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Sony Details PSP Go Release

Piano Black and Ceramic White arrive simultaneously this November.

The PSP hardware gets a new form factor later this year.

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan followed up on its American counterpart's E3 press conference today with formal announcement of the PSP go hardware.

PSP go will hit Japan on November 1. Sony will offer the hardware in Ceramic White and Piano Black varieties, each priced at 26,800 yen. The current PSP-3000 hardware retails for 19,800 yen.

PSP go is the latest hardware revision for the current PSP family. The hardware does away with the UMD drive, requiring that players download their games from Sony's PlayStation Store download service. The device includes 16 Gigabytes of built in flash memory for this purpose.

The removal of the UMD drive is accompanied by the first major change in form factor for the PSP family. PSP go features a sliding screen design, with the controls usually tucked away underneath the screen.

The system is now smaller and lighter, measuring 128x16.5x69mm (down from the current 169.4x18.6x71.4mm) and weighing 158g (down from the current 189g). The screen size has dropped from the current 4.3 inches to 3.8 inches while retaining the same 16x9 aspect ratio and outputting at the same 480x272 pixels resolution.

Aside from the loss of the UMD drive, PSP go does appear to house everything from its larger brothers. The device includes a built in mic, a feature that was added for the more recent PSP hardware revisions. The Memory Stick Duo slot has been replaced by a Memory Stick Micro (M2) slot (4GB and 8GB Micro cards are due for domestic release around the time of the PSP go's release, Sony says).

Joining the current high speed USB 2.0 and 802.11b Wi-Fi, PSP go adds another wireless communication option: Bluetooth. User of PSP go will be able to use a variety of Bluetooth headsets.

Additionally, thanks to Bluetooth, PSP go owners will be able to make use of the PS3's Dual Shock 3 and SIXAXIS controllers. To use this feature, players will need to have a PS3 in order to register the PS3 controllers with the portable. PSP games will not work with the controllers' rumble features.

Sony's press release states that the PS3 controller support is available when playing games through the television. As with the 3000 and 2000 model systems, PSP go will require a special video output cable for playing in this way. The current PSP-2000/3000 cables will not work.

[end_p text="Added internal functionality and hardware images after the jump" /]

Go owners can look forward to some additional internal functionality bonuses as well. PSP go allows users to bring up the XMB menu without exiting a game. Additionally, the PSP go features a built in clock and calendar application which displays when the controller is not showing.

Outside of the main hardware, Sony detailed on particular peripheral today. Set to be sold separately is a PSP go Cradle (PSP-N340). The PSP go system can be plugged into this for quick charging and connection to video and audio systems. Pricing for the Cradle has yet to be announced.

The PSP go hardware will come bundled with an AC adapter, a USB Cable, and a CD-ROM containing Sony's new Media Go media management PC software.

Past PSP hardware launches have been accompanied by software bundles of various forms. Sony has yet to announce any such bundles for PSP go.

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