Sony Updates PlayStation 3, PSP

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At the Leipzig Games Convention, Sony officially took the wraps off a new version of its PlayStation Portable gaming platform, and unveiled as new 120 GB limited edition of its PlayStation 3 gaming console. And for folks who can’t get enough texting with their video games, Sony also unveiled a new wireless keypad that can be used with the PS3’s Sixaxis or Dualshock controllers.

First up, the latest update to Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) line is the PSP-3000, the new units features a new 4.3-inch LCD display with a wider color gamut and anti-reflection technology to improve outdoor playability, along with a built-in microphone for use with Skype and other communications tools. Other key specs remain unchanged: 64 MB of memory, built-in stereo speakers, 802.11b Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, a Memory Stick Duo slot, analog video output, and a read-only UMD drive. The unit retains the form factor of the earlier PSP-2000 units, and will be available block, white, and silver variations, as well as sold in bundles with memory cards, games, and other content. The PSP-3000 should ship in October; base units will sell for $169.99, while bundles with games and movies (like Ratchet & Clank and the film National Treasure 2) will sell for around $199.

Next up, Sony is unleashing a new 120 GB limited edition of the PlayStation 3 console tied to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, which will be available in North America in November for $499.99. Sony has also begun shipping a new 80 GB version of the PlayStation 3 to retailers, which should be available in North America any day now for a suggested price of $399.99.

Sony has also taken the wraps off a new wireless keypad for the PS3 that can be used with either the Sixaxis or Dual Shock controllers. The keypad pops over the top of the controller and lets users enter text using a QWERTY keypad layout rather than an onscreen keyboard. The unit will support chat in Sony’s PlayStation Home virtual world, as well as communications features in online-enabled game titles. The keypad also features shortcut buttons enabling users to jump to pre-set features on the Xross Media Bar such as “Message Box” or “Friends.” Expect to see it on sale in North America in November, although Sony hasn’t yet released pricing information.

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