At Sony Computer Entertainment's pre-E3 press conference, the company shocked the industry with the announcement of a new handheld system to challenge the Game Boy Advance.
The new unit, called the PSP (PlayStation Portable), will be released in 2004 in honor of the 10th anniversary of the original PlayStation.
Featuring a widescreen 16:9 backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels, the PSP will use a new disc format called UMD. The disc will be 6cm - half the size of a DVD - but hold 1.8GB, which is three times the storage capacity of a CD-ROM.
The entire unit will be built on a one-chip solution, so one processor will control the graphics, sound, everything! It will feature built-in stereo speakers, a stereo headphone jack, and a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. The PSP will also support USB 2.0 for connecting with other PSPs and the PlayStation 2, and it will support 3D polygons, 3D curved surfaces, and the MPEG-4 video codec.
President and CEO of Sony, Ken Kutaragi, made the announcement himself. Commonly referred to as the father of the PlayStation, Kutaragi said, "There's a new member of the family, and it's not the PlayStation 3. The baby is still in the incubator, but as the father I can look in the window and see his face, and he is very cute."