive 1.8Gb of data - roughly three times the size of a PSone disc, and the chipset is apparently able to create graphics far in advance of PSone. Which means it would also trounce GBA SP and Nokia's forthcoming N-Gage, performance-wise. And PSP will further be able to playback a whopping two hours of FMV at DVD quality. Jeepers!
Big Japanese third-parties are reportedly already clamouring to work on the system (shock), and first dev kits are due to be shipped this Autumn with the machine itself set for general release by the end of 2004. And yes, as a handheld, PSP will be multi-region out of the box. Woo hoo!
And now Sony has let the cat out of the bag, will Microsoft follow suit? More questions than answers at present, but this is a massive announcement by anyone standards.