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Sony puts 500 PSPs up for auction, early distribution

Sony Japan enlists top online retailer in scheme to direct funds to earthquake victims in Japan.


TOKYO--It's the perfect pay-to-play scenario. 500 PSPs are being put up for auction on Japan's most popular online retailer site, Rakuten, at exactly 12:01am on November 24. Beginning then, and for the next 24 hours, Rakuten will monitor an auction of the PSPs. The top 500 bidders will receive their game units a week before the handheld's official December 12 release date.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to organizations that are aiding in efforts to assist Niigata earthquake victims. Niigata prefecture suffered a powerful earthquake on October 23, 2004, and an estimated 7,000 people remain unable to return to their homes, according to recent news reports.

Sony will start shipping the 500 PSP Value Packs a week before the handheld's official launch. The units will be configured with the additional capability to display the new owner's name, which is something regular PSPs won't be able to do.

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