Sony Computer Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi has confirmed that the company plans to release peripherals which add mobile phone and digital camera functionality to the PlayStation Portable, as devkits for the new console begin shipping.
Speaking to Weekly International News, Kutaragi-san explained that the PSP will be capable of a wide range of tasks outside of traditional gaming and portable media playing fields. "Not only will it be a form of entertainment but a valuable communications device," he mused.
His comments - which will fire a worrying shot across the bows of mobile phone manufacturers - come as Sony prepares to ship PSP development kits to a number of development studios, with sources at a number of UK studios claiming to be in line to receive kits within the coming weeks.
The timescales will be tight for launch software for the device; Sony has already acknowledged this by announcing that while PSP hardware will be on show at E3 next May, the first real software won't be seen running on the device until the Tokyo Games Show in early September. That gives development studios almost exactly a year to get to grips with the hardware and produce the first titles, certainly not an impossible feat, but a tough one nonetheless.
Kutaragi has also been waxing lyrical about the copy protection systems which PSP will employ, developed with not only the need to protect games but to satisfy the paranoia of the movie and music companies who will hopefully be releasing media on UMD formats for the device.
"Various forms of protection which I can't divulge will be incorporated into the physical media itself," he claims. "So we've included not only the necessary semiconductors for the PSP but also copy protection measures in the hardware. Software piracy won't be a problem if the protection system is as complicated as the one planned for PSP."