PlayStation fiends everywhere will be able to feed their thumb-twiddling habit on the move, thanks to Sony's surprise announcement on Thursday morning in Japan of a new portable Playstation platform.
Moving backwards from the extra complexity of the PS2, Sony has shrunk the original model, added an LCD screen and a facility to link up to the web via a mobile phone. Now the top selling gaming machine has the portability of the Walkman and the versatility of the original PlayStation.
The device, dubbed PS one, is a full 32-bit machine, and is just weeks away from release in Japan at the bargain price of 15,000 yen, the equivalent of around £93. Stocks may be released to Britain and Europe by September this year.
The familiar grey box of the original PlayStation will now be just one third the size of the original. The screen to enable gaming-on-the-go hinges down above the CD cover. All the usual ports and interfaces will sprout out of the new box, and it seems that the existing peripherals will work as well.
At the heart of the PS one is a 32-bit Risc chip working at 33.9Mhz. Main memory is 2Mb with an 8Mb graphics capability. 4Mb of sound memory is carried on board. The unit weighs in at 550g, and needs a 7.5v power supply from battery or transformer.
Sony said PS one users will be able to download information, entertainment content and software in addition to exchanging data with other users. By next winter, Sony will release a connecting cable to allow users of all PlayStation models, old and new, to go online. As well as that, new servers are to be deployed to handle the expected busy online activity.
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