At Sony’s Pre-E3 press conference Sony spent an unusual amount of time talking about our favorite little handheld, the PSP. Announced at the conference was a new version of the PSP (nicknamed the slim, but no official name was given). This new version of the PSP will be 19% slimmer and 33% lighter, but still have the gorgeous 4.3″ screen. This new version will have greater battery life due to new battery technologies, and feature video out!
During the conference Kaz Hirai demoed this video out and it looked pretty simple. To output your games, movies or images to your TV you just have to plug in the video cable to the headphone jack and hold down the display button for 5 seconds. This is a feature that we were all begging Sony for when UMD videos were still viable, sadly it took Sony this long to do it since the UMD video format is nearly dead.
Also announced were a pair of new coloured systems releasing as bundles. The first bundle contains the PSP, a 1GB memory stick, the game Daxter, and the UMD movie The Family Guy Frickin’ Sweet. This bundle will sell for $199 US. Chewbacca joined Jack Tretton on stage to show off the second bundle, The Star Wars Battlefront edition. This bundle will come with a sweet looking white PSP that has a nice Darth Vader image on the back, and will come with a copy of the exclusive PSP title Star Wars Battlefront Renegade Squadron. This bundle should drop in October for $199.
All in all I was underwhelmed with the new PSP. The new size and built in video-out is nice, but I was really hoping for built-in flash memory and a tie in to the Sony Online store. The rest of the great PSP game announcements at the show left me feeling better though.