Sony Unveils New PSP Game Console
By Park Si-soo
Sony unveiled its second-generation portable game console ㅡ the PSP (PlayStation Portable) ㅡ at the COEX in Seoul, Tuesday, as competition between Sony and Nintendo is intensifying on the local video game market.
This is the first new model in over two years since its first handheld game console was introduced here in May 2005.
The new console, enhanced in design and overall function, will go on sale from Sep. 7.
``We made the new console lighter and faster,'' said Lee Seong-ug, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Korea.
The new version of the PSP, priced at 178,000 won or about $180, is 33 percent lighter at 189g from the previous 280g, and has a reduced thickness at 18.8mm.
It is also equipped with a 64MB memory chip, up from 32MB, to shorten loading time, enabling users to enjoy games with less buffering.
Users of the new PSP will be able to play games and watch movies on TV thanks to its newly adopted TV OUT function.
``We think Korea's portable game console market has great potential,'' said Kang Hee-won, a sales manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Korea. ``That's why we launch the new PSP earlier than in Japan.'' The console will go on sale Sep. 20 in Japan, two weeks later than in Korea.
Several new eye-catching game titles are to be released within this year.
The second edition of 'Ghost Recon,' which was selected as the game of the year in 2006 by GameSpy.com, a major game review Web site in the U.S., and NBA 2008, the first sport arcade game of PSP, will be available to PSP users.
A total of 360,000 PSP consoles have been sold in Korea, accounting for about 60 percent of the portable game console market here.
Nintendo DS, a major competitor in the market, has sold about 300,000.
Sony has sold about 1.1million copies of game software.
The new portable game console was first displayed at E3 in the U.S. last May, drawing attention from savvy gaming enthusiasts.
E3 is one of the three major game exhibitions in the world along with the ECTS (European Computer Trade Show) and the Tokyo Game Show.