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Sony: Expect PSP Keyboard, New Social Focus Over Coming Year

Sony: Expect PSP Keyboard, New Social Focus Over Coming Year

May 22, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer

May 22, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer
More: Console/PC

Speaking on a Wedbush Morgan conference panel on casual gaming, Sony senior marketing manager John Koller said that a more social focus was in the cards for its PSP with its forthcoming GPS and the keyboard peripheral, but said Japan's TV Tuner would not be making its way to North America.

Koller told the audience that Sony had seen a demographic shift in its PSP audience, where the initial launch was targeted primarily at 28-34 year old professionals, it now was seeing a much younger, multi-ethnic audience.

Asked whether recent peripherals released in Japan would make it to the U.S., Koller reiterated the the GPS would soon be coming to the states and would parlay well into gaming with explorable 3D city applications, a "better experience than you get on portable GPS systems."

Koller also said a keyboard peripheral would be "launching in the next 12 months," but said Japan's TV tuner unfortunately isn't compatible with North America's over the air infrastructure, but that Sony was exploring a "wide variety of other uses" for the PSP.

In general, Koller said Sony was focusing on how to differ the PSP's usage from other devices, giving gamers much more "snack sized content," and said the GPS peripheral "really speak to where we see PSP going."

Koller said the device could open the door to more "mobile social communities," and bring the handheld into a space where it was less the "PlayStation Personal," as it was originally thought of to a "PlayStation Social."

With the GPS, he gave as an example, a player could know where their friends were, and someone with a copy of Madden could find another friend with the same game and bring the two together.

"The expansion of PSP is going to continue," he concluded, noting its already 38 million unit strong audience. "It's going to be a very big growth area."

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