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05. Dec, 2004 18:41 (HKT)

First Sony PSP™ sample unit in our hands: Image Gallery (more than 60 shots), Impressions, Videos & lots of more information inside


It's December 5th, 2004 - or in other words precisely 1 week until Sony is going to launch their first video game & entertainment system in Japan. Thanks to Sony's online auction providing help to those affected by the Mid-Niigata Earthquake, we are able to hold our very first Sony PSP™ Value Pack in our hands today.

With excitement we have played around with the unit for a couple of hours now. This news post should give everyone eagerly looking forward to their PSP™ console a first impression. We have taken a total of more than 60 shots including an step by step open-up gallery of our parcel, comparison shots as well as screenshots. Further a total of 24 videos are available for download which were taken from the PSP™ interface as well as various videos that can be found on the included UMD movie demo disc.

Before starting with our small story, we would like to remind everyone that the information were taken from one single unit that was won in a charity auction in Japan. A shipping schedule update (which is completely unaffected from this news) will follow in the end of next week when the console is due for launch in Japan.


How everything has started

On November 23rd, 2004 Sony announces to auction 500 PSP units in Japan. While the lucky winners of the auction will be able to get their hand on the unit for 1 week prior sales schedule, the income of the auction will be donated to a charity providing help to those affected by the Mid-Niigata Earthquake.

The auction was held online at Rakuten, one of Japan's largest online auction sites. Within 24 hours (between November 24th, 2004 until November 25th, 2004), you have been able to submit one bid. The highest 500 bidders will finally be the winners of the auction. The auction had been restricted to users in Japan only. If you are interested, the actual (now closed) auctions page can be reviewed here.

We certainly did not hold back and submitted our own bet. For the next 12 to 16 hours we had to wait patiently until the results were finally revealed. A total of 5068 bids were placed and 500 lucky winners were announced. The highest bit was placed at Y338,888 (roughly US$ 3,200) with the lowest lucky bid of Y50,000 (a bit below US$ 500). Our donation of Y150,099 has finally made it among the top 10 bids submitted.

After another waiting period of 10 days and at least a dozen of phone calls at Sony's customer service center in Japan, we have finally been able to hold the parcel containing a PSP Value Pack in our hands.


Impressions

Opening up the Value Pack, it contains the Sony PSP console itself, a 100-240 multi voltage power supply, Battery Pack, Soft Pouch, Earphone & Remote Set, Memory Stick Duo 32MB, instructions manual (Japanese), a UMD movie demo disc as well as an appreciation letter (latest is of course not included with units sold on Dec, 12th.). Please browse further below for a step by step image gallery.

Turning on the Sony PSP for the very first time, you will be able to select your preferred interface language (English or Japanese) as well as set your local time. The PSP interface and settings offers a large variety of options that can be changed, including choosing a nickname, providing information on the battery life, playback of pictures and movies which can be stored on the Memory Stick Duo and a lot more. A movie containing further interface navigation is available for download further down on this news post.

Speaking about the Memory Stick Duo, we have tested a conventional Memory Stick Duo Pro 512MB from our Sony digicam which was finally found compatible. The Memory Stick lets you store pictures, music as well as your own video files that can be played back on the PSP console. Sony announced a MPEG4 movie converter to be available for download before end of the year.

Fortunately a Demo UMD Movie Disc has been included with the PSP Value Pack. We expect the disc to be bundled with every unit shipping on Dec 12th. The Movie Demo disc contains videos of upcoming PSP titles (such as Armored Core, Doko Demo, Minna no Golf, Metal Gear Acid, Puyo Puyo Fever, Ridge Racers, Segoku Musou, Vampire Chronicles and more) as well as UMD Movies (such as Kung Fu Hustle, Spanglish, Biohazard 2: Apocalypse, Hitch, Wicker Park, Naruto and a sample video) and UMD Music previews.

The UMD demo has been entirely filled with videos of upcoming software only, no game was playable. A variety of videos that we have taken straight from the PSP screen playing back the demo can be found further below in this news post.


Video footage (~200MB!)

We have compiled a truck load, so to say, of videos to give you an impression of the device. The videos feature the menus you can browse and adjust settings, and we have taken videos from the supplied demo disc. We have tried to make the videos as good as possible and dimmed the lights so you will only see the actual PSP display. Occasional blur or loss in sharpness comes not from the PSP console but from our capture. Audio was extremely downsampled because of technical reasons while processing the videos, we apologize for this.

  • Unit videos
    Power on the PSP (~10MB)
    Main Menu (~3MB)
    System Information (~1.4MB)
    Donation Certificate Screen (~2MB)
    Video Settings Menu (~6.8MB)
    Music Menu (~1.4MB)
    Game Start (~1.3MB)

  • Sample disc games
    Ridge Racers (~6.5MB)
    Metal Gear Acid (~6MB)
    Armored Core Formula Front (~5.7MB)
    Shin Sangoku Musou / Dynasty Warriors (~7MB)
    Dokodemo (~7.5MB)
    Puyo Puyo Fever (~6MB)
    Minna No Golf Portable / Hot Shots Golf (~6MB)
    Mah Jong Fight Club (~5.7MB)
    Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory (~6MB)
    The Legend of Heroes Gagharvtrilogy White Witch (~5MB)
    Talkman (~6.5MB)
    Vampire Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (~6.6MB)
    Kotoba no Puzzle Mojipittan Daijiten (~6MB)

  • Sample disc videos
    Naruto (~14.9MB)
    BioHazard 2: Apocalypse (~17MB)
    Sample Video (~11MB)
    Sample Music Videos (~38MB)


    Image Gallery - Step by Step shots, Size Comparison Shots & Interface screenshots

    To share our feelings with all of you and give you an impression of what is expecting you when opening up your PSP unit, we have taken more than 60 shots of the box, the unit itself, size comparison shots as well as screenshots. You can click on each thumbnail for an enlarged shot.

    You can click here to see the full gallery which also includes comments for most pictures.



    Don't forget, our PSP Picture Gallery features the pictures with comments.

    Again, please understand that all this info was obtained from our sample PSP unit we have in our hands as we speak. Mass shipments to retailers in Japan will not happen before one more week passes by.

    Browse more PSP related items in our PSP Category.

    To get updates on any news, we strongly recommend to subscribe to our Personal Agent, available on the right hand side on any our products or category pages.



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