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Sony confirms MPEG-4 playback on PSP

Japanese electronics giant Sony has clarified one of the less well-understood aspects of the functionality of the forthcoming PlayStation Portable, revealing on its Japanese website that the console will be able to play back MP4 video from Memory Sticks.

The MP4 video standard, which Sony also supports with some of its camcorders and other devices, is also known as H.264 and is closely related to (although not entirely compatible with) the popular DiVX and Xvid video formats.

Earlier this year, Sony confirmed that the system would be able to play back H.264 video, along with MP3 and ATRAC encoded audio files, but didn't explain whether this referred to video on UMD discs or also to files on Memory Sticks.

Now the company has updated its PSP website to reveal that video files on Memory Sticks will also work, and that users will be able to convert their video files to the MP4 standard using Windows-based software called Image Converter 2, a trial version of which is expected to ship with the PSP console.

While Sony has previously trumpeted the abilities of the PSP as a video player, the company has been surprisingly silent on the topic of which commercial movies will be available on UMD, leading to suspicions that the launch line-up may be devoid of movie content.

As yet, the only confirmed UMD movie title is Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which Square Enix is expected to ship simultaneously on DVD and on UMD when it finally arrives - expected to be in the middle of next year.

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.