Sony's PlayStation Portable is set to get handheld versions of triple-A home console titles this year – including LittleBigPlanet, Rock Band, Buzz! and Hannah Montana – as well as a fetching lilac makeover, as part of a significant new marketing push.
Sony also announced a number of new hardware bundles, including this lilac Hannah Montana PSP marketed at the lucrative young and teen girl market.
"Those who like to give their mind a workout and their creativity an outlet will find themselves enchanted by the unique world of LittleBigPlanet which allows players to create their own levels and share them with the community," Sony's release informs us.
"Petrol-heads with a taste for danger can experience the wild world of MotorStorm: Arctic Edge. The brutal off-road racing game goes off-piste, with an Arctic adventure in its most extreme location yet! And quiz maestro Buzz is back on PSP, searching for the smartest people in the country, in Buzz! Brain of the UK. These are just the start of a stellar line-up of games coming to PSP this year, positioning 2009 as the biggest year for PSP to date."
Big claims, small consoles
Mark Hardy, European Marketing Director, SCEE adds that: "There are a lot of big claims in the gaming industry, but we're confident when we say that 2009 is going to be an exciting year for PSP."
"Our fans have demanded big PSP titles and this year, we're going to deliver again and again. With Resistance: Retribution, already on its way to stores, PSP gamers are going to get one big franchise after another."
As for the major third party PSP titles gamers can look forward to handheld versions of Disney's Hannah Montana, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and Petz series, Harmonix's Rock Band Unplugged (no details on hardware add-ons as yet, only that it will feature an in-game music store), EA's Madden, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and a bunch of other EA Sports titles and Square Enix's Dissidia Final Fantasy from this summer.
Rock Band on PSP?
There are whispers online that the game could be some kind of a spiritual successor to Harmonix's (sublime) early titles Frequency and Amplitude on PlayStation 2, but no official details as yet.
So there we go. PSP naysayers and DS fanboys can no longer casually dismiss the PSP as having 'no new games' as has been the trend of late.
However, the real question of course will be whether or not Sony can compete with Nintendo's new DSi, which releases in the UK on 5 April at an RRP of £150 with a slew of new downloadable games and fun utilities.