PlayStation Portable launch

Sony introduces the PSP at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2004.

The PlayStation Portable launch happened in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in other territories.

Japanese launch

The first shipment of 200,000 PSP units was made available for purchase in Japan on December 12, 2004. All units were sold out within the first two days. Some users reported problems with the launch units, including dead pixels (discolored squares) within the screen and game discs ejecting abruptly if the system is twisted (the latter being restricted to the Japanese units from the initial launch). In Japan, Sony is offering to replace PSPs under warranty as normal, with the caveat that they do not consider a display to be faulty unless four faulty pixels are within 1 cm (0.39 in) of each other.

In Japan, two sales packs are available. The basic package contains the console, battery, and AC adaptor for ¥20,790 including tax (around US$193, 148, UK£106). The "Value Pack" contains the console, battery, AC adaptor, 32MB Memory Stick Pro Duo, headphones with remote, slip-case, and wrist strap, for ¥26,040 including tax (around US$245, €192, UK£133).

Japanese launch games

North American launch

The PSP was released on March 24, 2005 in North America (the United States and Canada). The only package on sale is the Value Pack, identical to the Japanese release save for the inclusion of a UMD of preview videos and a cleaning cloth for $249.99 USD (200 or $299.99 CAD). Sony claimed it would have one million units available for sale in these territories by the end of the 20042005 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2005). In order to accommodate the large demand in North America the European release date was pushed back several months. In the US, the first million units included the movie Spider-Man 2 on UMD, free of charge. In Canada, PSP bundles were made available with Gretzky NHL (a Sony-developed hockey game).

North American launch games

Available at launch:[1]

Title Publisher
Ape Escape: On the Loose SCEA
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower Capcom
Dynasty Warriors Koei
Gretzky NHL SCEA
Lumines Ubisoft
Metal Gear Acid Konami
Need for Speed: Underground Rivals Electronic Arts
NFL Street 2 Unleashed Electronic Arts
Ridge Racer Namco Bandai Games
Spider-Man 2 Activision
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Electronic Arts
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix Activision
Twisted Metal: Head-On SCEA
Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade Sony Online Entertainment
Wipeout Pure SCEA
World Tour Soccer SCEA

Available shortly thereafter:[2]

Title Publisher
Dead to Rights Reckoning Namco Bandai Games
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Rockstar Games
MVP Baseball Electronic Arts
Smart Bomb Eidos Interactive
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee SCEA
NBA Street Showdown Electronic Arts
Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory Konami
FIFA Soccer Electronic Arts
ATV Offroad Fury : Blazin' Trails SCEA
Mercury Ignition Entertainment

Ad Campaigns

In the US, several waves of TV commercials and other advertisements have been used to market the PSP. The first wave included TV commercials that featured the Franz Ferdinand song "Take Me Out", and a PSP user transforming into various things seen in PSP games and other media. The other TV commercial with this song in the background showed the PSP being used by different people, from the perspective of the PSP. The second wave included TV ads with various young people passing the PSP to one another across the screen, using the device for various purposes. The final, current TV ads are black and white animations featuring two eccentric squirrels interacting. The first of this wave's ads doesn't show the actual PSP, but compares the portable game device to a nut, which can be played outside a tree; similar ads consisting of dust balls, and rats.

Singaporean launch

The PSP was released in Singapore on 12 May, retailing at SGD$455 (€217) for the Value Pack. There was no free Spider-Man 2 Video UMD included in the package. However, members are entitled to participate in a pre-order programme from 28 April to 3 May. The special pre-order package, retailing at SGD$499 (€238), consists of a value pack, an extended 18 month warranty, a PSP "Goodie" Pack (PSP pouch, UMD case, handstraps and wristbands) and a pair of tickets to the Singapore PSP launch party on 5 May at renowned dance club, Zouk.

European launch

The PSP was released in Europe on 1 September, considerably later than releases in other territories. This, according to Sony press releases, was due to high demand for the system in other territoriesnamely North America and Japan. Like the American launch, the Value Pack will be the only available package type, retailing for £179 or €249. An undisclosed number of users (on a "first come, first served" basis) will receive a free Spider-Man 2 Video UMD after registering their systems on SCEE's Your PSP web portal.

SCEE have been much maligned for the delayed launch in Europe and for issuing legal proceedings against small independent retailers selling imported consoles. SCEE argue that their Intellectual Property rights are being infringed, while some argue that SCEE’s claims are groundless. The PSP has been widely available in Europe prior to the official launch; retailer ElectricBirdLand Limited claims to have shipped several consoles to SCEE's own employees.[3] ElectricBirdLand Limited have been issued with proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice, SCEE and SCEI are seeking to enjoin them to prevent them from selling imported PSPs. ElectricBirdLand are represented by Managing Director Dan Morelle, they do not have legal representation.

At this time the PSP trademark is owned in the EEA by a small IT company based in Great Britain named OwtaNet Limited. It and several other key trademarks are currently disputed in the European Union, and it is unclear what impact this may or may not have on the launch of the PSP in Europe. Sony's current press releases no longer utilize the 'PSP' acronym. In Europe, the familiar PSP logo is accompanied by a "PlayStation Portable" logotype underneath in in-store marketing and on console (though not game) product boxes and manuals. Once the firmware is updated to v2.00, the PlayStation Portable logotype also appears on the PSP splash screen before a game is loaded.

August 8, 2005, just 3 weeks prior to the EU launch Lik Sang a Hong Kong based exporter of video games etc. announced it was also being sued by Sony in Europe for Parallel importation of the PSP.

In the UK, PSP broke all previous sales records more than doubling the previous record-holder - the Nintendo DS - selling an enormous 185,000 units at launch.

The PlayStation Portable units in Europe are preloaded with 1.52 update but the 2.00 update can be found on the demo disk enabling many more features such as web browsing and backgrounds.

European launch games

Note that this is not a complete list.

Australian and New Zealand launch

The PSP was released in Australia and New Zealand on September 1, 2005. In line with most of the launches, the only package available is the Value Pack, containing the usual contents and non-interactive demo UMD that also contains the 2.0 firmware update. It retails for A$399.95 (€244, US$248), after consumer anger led Sony to reduce the price from its original A$429.95 (€262, US$313).

As with the European launch, a copy of Spider-Man 2 on UMD Video will be available to early purchasers who register their PlayStation Portable through the Australia and New Zealand YourPSP web portals to the first 6,000 people to register.

See also


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