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PSP Games, Specs Revealed

Nich Maragos

The Sony presentation today focused on both online games and PSP news, and of the two, the PSP unveiling was the more enlightening to the crowd in attendance. SCEA President Kaz Hirai revealed both the official specs for the system and a number of games in development, and offered some interesting bits of info during both halves of the presentation.

Though he didn't say that the device shown was the final design, the fact that he came out carrying a prototype model spoke for itself. The device he carried is black, though images released on the press CD also show an off-white model, indicating that the system may come in more than one color variant. In the center is the 16:9 widescreen display, which carries a resolution of 480x272 pixels. The left face has a digital d-pad with the stereo speaker below, with a loop for attaching a strap. Running below the display are volume control buttons, two menu control buttons, and the select and start keys. On the right are the PSP's four face buttons in the familiar diamond configuration. Finally, the top of the system bears two clear trigger buttons.

The back of the system is less interesting, with little else to see but the UMD and memory stick slots. More exciting are the insides: the amount of RAM, for one thing, is higher than previous estimates, clocking in at 32MB of regular RAM and 4MB of EDRAM. Already known were the USB2.0 controller ports, and in addition to those, it'll have built-in ports for headphones, microphone, 5V DC out, and the aforementioned memory stick. Wireless connectivity will follow the 802.11b standard, which should easily allow the PSP to communicate with other systems or wireless Internet points.

The PSP contains a lithium-ion 1,800mAh battery inside, though exactly what good this will do is a point of some contention. Hirai compared the system's battery life to that of existing portable music players, game systems, and DVD players, but things got a little dodgier after that: the number cited for the DVD player was 2 hours, while the number cited for portable game machines was 10 hours. Our guess is that the way to read this is that anything read off static media like memory sticks will be close to the 10 hours, while spinning the proprietary UMD discs will bring the capacity down to about 2 hours. However, we'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Not in the PSP yet, but planned peripherals for the system include headphones with remote controller, a remote microphone, an external battery, a case so you don't get that big, beautiful, exposed screen scratched) and strap. There'll also be a USB camera, a GPS device, and a keypad designed specifically for the system to give it a few productivity functions.

Not that anyone cares about them, we want the games. Sony didn't release an official list of games in the works, but they did show two- to three-second clips of works in progress. Among the games we spotted: Death Jr., Hot Shots Golf, Frogger, an unidentified beachball game, a Tales game from Namco, Ape Escape, Armored Core, Syphon Filter, Spider-Man, MediEvil, Dynasty Warriors, Gran Turismo, Ridge Racer, Tony Hawk, Darkstalkers, Wild Arms, and Metal Gear Solid. We have no idea how many of these games (if any) will be playable on the floor, but look for more Metal Gear Solid PSP details from Konami's press conference tonight.

A slightly longer presentation from EA's Don Mattrick followed, where he showed footage from the four games EA currently has planned for PSP launch. (Though he mentioned that over 100 team members were working on PSP titles, and said that EA would launch "a minimum" of 4 games with the system, so there could be more.) None of the games were on final hardware and displayed varying levels of obvious fakery, but it's a solid lineup: NBA Street, NFL Street, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and Need for Speed Underground.

We hope to have more details on whatever PSP games are around the show floor, whether in playable or video form, so keep reading.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in 1UP.





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