New PSP here October and a PS3 TV tuner to arrive next year

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Sony has confirmed the updated Playstation Portable (PSP) will arrive in Australia, along with the new Wireless Keypad for PS3 and PlayTV digital TV tuner.

The new PSP model, the PSP-3000, arrives 16 October and will sell for RRP $299.95. It adds a new screen with double the colour gamut and response time and approximately five times the contrast ratio.

Skype users and others who use microphone-based applications will be happy to know a microphone is now built-in, as well.

Sadly, it is understood the PSP-3000 will only sell as a standalone model for the time being.

The new Wireless Keypad clips onto the standard PS3 controller and adds a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as shortcut buttons for messaging and communicaiton, for chatting in-game. While a set release date is not set, it is expected “before the end of the year”.

In a feature reminiscent of the ill-fated Vaio VGF-AP1 music player, the entire keyboard can be used a touch panel as well, with players sliding fingers over it to control a pointer while web browsing or during other tasks.

In other news, Sony announced itwill be bringing PlayTV to Australia “during the first half of 2009”, which means Australian PS3 owners will be able to turn their consoles into PVRs.

PlayTV allows users to pause and rewind live TV, and have the console record TV programs while they play games. A price was not available at time of publication.

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