Sony to launch new, upgraded PSP

by Hiroko Nakata

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said Tuesday it will launch a new PlayStation Portable hand-held game console in Japan on Oct. 16.

The launch of the latest model, the PSP-3000, featuring an advanced liquid crystal display, will be part of Sony’s efforts to boost sales toward the yearend season.

Last month, the gaming unit of electronics giant Sony Corp. said it will start sales of the model in North America on Oct. 14 and Europe on Oct. 15. It will also go on sale in other parts of Asia, it said.

Sony Computer Entertainment said the retail price of the new game machine will be ¥19,800, unchanged from the price of the current model, the PSP-2000. Packed with a 4-gigabyte memory stick and accessories, the price will come to ¥24,800, it added.

The PSP-3000 inherits the basic design and functions of the current PSP model, but its screen quality has been upgraded and it features a built-in microphone.

“We create what appeals to users,” Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Shawn Layden told a news conference in Tokyo. “We won’t hesitate to develop hardware as well as software,” he said.

Layden insisted that the current version is selling well one year on from its launch last September.