Sony touts new PSP publishers, 16-person wireless multiplayer

Press conference also reveals some new games and an innovative translation program for Sony's portable device.

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TOKYO--During its press conference today, Sony Computer Entertainment revealed that the number of third-party Japanese publishers for the PSP has increased from the 34 companies announced at E3 to 59. While some were merely the Japanese divisions of international publishers who had already committed to the platform--such as Atari Japan and Eidos K.K.--there were many new names as well, like Yamasa and Jaleco.

Also announced were several new PSP games, including a version of the anime-inspired PlayStation 2 shooter Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Sony also confirmed that the soccer and baseball titles Konami is publishing for the PSP will be versions of its best-selling World Soccer Winning Eleven and Powerful Pro Yakyuu series.

Sony also revealed that up to 16 PSPs can connect together using the device's wireless LAN. The PSP will be able to run its wireless LAN in ad-hoc mode, meaning devices can directly communicate without the need of a central hub device. Sony reps also confirmed that the PSP will be able to connect to the PlayStation 2 through its USB port.

During the conference, SCE presented an innovative translation program for the PSP called Talkman. Currently in development, Talkman will be able to interpret nine different languages with voice output. SCEI will release Talkman simultaneously with the PSP’s launch in Japan.

In other hardware-related news, Sony Computer Entertainment’s Fumiya Takeno revealed in the conference that the production cost of the UMD, the media used by the PSP, is about the same as a DVD, at 250 yen ($2.30) per disc.

SCEI plans to release the PSP in Japan by the end of the calendar year, followed by North American and European releases by March 31, 2005.

Third-Party Japanese PSP Publishers:

Newly Announced Publishers (25 companies): Agenda
Aquaplus
Arika
Atari Japan
Athena
ChunSoft
D3 Publisher
Eidos K.K.
Entertainment Software Publishing
Fog
Global A Entertainment
Hamster
Imagineer
Interchannel
Jaleco
Kaga Tech
Kotobuki System (Kemco)
Mainichi Communications
Media Works
Sun Denshi
Sunrise Interactive
Titus Japan
Ubisoft Entertainment Japan
X-nauts
Yamasa Entertainment

Previously Announced Publishers (34 companies):
Atlus
Bandai
Banpresto
Capcom
Cyberfront
Dimps
Dorasu
Electronic Arts K.K.
From Software
Genki
Gust
Hudson
Idea Factory
Koei
Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Konami Computer Entertainment Studio
Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Konami K.K.
Marvelous Interactive
MTO
Namco
Nipponichi Software
Now Production
Sammy
Sega
SNK Playmore
Spike
Square Enix
Success
Taito
Tecmo
Tomy
Work Jam
Yuke's

Newly Announced Japanese PSP Titles:
Arika: Technique Cute (working title), music
Arika: TGM-K (working title), puzzle
Electronic Arts K.K.: Need for Speed Underground (working title), racing
Electronic Arts K.K.: Tiger Woods PGA Tour (working title), sports
Idea Factory: Shinten Makai (working title), simulation RPG
Konami: Powerful Pro Yakyuu series (working title), baseball
Konami: World Soccer Winning Eleven series (working title), soccer
Marvelous Interactive: AI series Igo (working title), table
Marvelous Interactive: AI series Mahjong (working title), table
Marvelous Interactive: AI series Shougi (working title), table
Marvelous Interactive: Harvest Moon series (working title), adventure
Marvelous Interactive: Legend of the River King series (working title), RPG
Marvelous Interactive: Pilot Ni Narou series (working title), flight simulator
Sony Computer Entertainment: Derby (working title), horse racing
Sony Computer Entertainment: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (working title), FPS
Sony Computer Entertainment: PoPoLoCrois (working title), RPG
Sony Computer Entertainment: Sarugee (working title), action
Sony Computer Entertainment: Talkman (working title), undetermined
Spike: RS Revolution (working title), racing
Sunrise Interactive: New simulation game (working title), simulation


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