E3 06: Silent Hill goes handheld on PSP

Konami has announced that it is set to bring the dark and sinister world of Silent Hill to the shiny small-screened world of Sony's PSP.

Called Silent Hill: Origins, this wholly new episode of the scary series is set before the very first game and goes someway to explaining the story behind this foggy old bit of real estate. And despite being developed by Climax in both Britain and the US, the story and score are still being penned by the original team and series composer Akira Yamaoka.

Lead character Travis O'Grady is a trucker who gets lured off the road into the fog by an apparition. And like everyone else who visits the town, he seems to end up in the hospital where he has to confront some of his own demons and - if the game's other tradition holds - some pretty disturbing looking nurses too.

But the reason Konami has opted for such a hefty hero becomes apparent in the game's main mechanics. For a start, the camera is closer and lower than ever, partly to allow you to see more detail on the small screen but also to build the tension as you use the game's new feature to build barricades.

For, along with a new and as yet unspecified control system, you can drag furniture around to delay the dark forces that lurk in this lakeside town and the promised four new playable areas.

With Silent Hill: Origins fittingly due to appear when winter's gloom comes around, we'll endeavor to bring you more details in the next few hours and days while it's still nice and light and we don't get too scared to look.

May 12, 2006