PSP-3000 Japan launch date confirmed

Sony Corp will launch the PSP-3000 in Japan on October 16 according to Japanese game site Famitsu. The new model of the PlayStation Portable will sell for 19,800 yen ($182), the same price as the current PSP model.

The redesigned PSP’s distinguishing features are a brighter screen and a built in microphone. The display has been improved, with higher contrast, higher color depth, and faster response time. Sony has included anti-reflection technology to make the system more usable in bright environments.

The microphone is built into the hardware just below the screen. This can be used for Skype, but Sony has suggested in the past that game makers take the opportunity to include microphone support in their games.

Sony has also improved the video-out functionality of the system. Previously, gamers wanting to play PSP games on the big screen could only do so on progressive televisions. With the revision, the system will be able to output to standard analogue televisions as well.

The last change is The "Home" button, which takes players back to the system's main interface menu, has been changed to a "PS Button," with the PlayStation logo. In Japan, the PSP-3000 will be released in three colors: Piano Black (PSP-3000 PB), Pearl White (PSP-3000 PW) and Mystic Silver (PSP-3000 MS).

Sony will offer the handheld as part of two packages. A 19,800 yen version will be offered, bundling an AC adapter and a 1200mAh battery with the hardware. Sony will also offer a 24,800 yen Value Pack, which adds a pouch, strap, cloth and a 4 gigabyte Memory Stick Pro Duo (Mark2).

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