Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) has today announced the Japanese release date for their new PSP handheld games console. The PSP will go on sale in Japan from December 12th, 2004, and will retail for 19,800 yen excluding tax (20,790 yen including tax).

SCEI are also releasing a PSP Value Pack containing the PSP, AC adaptor, battery pack, Memory Stick Duo (32MB), headphone with remote control (for PSP), and soft case & hand strap (for PSP), all in one box. This will retail for 24,800 yen excluding tax (26,040 yen including tax).

Of more interest to non Japanese gamers is the news released today on the machines battery life. SCEI have said that the PSP will last between 4 to 6 hours while gaming and between 4 and 5 hours while watching movies. While these figures aren\'t as high as many would have liked, they are far better than the rumoured two-hour battery life concerns that had come out of various trade shows.

To accompany the launch 21 games are set to ship before the end of the year in Japan, with a further 100 titles in development. The titles scheduled for release this year are:

BANDAI CO.,LTD - LUMINES - Music & Luminary Action Puzzle

BANDAI CO.,LTD - The legend of heroes Gagharvtrilogy White Witch - Role Playing Game

CAPCOM - VAMPIRE CHRONICLE The Chaos Tower - Fighting

CyberFront Corporation - KOLLON - Puzzle Action

Electronic Arts K. K. - Need for Speed Underground Rivals (Working Title) - Race

Electronic Arts K. K. - Tiger Woods PGA Tour (Working Title - Golf

FromSoftware, Inc. - ARMORED CORE FORMULA FRONT - Mech Customizing Simulation

HUDSON SOFT CO., LTD. - RENGOKU: The Tower of Purgatory - Action Role Playing Game

KOEI Co., Ltd. - Dynasty Warriors - Action

KOEI Co., Ltd. - Mahjong (Working Title - Table

Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Inc. - METAL GEAR ACID

KONAMI CORPORATION - MAH-JONG FIGHT CLUB - Board Game

Marvelous Interactive Inc. - AI Go - Board Game Master

Marvelous Interactive Inc. - AI Mah-Jong - Board Game Master

Marvelous Interactive Inc. - AI Shogi (Japanese Chess) - Board Game Master

NAMCO LIMITED - KOTOBA NO PUZZLE MOJIPITTAN DAIJITEN - PUZZLE

NAMCO LIMITED - RIDGE RACERS - RACE

Sega Corporation - Puyo Pop Fever - Puzzle

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. - Dokodemo Issyo - Misc.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. - Hot Shots Golf - Sports, Golf

TAITO CORPORATION - PUZZLE BOBBLE POCKET - Puzzle

There is still no solid date on the systems US or European launch date, but we will keep you updated on the latest news.