Sony over the weekend dropped the price of its PSP handheld console from $170 to $130. At the new price point, Sony is hoping the PSP can finally topple Nintendo's DS in weekly sales, a feat that should be possible with the 3DS just around the corner. In addition to the price cut, Sony also added a handful of new titles to its "Greatest Hits" and "Favorites" libraries.
Depending on how much weight you want to put on Kotaku's "several sources," Sony's PSP2 console is shaping up to be a killer handheld.
Sources confirmed a previous rumor that there will be a touch panel on the back of the hardware, sort of like a giant trackpad. The PSP2 will also come with dual analog sticks, a feature that's missing on current iterations of the PSP.
Sony also decided to go with a larger screen (again, according to Kotaku's sources), which will be sharper than what's on current PSPs. Sony is said to be referring to the screen as "HD" behind closed doors.
Finally, the sources say the PSP2 will ship this Fall beating the holiday sales rush.
Fan created mockup of the PSP2, not an actual prototype.
Sony still isn't ready to talk about its rumored second generation PlayStation Portable console, but that didn't stop one of the developers of Mortal Kombat from flapping his gums. In response to a question about porting a version of the upcoming Mortal Kombat refresh on the current PSP or 3DS, Executive Producer of Netherrealm Studios Shaun Himmerick said:
"We're not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP 2 in the house and we're looking at the engine, like what it can support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We're running at 60FPS, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We're definitely looking at them. PSP 2 looks like it's a pretty powerful machine. We don't have a 3DS system in-house yet, but we're looking to get one, and we'll certainly look at what its power is."
Sony, of course, held onto its usual "We can't comment on rumors or speculation" line, but given that this is a game developer talking about the next-gen console and not some unknown anonymous source, we're willing to give it a bit more weight. Most of the rumors up to this point have the PSP 2 shipping sometime in 2011, with Sony expected to unveil the device at CES.
One of manyy varied renderings of what the PSP 2 might (but probably won't) look like.
A rescue effort is currently underway to drill through 2,300 feet of dirt and rock to extract 33 Chilean miners trapped below the surface of the earth. The miners have been stuck underground since August 5, and in a worst case scenario, it could take up to three or four months to get them out.
In the meantime, supplies are being snaked through a four-inch wide tube, things like shampoo, hot-weather clothes that help remove sweat, aluminum bed frames, food, lots of water water, and Sony PSPs.
That's right, Sony PSPs are being shuttled to the trapped miners, who are forced to cope with the mental hell that comes from being confined in a dark and dungy area below the earth with no restrooms. Other items being whisked down the rescue shaft include flashlights, playing cards, MP3 players, mini-TV projector, recorded soccer games, and possibly a cable to provide electrical power, which sure would make charging those PSPs a heckuva lot easier.
"We have to make sure the miners are physically and psychologically fit," said Minister of Health Jaime Manalich. "If they lose their mental balance, it could create panic and violence down there, and that would be a huge catastrophe."
You can't check out of a Best Buy or other retail electronics chain without a sales associate pushing for an extended warranty. Even Toys R Us will try to up sell you on additional coverage, but if Sony has its way, you'll go through them for longer warranties when shopping a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable (PSP) console.
It appears Sony suddenly wants to cash in on all the the third-party extended warranties being sold at the retail level, and perhaps cut into those offered by services like SquareTrade. Helping to do that, Sony will offer additional accidental damage coverage, so should you fall down a flight of stairs and land on your PS3 to soften your blow, you're covered.
Of course it's all going to come down to pricing, and Sony's is fairly competitive. For a barebones extension, Sony will charge $50 to bump up warranty service on its PS3 console from one year to two years, or $60 for three years of coverage. The PSP console will run $30 for two years or $40 for three years. And the accidental damage insurance? That's another $40.
What do you think about Sony's pricing? Do you usually buy an extended warranty when purchasing electronics? Hit the jump and sound off.
Forget about getting coal for Christmas, any 8-year-old boy will tell you that the worst gift ever conceived is Sony's new Jill Stuart Sweet Limited PSP Bundle. That's okay, because Sony's targeting the other gender with this one.
Sony's going all out in trying to appeal to female gamers. In addition to the pink PSP, the bundle also includes a pink cleaning cloth and a pink and gold carrying case, both of which come imprinted with Jill Stuart's name.
On the hardware side, the bundle includes the PSP 3000 and not the newer (and redesigned) PSP Go. It also includes a 4GB memory stick.
Only girl gamers in Japan need apply, where the new bundle is being released on March 4th for about $232. No word on when, or if, Sony plans on bringing this one to the U.S.