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PSP gets price cut, PSone emulator, videophone functions

199 Euro from next week.

PSP will see a worldwide price cut this month. From March 22nd, European gamers will be able to buy a "base unit" (presumably devoid of stuff like the headphones) for 199 Euro (about £140).

US gamers will pay $199 from the end of the month, and the Japanese will pay 19,800 yen for a white unit from April 15th.

During a press conference in Tokyo today, Sony boss Ken Kutaragi also talked about the company's plans to add a PSone emulator to PSP, with "selected games" available through digital distribution to be stored on the Memory Stick. (Cynics amongst you might question the use of the word "add", but there you go.)

Although timing on that has yet to be confirmed, Kutaragi was more specific about other new services - including an EyeToy camera peripheral to attach to the USB port, which launches in September, and video voice-over-IP (in other words, video-telephony), which will be available in October. Pricing on all of that's yet to be announced.

Kutaragi also discussed some of Sony's plans for updating PSP software this year, starting with network update to add Macromedia Flash support this, er, spring (touch wood, eh?), with extended RSS channel support also on the way to allow users to save radio content (podcasts, presumably) and movies.

There was no word on previously rumoured services and hardware iterations - for example, we know no more about "Sony Mail" or the rumoured PSP with built-in hard disk - but there was news on the GPS receiver mentioned at E3 last year. It will launch this autumn and have a role in games, starting with Hot Shots Golf.

An interesting year in prospect for PSP hardware, then, although - as with PS3 - there are still plenty of gaps to be filled in, presumably at this year's E3.

Sources - IGN, Reuters