The first 500 PlayStation Portables to be made available to the public will be auctioned off a week ahead of the official release date, Sony has announced, with the proceeds of the auction going to a charity fund for victims of a recent earthquake.
The auction will be held by Japanese retailer Rakuten, and will see 500 customers walking off with PSP Value Packs - including a console and a number of accessories - with the added bonus that each PSP will be engraved with the buyer's name.
The whole affair is designed to help out the victims of a major earthquake in the northern Japan prefecture of Niigata late last month, which left a large number of people homeless.
Winners of the auction can expect to receive their PSPs on December 5th, a week before the official Japanese launch on December 12th. Major shortages of the hardware are expected at the launch, with only 200,000 units set to ship to retail on day one, with a further 300,000 expected by the end of the year.