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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Japan: PSP Slim Hits 1M Mark

While Sony's shiny black handheld has been doing reasonably well in the marketplace, it's been hard for most gamers and pundits to focus on its relative success while Nintendo's dual-screened handheld lumbers through sales statistics like Godzilla, toppling buildings and wrestling Mothra.
It's not as if PSP is doing poorly though, and the report from two months ago regarding a strong Japanese launch of the PSP Slim was heartening. Today, there's more good news for Sony, as reports that to date the handheld has topped 1 million sales of the Slim PSP. This is no doubt partly thanks to it launching with Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, which has the words "Final Fantasy VII" right in the title and thus guarantees success.

The report also points out that the Slim has reached the million mark earlier than its predecessor by two weeks, meaning it's off to a stronger start than the original PSP.

PSP Slim Hits 1 Million in Japan
It wasn't so long ago that gamers worldwide were doubting Sony's ability to compete with Nintendo in the handheld market. Since the PlayStation Portable Slim launched in September, however, sales of Sony's multimedia gadget have surged. The redesigned machine sold almost 600,000 units in its first 14 days.

Sony Japan today reported that the little console that could has shipped 1 million copies since losing weight, a figure reached two weeks faster than with the 'PSP Fat' as gamers now refer to the original system.

The 1 million units include Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII bundles.

Sony says gamers are obviously enjoying the 33% of weight sliced off the new units, the more efficient battery and the faster loading times of the Slim. The 1seg TV tuner, available in Japan (and known as the DS TV for Nintendo's DS) has also been pushing sales.
Sony will release a new glossy red version of the PSP Slim in Japan on December 13.

PSP-Slim or PSP-2000 Comes in Girly Colors Too!

Female gamers can now geek away in style because not only is the PSP-Slim (PSP-2000) 19% thinner and 30% lighter; it comes in chic new colors too! Aside from the standard black, white, and silver, they’re also available in rose pink, lavander purple, and felicia blue. The PSP-Slim hits stores in Japan on September 20 for 19,800 Yen ($162). No word on when it’ll be released to the rest of the world yet, but something tells me I’d better start saving money soon.


Gaming Front: Sony Ericsson PSP Phone in Q1 2007

PlayStationPhones may be coming to stores come February of next year under the cell phone brand Sony Ericsson. Manufacturers like Sony Ericsson will have to go back to the drawing board a lot after Apple’s recent iPhone price cut. A PSP phone has been rumored for some time now. The mock up above seems to be a direct blending of Sony Ericsson camera phones and PSP and whets one’s appetite for the real thing, or at least for more rumors. Peter Ahnegard, Partner Manager Games and Graphics from Sony Ericsson, recently and practically confirmed that the handset manufacturer is planning another convergence device to follow Cyber-shot and Walkman phones.

Peter Ahnegard on an interview with PocketGamer last month: “Up until today we haven’t felt we could launch a PlayStation phone because it wouldn’t be recognised as a true continuation of that brand of products…. It’s obviously something that we’re looking at but right now I can’t really comment. Before Christmas, certainly… but exactly which Christmas I can’t confirm!” But now Mobile Entertainment claims the PSP Phone is set for a February 2007 announcement at the Mobility World Congress but it won’t be a PSP Phone!

PSP Gets Video Downloading Service,
Sony, in collaboration with the UK’s Sky, will be bringing a Go! branded video download service to the PSP in early 2008. The available programs will include a mix of Sky content, such as sports, entertainment, movies, music and animation. PSP owners will also be able to purchase pay-per-view programming, and downloads can be transferred from the PSP to a PC without additional charges. In case you aren’t a Sky fan, plans to offer video content from other channel brands and content providers are in the works.

January 2008 will also see the release of Go! Messenger, which uses VoIP to let you to text- and voice-chat with other PSP users with the same program. A future firmware upgrade for the PSP will place an application on its XcrossMediaBar. For video calls on Go! Messenger, Sony has also announced the Go! Cam, which attaches to the top of the PSP.

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