April 28, 2005 Sony Computer Entertainment demonstrated the woes of having a globally desirable product that’s simply too hot this week when it announced its PlayStation Portable handheld entertainment system will be launched in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on 1st September 2005. The PSP was launched in Japan last December, and the United States last month but the high demand in both markets has caused such a drain on manufacturing facilities that European consumers will be forced to wait an additional six months.
In Great Britain the price will be UKP179, the rest of Europe will pay EU€249 while Australian users will also get their hands on the PSP oin the same date for AU $429.95 The console can run music or video content, and the package will also include a copy of the Spider-Man 2.
The PlayStation Portable Value Pack contains an added-value package of accessories and entertainment content, including the PlayStation Portable system with a pouch, 32MB Memory Stick Duo, Battery Pack, Headphones with Remote Control, AC Adaptor, Wrist Strap, cloth and a video/music/game sampler Universal Media Disc (UMD) including several non-interactive game demos.
A copy of Spider-Man 2, on UMD Video will be available free of charge to early purchasers of PlayStation Portable, who register their PlayStation Portable and order their Spider-Man 2 UMD Video through http://www.yourpsp.com, the official SCEE web portal for PlayStation Portable.
PlayStation Portable features a 4.3-inch, 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD that displays full colour (16.77 million colours) on a 480 x 272 pixel high-resolution screen. PlayStation Portable also comes complete with built-in stereo speakers, exterior headphone connector and a range of input/output connectors such as USB 2.0 and 802.11b Wireless LAN, enabling users to connect to the Internet and play online via a Wireless Network. Up to 16 PlayStation Portable systems in the vicinity can also be connected to each other directly in Ad Hoc Mode, allowing for Wireless head-to-head competition. In addition, Wireless capabilities will allow software and data to be downloaded to PlayStation Portable and saved onto a Memory Stick Duo.
PlayStation Portable uses a newly-developed proprietary storage medium named Universal Media Disc (UMD). This high-capacity optical disc is the next-generation compact storage media, and although only 60mm in diameter, a UMD can store up to 1.8GB of digital data – more than three times the data held on a CD-ROM. A broad range of digital entertainment content such as high quality 3D games, music, movies, video clips and other media can be distributed on UMD.
“PlayStation Portable will revolutionise portable entertainment, giving users the freedom to play full 3D games, watch movies, listen to music and connect wirelessly on their terms, wherever and whenever they wish to do so,” said David Reeves, President of SCEE. “More than ever, today’s consumer demands access to their personal entertainment outside the home, without compromising quality. With more than 100 PlayStation Portable game titles currently in development worldwide, and the ability to download and listen to music, and view feature films with breathtaking screen quality, PlayStation Portable lets users control their entertainment options, all in a single package.”
In the United States, the North American launch party of the PSP generated massive hype when the outdoor plaza of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood was transformed into the PSP Style Park on March 14. “Pret a PSP” was the theme for the evening and the party gave a fresh spin on the traditional fashion show, fueling a new wave of awareness for PSP and promoting the portable entertainment platform as a chic fashion accessory. Accordingly, Sony gathered an extraordinary collection of fashion's biggest talents and rising stars under one roof for an exclusive fashion accessories show (dubbed Pret a PSP).
Acclaimed designers such as Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Henry Duarte, Coach, LRG, Jennifer Lopez, Baby Phat By Kimora Lee Simmons featuring Simmons Jewelry Company, Heatherette, Autore, Charlotte Ronson, Suss Designs, (wb) waraire boswell, Jenni Kayne, Kidada for Disney and IceLink Watch and showed off one-of-a-kind PSP accessories to a front row crowded with a-list celebrities including Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff, Nicole Richie and fiance DJ AM, and Michael Vartan.
"The fusion of fashion and technology took off last night on the runway," said Molly Smith, senior director, communications and brand development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Tonight's show portrayed the true portability of PSP and established it as a must have accessory."
Top models including Maggie Rizer, Kirsty Hume, Guinevere, Rhea Durham and Alek Wek joined Nicky Hilton and Bijou Phillips to strut the runway in style where the PSP was matched with the latest looks for fall. Driving the trend of fashionable technology, top designers created custom-designed accessories inspired by PSP and its innovative design including a pure gold case encrusted with seven carats of yellow and black diamonds by Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons featuring Simmons Jewelry, tan suede muff with rabbit fur trim and gold studs by Jennifer Lopez and Black leather multi-pocket clutch with leather wrist strap by Marc Jacobs. After the show David Arquette, Courtney Cox Arquette, Drea de Matteo and Wilmer Valderrama perused the Access Boutique where the new PSP was on display for everyone to play. Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and Nicky Hilton picked up their PSPs before they hit shelves on March 24. Jessica Alba, Regina King, Chris Kattan, Alyssa Milano, Paula Abdul and the cast of Entourage including Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connelly and Jeremy Pivon were also on hand to celebrate the arrival of PSP.
Woner how they’ll top that for the Euopean launch?
At least they’ll have plenty of time to think about it.