Sony Shows PSP Camera, GPS Add-Ons

All the brouhaha in the gaming world right now might be about the impending smackdown between Nintedo, Sony, and Microsoft over the console gaming market, but at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony wanted to breathe a little life into its languishing Playstation Portable (PSP) line by showing the camera and GPS add-ons it promised for the handheld gaming system as far back as March of 2006. The company even gave pricing and availability information for the products…in Japan. The rest of us will have to wait.

The PSP camera add-on is dubbed the “Chotto Shotto” (Quick Snap) and is scheduled to go on sale in Japan November 2 for ¥5,000 (about $43 USD). the 1.3 megapixel camera swivels in a chrome case and connects to the PSP via the mini-USB port. No PSP games yet leverage the camera, but users will be able to take quick avatars of themselves (or whatever’s handy) for online use (seems to be limited to VGA resolution), and add simple graphics to their game unit.

The PSP GPS receiver will be priced at ¥6,000 (about $52 USD), available in Japan on December 7 (not a good day for a Japanese company to launch a product in the U.S., for certain) and already has support from four PSP software titles: a new version of Metal Gear Solid, a star-gazing applications, a driving directions package, and a golf-course guide and shot advisor.

No word on when the camera and GPS units will make it to the North American market, although one would have thought that if Sony planned to have the accessories on hand for the end-of-year holiday buying season, Sony would have said something about it by now.