Sony's PSP Go! upstaged by PS3 Motion Controller

A new smaller PlayStation Portable was intended to be Sony's bombshell E3 announcement, but it was defused prematurely by Sony's own online magazine, Qore, which leaked official shots of the device only a matter of days ago. However, Sony's bag of tricks was not exhausted.

Called the PSP Go!, or as Sony Computer Entertainment's President and CEO Kaz Hirai called it, "The worst kept secret of E3," it is a 50% smaller, 40% lighter version of the PlayStation Portable. Equipped with 16 GB of internal storage expandable with m2 memory, no optical (UMD) drive, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, it bears a staggering resemblance to Sony's Mylo in size and form.

The PSP Go! will go on sale on October 1 in North America and will retail for $249.99, the same price of the original PSP years ago. And to celebrate the launch of the new device, a replacement for the Sony Media Manager PC software is launching, called Media Go, which will allow the PlayStation Store to be accessed directly from the user's PC.

Sony is absolutely not retiring the UMD yet, Hirai was wont to point out, so all future titles for Sony's handhelds will be released simultaneously as a disc and as a download. Even though the two handhelds are essentially the same system, the release of the PSP Go! brings Sony to a total of four actively supported consoles. The last company to do such a thing was Sega in the mid-90's when it produced games for its Genesis, Sega CD, 32x, and Game Gear simultaneously.

Emphasizing the validity of the PSP as a legitimate console and not just a handheld with ported games, Sony unveiled several titles billed as "full fledged sequels." Gran Turismo PSP, which has been shown in the past, will be available on the PSP Go!'s October 1 launch date. The racing game includes over 800 different cars, 35 tracks, and 60 track variations, and runs at 60 frame per second. Developer Kazunouri Yamauchi stressed that it is not a shrunken-down subset of the popular racing series, but a standalone sequel. Similarly, Metal Gear: Peacewalker will not fall in the "Portable Ops" series and will also be a "true sequel...not a spin-off, and not a side story."

Though the surprise of the PSP Go! was utterly lost, Sony was not without its surprises today. In addition to a couple of major additions to the online gaming catalog such as the 225 player co-op MAG and Final Fantasy XIV Online, Sony showed off its work on a new peripheral. Like Microsoft yesterday, Sony today did a live demo of its own motion controller technology, which combines the EyeToy camera with a Wiimote-like wand complete with a Passive Optical motion capture "bulb" on the end.

While not yet ready with any games, Sony's prototype motion sensor is by far the most sophisticated yet. With 1:1 tracking, the motion controller showed a fluid and pixel-accurate method of control through a series of demos such as archery, tennis, swordplay, on-screen handwriting, and painting. Sony Computer Entertainment America's President and CEO Jack Tretton closed the demo by saying, "See...not everything got out!" and slating it for a Spring 2010 launch.

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