Earlier this week Sony announced a partnership with Skype, which will bring the service to the PSP later this month through a firmware update. However, Skype will only work on the newer, slim PSP-2000.
John Koller, senior marketing manager for the PSP explains why, "We are looking at various opportunities for both PSP versions. There were some technical limitations for the original PSP that we couldn't include Skype on. In this particular case we had to include Skype only on the newest, 2000 model."
VoIP and chat between Skype users isn't the only feature coming to the PSP this year. Sony plans to release the GPS device, a mapping peripheral which was previously released in Japan, in other territories.
"It is coming to America, we haven't set a launch date yet," says Koller. "We are going to launch it with mapping software. We are working with that particular developer right now. We will have more news on that shortly. It will come with mapping software and the peripheral in North America."
On the CES show floor a video demonstration showed a 3D map of Paris. The GPS device is expected to be made available in Europe before North America.
In the future Sony also plans to capitalize on the PlayStation Portable's multimedia functions by selling movies and music in addition to games on the PlayStation Store.
Koller comments, "That is in the game plan. We haven't set a firm date when that will launch." The PlayStation Store will continue to carry exclusive downloadable games too. These titles will emphasize short burst gameplay like Beats.
Koller elaborates, "[I] can't get into specifics, but the answer is yes. There are a lot games that will be unique to the PSN and you can only download there. Beats is a good example. It is a nice, quick, snack size game you can pick up play and get in and out of. We look at a lot of opportunities to be able to expand that kind of core gameplay. Like that quick ten fifteen minute gameplay, but you can come back to in an hour."
For the core gamer demographic, Koller mentions God of War: Chains of Olympus and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII in March citing that is "going to be a big March for us." He assures there are "a number of strong holiday games coming. There are a number of franchise games that we are bringing over as unique gameplay on the PSP. It's kind of like how God of War is a unique game; it's not just a port. I think you will see a lot more of that in the latter half of the year."
In addition to God of War: Chains of Olympus, Sony will release Wipeout Pulse, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice and Patapon, which Koller confirms will be released at a lower price in February.