Sony announces Japanese release date, battery life, and pricing for PSP.

Industry analysts have been speculating that Sony’s PSP was running into all manner of problems ranging from not being released on time to being too expensive to having only a two hour battery life, but Sony put all that to rest today according to an announcement posted at GamesIndustry.biz. Sony says the PSP will hit store shelves in Japan on December 12th, 2004 with a price of 19,800 yen (just under $200) with 21 games due at launch and a rechargeable Li-Ion battery that will last “between four and six hours for game titles and continuous four to five hours for video viewing.”

This makes Sony’s promises of an early 2005 release in the United States not as crazy sounding as some analysts would have you believe. It’s probably safe to assume the PSP will carry a $199 price tag here in the states which would make it only $50 more expensive than the Nintendo DS for a handheld that puts the power of a PS2 in your pocket. Sony is clearly determined to knock Nintendo from the top of the handheld hill and if the games are as good as promised then they just might do it. Check the extended post for the list of game titles due at launch.

Update: Some more info on the announcement can be found over at TechJapan.

Here’s the full list of games due out in Japan in December:

  • Lumines (Bandai (Tetsuya Mizuguchi), puzzle)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Gagharvtrilogy White Witch (Bandai, RPG)
  • Vampire Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (Capcom, fighting)
  • Kollon (CyberFront, puzzle)
  • Need for Speed Underground Rivals (EA, racing)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour (EA, sports)
  • Armored Core: Formula Front (FromSoftware, Mech simulation)
  • Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory (Hudson, A-RPG)
  • Dynasty Warriors (KOEI, action-strategy)
  • Mahjong (KOEI, board game)
  • Metal Gear Acid (Konami, turn-based strategy)
  • Mah-jong Fight Club (Konami, board game)
  • AI Go (Marvelous, board game)
  • AI Mah-jong (Marvelous, board game)
  • AI Shogi (Marvelous, board game)
  • Kotoba No Puzzle Mojipittan Daijiten (Namco, puzzle)
  • Ridge Racer (Namco, racing)
  • Puyo Pop Fever (SEGA, puzzle)
  • Dokodemo Issyo (Sony, “misc.”)
  • Hot Shots Golf (Sony, sports)
  • Puzzle Bobble Pocket (Taito, puzzle)

6 thoughts on “Sony announces Japanese release date, battery life, and pricing for PSP.

  1. Hmm.. well if they promise 4-6 hours of battery life, I think the actual amount will be closer to 2-3. Just like every laptop and rechargable battery I’ve ever owned. I usually get about 50-70% of the battery life they promise me.

    We’ll see if it will be able to take on teh DS though. Not sure I personally see the need for a portable PS2. The DS is going to offer some many other ways to play your games. Graphics != good games smile

  2. Other than the dual screens I’m not sure I see what the DS offers over the PSP. Sony’s battery estimates are ranged because they tested it under a variety of conditions including when display luminance is set to maximum (180 cd/m2) and minimum (80 cd/m2) with volume set to half of the maximum level using headphones, but without using wireless networking. I’d imagine the battery life would be pretty short if you’re playing it at max luminance and volume with the wireless networking in heavy use.

    You’re right that graphics don’t equal good games, but do we really have to dispute whether or not Sony is capable of putting out good games?

  3. I’m not disputing Sony’s abilities at all. I just hear the graphics capabilities used as the major selling point all the time, and I don’t feel that is correct point to make. They both will be great systems, I can’t even make up my mind which one I will pick up to replace my old overused GBA SP smile

    The DS does offer some innovation in it’s design that will allow it’s developers to create games like never before on a handheld however. A touch sensative lowerscreen, usable either with the stylus or a fingertip. A built in microphone for voice recognition or chat. Built in wireless gaming, offering cartless multiplayer gameplay for your friends and the ability to go online if the game supports it. Plus the heavily hyped DemaSked service that may or maynot be all it’s cracked up to be.

    Of course if the developpers choose not to use any of these parts, the DS will basically be a 2 screened GBA with souped up 3d technology.

    I have much respect for Sony as a company, and have been a huge fan of the PS and PS2. I’m just not sure that by throwing more polygon rendering power at the handheld, that it will win in the long run.

    We’ll see.. I’ve never been as excited about handheld gaming as I am right now though. Either was we will win!

  4. Well, you have to admit that the graphics are very purty! So I guess I can understand why that would be something a lot of people would mention first. Your point that it takes more than that for great games is a very valid one, though.

    For me the idea of having a portable system that is close to my PS2 in terms of power is very exciting. Plus it’s just a damned sexy looking device.

    Of course this is coming from a guy who hasn’t owned a handheld since he stopped playing his old Mattel Electronic Football game back in the 80’s.  The Gameboys just never seemed to have anything on them I wanted to play badly enough to get one, though my daughter has had two of them herself. As it stands I probably won’t be able to afford a PSP until well after it’s been out for awhile so I’m not likely to have a handheld anytime soon.

  5. I guess I must just be a complete dork, as the PSP and DS both seem to fall short, at least for me.

    Not because of the gaming aspects, because that’s very cool.

    But I want a text reading app, as well.  It’s all very well to have games and music at hand, but if I can’t wirelessly upload my etexts to either device, then there’s really no point, for me.

    It would also be a bonus if the PSP media disks could be burned in a conventional dvd burner. 

    I guess what I really need is a handheld PC.

  6. If you look at the writup Penny Arcade did on the DS, it ends up exciting me more.  Gabes comments especially, as from what he said, because of the stylus, the Nintendo DS actually does a bangup job for shooters, something not even fully fledged consoles can boast due to their crappy joypads (controllers).  Basically the gist of it is, the stylus ends up working very similarly to a mouse,while the D-pad works almost identically to the WSAD keys in most FPS default configs.  That makes me excited.  Add that to the lower pricetag, and that spells winner for me.  smile

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