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PlayStation Portable to get mobile TV

Sony to offer plug-in TV tuner for PSP in Japan

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) console is to get mobile TV functionality, after Sony announced details of the second-generation PSP.

Sony disclosed plans to launch the new PSP model in Europe and the US, and has since revealed that the portable console will go on sale in Japan on September 20.

A week before the PSP debuts, Sony will also start selling a plug-in digital TV tuner for Japan's 'OneSeg' format mobile digital TV broadcasts.

OneSeg broadcasts are already available in much of Japan and are becoming a popular feature on mobile phones. The broadcasts send a QVGA resolution (320 x 240) resolution video signal that can be easily processed by portable gadgets such as the PSP.

As the new PSP features a video-out connector it will also be possible to hook-up the console to a TV to watch programmes, although as the same channels are available on conventional TV at higher quality there would be little to gain.

The PSP-2000 will cost ¥19,800 (£80) and the TV tuner will cost ¥6,980 (£28). OneSeg-format broadcasting is only done in Japan so the tuner isn't compatible with the formats used in the UK and other European countries.

Additionally Sony and game-maker Square Enix plan to launch a version of the new PSP with a custom design to mark the 10th anniversary of 'Final Fantasy VII'. The silver PSPs will be 'limited' to 77,777 customers and will cost ¥25,890 (£105) when they hit store shelves.

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