SCEA also announced that Daxter and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror are the newest additions to the PSP "Greatest Hits" collection, enabling PSP users to build up their software library with two popular titles at great value.
"We have always been passionate about making great entertainment accessible to everyone, and the new price for PSP, as well as the continued growth of the 'Greatest Hits' library, reflect our ongoing commitment to supporting and expanding the PSP community," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "We are pleased that we are able to engineer savings for the consumer at this stage of PSP's lifecycle, allowing more individuals to experience PSP for the first time. In particular, we have recently seen a steady rise in the number of teens adopting PSP as their primary handheld entertainment system, and we expect the new price will accelerate that trend."
Now entering its third year on the market, PSP continues to redefine the portable entertainment space, with key software launches and new entertainment features driving hardware and software sales. In 2006, hardware unit shipments rose to nearly 25 million units* worldwide, with more than one million new PSP systems sold in North America in December alone. Software shipments increased to more than 90 million units* last year, and the platform is poised for further growth this year with a software release schedule that includes exclusive titles from major franchises, including God of War, Ratchet & Clank, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, and Syphon Filter. The availability of Daxter and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror at $19.99 (MSRP) as part of the "Greatest Hits" program also will generate strong consumer interest and drive software sales.
PSP's second year saw the launch of several popular and critically acclaimed games from both first and third-party publishers. A variety of major franchises set the tone with new titles built from the ground up for PSP, such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2, Killzone: Liberation, and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Games like the award-winning LocoRoco showcased how developers could introduce innovation onto the platform. This high level of quality found in PSP's software library has been driven by the game developers, who will only continue to excel with the platform as they continue to work on PSP titles.
"Ready At Dawn couldn't be more pleased with our success bringing Daxter to the PSP platform last year, and now we have another opportunity to blow away expectations of what a developer can accomplish on a portable when Kratos hits the 'small screen' in God of War," said Didier Malenfant, co-founder and president, Ready At Dawn Studios. "PSP is an ideal platform for us to work on because we have a high level of freedom to be creative, and we can deliver gameplay experiences that rival ones you'd get from a computer entertainment system."
In addition to new software releases, PSP owners hungry for retro titles now have the opportunity to play classic PlayStation titles on their PSP system downloaded from PLAYSTATIONStore via PS3. From Crash Bandicoot to Jet Moto, the availability of these titles on PSP reinvigorates and extends the life of older franchises, underscoring PSP's value as a platform in the PlayStation family.
Beyond gaming, movie studios continue to support PSP and are reaching the platform's target consumer of young males by releasing blockbuster titles such as "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and "Wedding Crashers" on PSP's UMD (Universal Media Disc) format.
The past year also included the introduction of several new features providing more functionality and more reasons to pick up PSP for on-the-go entertainment. Delivered primarily via free firmware updates, these new offerings included: Remote Play, enabling PSP to access photos, videos, and music on a nearby PS3; TiVoToGo, for watching recorded TV programming wherever, whenever; and support for RSS audio and video feeds (or podcasts). A new version of the Media Manager for PSP made it easier than ever to transfer entertainment content from a PC to a PSP. This expansion of PSP's entertainment capabilities continues to set the system apart from the competition, offering consumers a truly unique experience that enables them to choose where and when to play games, watch movies, TV shows, and other videos, listen to music, view photos, and surf the Web -- all on a gorgeous 16:9 widescreen display.
Heading into its third year, the PSP platform is already off to a solid start, building on the momentum of the recently launched Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and MLB 07 The Show, both of which have been garnering positive reviews. Later this year, a slew of popular first-party franchises will drive further interest in PSP with new exclusives. Highly anticipated titles from third-party publishers include exclusives such as SWAT (official title pending) as well as key franchise titles like Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology.
SCEA also continues to evaluate expanding PSP's entertainment options as more and more PSP owners use their system for watching movies, playing music, and viewing photos. SCEA remains committed to driving the development and distribution of entertainment content for PSP.