Euro PSP launches on Thursday!
Availability info, Value Pack contents, games and UMDs available.
Tomorrow sees the launch of Sony's PlayStation Portable handheld across Europe and other PAL territories (the catapult's enormous), nearly nine months after its Japanese debut in 2004. So we thought we'd talk a little about availability, recap what you get in the "Value Pack" bundle, which retails for £179 or €249, and talk about which games are available.
The first and most important thing to note is that if you haven't already pre-ordered a PSP from a UK retailer, you're going to be hard-pressed to get your hands on one. According to the London store managers we've spoken to, a certain number will be available for the midnight launch on Wednesday, but in order to even get in line for one you'll have to go into the store and put down a £20 deposit beforehand. The Oxford Street branches of GAME, Virgin Megastore and HMV will be opening at midnight, so if you're keen you'd better give them a call.
Otherwise, at least in the UK, it sounds like you're going to have to wait 3-4 weeks for supply to catch up with demand, which so far exceeds the unspecified launch allocation Sony's put on for the region. That isn't to say it's ridiculously popular; it may simply be that the number given to European retailers is ridiculously small. We just don't know, but we imagine Sony will be happy to see it's sold out either way.
The Value Pack - £179 / €249
If you do happen to get hold of a PSP this week, you'll open your Value Pack and discover the PSP itself, a 32MB Memory Stick Duo (for storing save-games, MP3s, short videos and photographs), a cloth for wiping the glossy screen, a pouch (very useful this) for transporting it around, as well as the rechargeable battery pack that lives inside, an AC adaptor for recharging it or playing off the mains, a wrist strap, some headphones with a remote control attachment, and a demo disc featuring game and video footage.
More details, as well as photographs of each item, can be found on the www.yourpsp.com website. Should you be one of the first to get hold of a PSP, that's always the place to go to register for a free copy of the film Spider-Man 2 on UMD. Other UMD films and music titles will be made available during the launch period (bloody loads actually), and you'll find a list of those further down the page. And yes, it did take a bloody age to copy that into our content system, so thanks for reading it. (Read it now.)
The Launch Line-up
Apart from that, of course, there's the not insignificant matter of which games to buy. At first glance, it's a big list, and even if you weed out the also-rans there's still quite a lot to play. US owners have complained about a lack of new releases since the system's launch there earlier this year, but anybody coming to the PSP afresh this September 1st is likely to find something to their liking - and there are more high profile releases planned before the end of 2005, including Burnout Legends, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Pro Evolution Soccer 5.
As for the quality of the games themselves, we've linked through to those we've reviewed, and we'll be covering more as the PSP establishes itself in the region. What's more, tomorrow we'll be giving you an idea of which games we'd buy if we had to go out and spend our money all over again.
Games will cost around £34.99, but there may be bundles available. Have a look around.
- Ape Academy
- Archer Maclean's Mercury
- Colin McRae Rally 2005
- Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower
- Dynasty Warriors
- Everybody's Golf
- F1 Grand Prix
- Fired Up
- MediEvil: Resurrection
- Metal Gear Acid
- Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
- NBA Street: Showdown
- Need For Speed Underground Rivals
- Ridge Racer
- Smart Bomb
- Spider-Man 2
- TOCA Race Driver 2
- Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix
- Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
- Virtua Tennis World Tour
- WipEout Pure
- World Snooker Challenge
- World Tour Soccer: Challenge Edition
UMD Film Releases
These are all due during the "launch period". Ask your local game outfit for details, or check around online.
- 8 Mile
- 13 Going on 30
- A Knights Tale
- Alien v. Predator
- Anacondas: Hunt For the Blood Orchid
- Bad Boys
- The Bourne Supremacy
- Charlie's Angels
- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
- Hollow Man
- I Robot
- King Arthur
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- The Mummy Returns
- Once Upon A Time In Mexico
- The One
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Punisher
- Resident Evil Apocalypse
- Sin City (UK and Italy only)
- Spider-Man 2 (softbundle)
- Van Helsing
- xXx - The Next Level
- You Got Served
UMD Music Video Releases
Yet more stuff due out during the "launch period". We'll obviously be buying "Usher - Rhythm City Vol. 1".
- Iron Maiden – Rock in Rio
- Bob Marley – Live from Santa Barbara
- INXS – Live Baby Live
- Usher - Rhythm City Vol. 1
- Outkast - The Videos
- Coheed & Cambria - Live at the Starland Ballroom
- The Offspring - The Complete Music Video Collection
- Foo Fighters - Live - Everywhere But Home
- Rage Against the Machine - Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium
- Good Charlotte - Live at Brixton Academy
- Incubus - Alive at Red Rocks