Sony shows off the PSP at E3

New portable's final appearance and specs are revealed at the game giant's E3 conference. First photos and footage inside.

Today at Sony's E3 Press Conference in Los Angeles, the world finally got to see Sony's upcoming portable, the PSP. Promising it would bring a "modern, 3D console experience to a mobile platform," SCEA COO and president Kaz Hirai showed off the black device. Measuring 170mm by 74mm by 23mm in size and weighing 260g, it will be able to play not only games, but also music and movies.

As previously mentioned, the PSP will have a 4.3-inch 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD screen, which displays 16.77 million colors on a 480x272-pixel high-resolution screen. While no games were actually shown on the device, Hirai did demonstrate its graphics capabilities by playing two video selections on a mounted unit. The trailer for Spider-Man 2 and a clip from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children looked crisp and realistic, as though they were played on a small HDTV. On the audio side, the PSP will feature built-in stereo speakers in addition to a headphone jack.

Unlike the flat iPod-like controls of the PSP mockup that went public last fall, the PSP will have raised buttons, laid out in the traditional Sony configuration. It will have all the buttons of the original PlayStation, including the directional buttons (up, down, right, left), the enter keys (triangle, circle, cross, square), left and right triggers, and the ever-popular start, select, and home buttons.

Double-click the video window for a full-screen view. The PSP will feature an array of connectivity options. It will support USB 2.0 for wired connections to the PlayStation 2 and PC and will employ 802.11b wireless LAN to connect to other PSPs and wireless devices. New software and data can be downloaded from the PSP to a Memory Stick Pro Duo. It will also allow for IR Remote (SIRCS) and IrDA infared connections.

Inside the PSP, the device will have a 333MHz PSP CPU proprietary to Sony. It will have 32MB of main memory and 4MB of embedded DRAM. Its built-in lithium-ion battery will have a life of 2.5 hours with video and 10 hours if used for audio playback only. For media, the PSP will use Sony's new Universal Media Disc (UMD), which can hold up to 1.8GB of data, three times that of a conventional CD-ROM.

Demonstrating its dedication to add-ons, Sony is planning a wide range of PSP peripherals, including a stand, an IR remote controller, an external battery pack, a strap, a carry case, and special PSP-branded headphones.

PSP is scheduled for a holiday 2004 launch in Japan, followed by US and European launches in early 2005. As part of its plan to sell 3 million units during the PSP's first year, Hirai said Sony plans to go after the traditional game market of 18- to 35-year-olds for early adoption. The company's number-two market will be the "emerging and varied" teen market.

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