Sony updates PSP to hook up to PlayStation Store

Also announces super-cheap price for new PSP-3000

TODO alt text

Anyone planning to get their hands on the new version of the PSP when it launches this autumn might want to consider a trip to Japan, where the just-announced pricing tells us it will go on sale for a smidgeon over £100.

At ¥19,800 (£102) the microphone-toting PSP-3000 costs exactly what we predicted, although the range of accessories that also arrive on 16 October doesn't represent such value for money at first glance.

Pricey extras

A 2200mAh extended battery will cost ¥5,500 (£28), while a cradle for connecting the PSP to a TV for some large-screen action will go for ¥6,500 (£34) – that's a third the price of a new PSP.

Still, Sony also announced some welcome changes to the system software that will arrive at the same time.

PlayStation Store

Impatient PSP owners will finally be able to access the PlayStation Store direct from their handhelds to download software, movie clips and more without needing to hook up to a PS3 first.

Also, multiplayer ad-hoc PSP games will be able to go online through a PS3's network connection, making the possibility of larger-scale PSP games – particularly RPGs – a reality.

Finally, owners of first- and second-generation PSPs will be glad to hear that they too can upgrade the firmware and enjoy the extra online action for themselves.