Sony has announced the refreshed version of is PSP hardware, the download-only PSP Go, which debuts on October 1st in North America at a price of U.S.$249.99 -- in a 16 GB model.
The new version of the PSP system -- which features slide-out controls behind its slightly smaller 3.8-inch screen -- will also launch in Japan on November 1. Its 16 GB memory, expandable with Sony's Memory Stick Pro format, will allow it to download games from the PlayStation Store. A new version of the console's system software will improve its media management capabilities.
Alongside the Go, Sony plans to continue sales of the latest disc-based iteration of the console, the PSP-3000, and UMD disc-based versions of software (though presumably some, if not many games, will be download-only -- as the company has already tried with Patapon 2 this year.)
Further, the price of the PSP dev kit will be reduced as much as 80% for developers; alongside digital distribution, this opens the PSP platform wide open -- though it's unclear what hoops developers will have to jump through to get product to (digital) market.
Important PSP game announcements alongside the refreshed hardware including Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo series -- "not a shrunken down version" -- and Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, a sequel to the PlayStation 2's seminal Metal Gear Solid 3.