Sony’s PSP hits North American store shelves today.

The big day has finally arrived and the Sony PSP is set to shake up the handheld gaming market in North America. Probably one of the more hyped product launches in awhile it’ll be interesting to see how well it lives up to the promises made by Sony. So far the initial reports seem to indicate that, battery issues aside, Sony’s new baby is still managing to impress.

You can check out several different launch day reports around the net including Shacknews, IGN.com, Bjorn3dBytesector, and Gamespot  which has a whole PSP section up and running already. There are lots of other impressions out there as well, but these are the ones I’ve gotten around to reading and folks seem to be more impressed with it than they expected to be.

The big question still remains: Will the PSP be able to knock Nintendo from the top spot in the handheld market? Currently Sony is only shipping the PSP Value Pack that will set you back $250 which is a hundred bucks more than the Nintendo DS and there’s no word on when a “basic” PSP without all the extras in the value package will be available or how much it will cost when it does arrive. The consensus seems to be that the PSP is a powerhouse compared to the DS, but most of the launch titles are ports of games already available on the Playstation 2.  The one thing that is clear is that this is the first serious threat facing Nintendo’s dominance of the portable gaming market to come along in 16 years. Let the handheld wars commence.

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