After a very slow year in 2008, Sony is claiming 2009 will be the year of the PSP with a variety of exclusive titles and a new colour scheme due for release. But will it even come close to competing with the Nintendo DS juggernaut?

Sony Computer Entertainment Australia yesterday made several announcements in relation to its PSP console and managing director, Michael Ephraim, accepted that 2008 was a slow year for the PSP, but things will definitely change in 2009.

“I will admit the PSP had a very lean schedule last year but we have a very strong line-up planned for 2009,” he said.

On the hardware side of things, Sony will unveil a range of new colours mid-year, in efforts to try and re-energize the console. The new colours include: Mystic Silver, Pearl White, Radiant Red and Vibrant Blue (as well as the original Piano Black).

But Sony has realised that new colours alone will not save the PSP and has therefore announced a strong line-up of exclusive games that will definitely pose a strong fight against Nintendo’s DS.

A joint venture with Sydney-based distributor, Home Entertainment Suppliers Pty Ltd (HES) was revealed at the press meeting, which will bring the two biggest Australian football sporting codes, AFL and NRL, to the PSP. Both are planned to be released in July.

According to Ephraim, both NRL and AFL titles have been very successful for Playstation in the past.

“AFL and NRL games have been a longstanding fixture on Playstation 2 and enjoyed over the years by fans and players alike,” he said.

“For the first time, we are bringing these two great footy codes to the PSP and are proud to be working with HES to support Australian development teams who have created this great new PSP content.”

In addition to this, the PSP will also see promising Playstation 3 titles make the move to the small screen, with the announcement that Little Big Planet and MotorStorm will be released later in the year. Combine this with the release of Buzz! Brain of Oz and Resistance: Retribution earlier in the year and it seems like Sony is committed to living up to the claim that 2009 will be the year of the PSP.

“The new sporting title announcement, in addition to the new device colours and strong line-up of hit franchises set to come to the PSP this year, means we plan to kick some portable entertainment goals in 2009,” said Ephraim.