E3 09: Sony relaunches PSP with a superb game line-up

...until now.

Above: Sony dedicated a lot of their conference to PSP at E3 on Tuesday

Sony has listened to thecriticism of its apparent apathy towards itsPSP game developmentand, to their great credit, done something about it. At its E3 press conference on Tuesday,a string of game announcements (some known, some leaked but many new), coupled with the gorgeous-lookingPSP Gohave made it clear. This is the relaunch of PSP. Or, more accurately, the launch PSP should always have had.

The new unit will cost $249 and 249 Euros (about £215) and hits stores on October 1. But while new hardware is excitingenough, it's the new software that's really got us salivating. Just look at this little lot:

Gran Turismo
Originally touted for release around the launch of PSP, the series has finally made it to Sony's handheld. We do still care (just), and can't wait to have a racer of substance on the PSP. Expect it on October 1 in the US - UK release date TBC.

Above: We're promised 60 frames per second graphics - that's smooooth

Resident Evil Portable
We know virtually nothing about the game, but its mere existence is reason to cheer. Whether it's a full-blown actioner like RE5 or a proper zombie-filled scare-em-up, the outcome is the same. The famous survival horror series is finally on PSP and we want in.

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
The brief glimpse of MotorStorm in the PSP showreel put all our fears to rest. It looks smooth, fast, and features the same slow-mo crashes of its big brother. Featuring the usual mix of vehicles only now they're sliding around in deep snow, Arctic Edge should be a thrill-ride.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
PSP has already had several Metal Gear titles, but this is finally the Real Deal. It's a sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3, features four-player action and promises to reveal the missing link between MGS 3 and 4. Oh, and the jungle scenes look phenomenal.

Above: Who'd have thought PSP could do jungle scenes like MGS3?

Pixel Junk Monsters Deluxe
Do not underestimate the addictive nature of the PixelJunk games. Monsters is a brilliant RTS on PlayStation Network and this PSP version should be virtually identical in terms of graphics and gameplay. Bound to be hard as nails too. Out this Autumn.

Above: PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe looks just like its PS3 brother

LittleBig Planet Portable
Sackboy's finally made the jump across to PSP, probably clutching at some swinging physics object along the way. The gameplay looks remarkably close to the PS3 classic and it'll be interesting to see just how comprehensive the PSP level editor is.

Above: Sackboy looks a little less detailed, but the potential is huge

SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny
Soul Caliburon PSP is finally a reality, and slated for a September 30 release. With fantastic graphics (as always), 30 playable characters and a cameo from God of War's Kratos, this is likely to be a triple-A fighter. The legend will never die!

Above: Only slightly muddied textures give this away asa PSP game

Fat Princess
This was only glimpsed in the showreel, but it should make for a superb handheld game. The princess gets heavier as she eats, slowing her escape from the enemy's clutches. Mad, wholly non-PC and rather original, this gets a big fat thumbs-up from us.

Tekken 6
Tekken: Dark Resurrection was always one of our favourite PSP games and the news that Tekken 6 is hitting PSP is welcome indeed. It's unlikely the game will feature the same motion blur effect that its PS3 brother will have, but we don't mind.Just look at the quality in this screenshot:

Above: Sometimes it's more fun to dance than fight. Ole!

Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
From the glimpses of the game we've seen, this looks to be a fully fledged Assassin's Creed game. It's even got Altair in it, so fans of the first game are sure to be happy. Boasting PS3 connectivity whereby items earned in one game will unlock content in the other, this one will be sneaking up on shops and stabbing them in the neckthis winter, alonside the PS3 and Xbox 360 sequel.

What? You want more? How about a newJak & Daxter?Monster Hunter 3? Or an EchoChrome sequel? And of course Codemasters have got their F1 game in the pipeline, which we're still very excited about.

And then there's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3, which Official PlayStation Magazine UK editor Tim Clark has been trying out on PSP Go on the showfloor at E3. So take alook at this miniature masterpiece in action, then get saving those pennies:

With the PSP Go coming out alongside this line-up of great titles, it's almost as though Sony is saying 'look, forget the last five years. This is PSP - and the party starts here. We're still miffed at the lack of a second analog stick and clarification is stillneeded on whether or not you can transfer your old UMD games to the new unit.Also, the fact PSP Go is going to cost more than an Xbox 360 is frankly ludicrous. But that aside, there's no denying the handheld finally looks like it's going places.

03 June 2009

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Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine, Traxion.gg, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.