PSP launch line
The weather outside is awful (this slushy substance in between snow and rain is no fun, especially not for gadget freaks who like to whip out their cellphones—or Nintendo DSs), but that didn't stop us, a few hundred Sony fanboys, and lots of B-list celebs (who clearly needed to collect the appearance fee) from hitting Sony's official launch party for the PlayStation Portable this evening.

It's a big event, so Engadget and Joystiq have decided to join forces, with Ryan, Josh, and Peter throwing down for Engadget and Ben and Vlad representing Team Joystiq. We'll have live updates throughout the evening (assuming the EV-DO holds up and enough interesting stuff happens), so keep refreshing for the latest.

PSP launch line

Apparently this is actually a ?newsworthy? event. Or whatever.

PSP wedged in seat
There are already about fifteen beat up demo PSPs. Tsk-tsk, what a shame. Especially since they can?t even be lifted.
PSP launch line
The ginormous line.

PSP launch line

PSP guys in line

Are these guys the PSP generation? With more spare time and spare cents than spare common sense, PSP fans Gus Dakis (attorney) and Lou Gomez (TV producer) braved a 6:00 AM commute from New Jersey, freezing temperatures, 40-mile-an-hour winds, sleet, freezing rain and hundreds of puzzled looks over the course of their 13-hour vigil outside the Sony Style store at 55 Madison Avenue on the eve of the North American debut of Sony?s new handheld gaming unit.

Their arrival before 8:00 AM confounded Sony staff who hadn?t scheduled the line-up to begin until later this evening. ?We got here so early they didn?t know where to put us!? said the duo, clearly in good spirits even after their long wait.

Not all of the fans lining up fared as well. ?That dude over there?he?s in bad shape,? said Gus, pointing to a motionless lump swaddled in Sony-supplied blankets and umbrellas. Chants of ?P-S-P, P-S-P, P-S-P? were half-hearted and died quickly.

Tethered PSP models
It?s the Japanese PSP launch deux. Ah, PSP models, concentrate!

PSP wristband
Dude, we?re totally in!

Kaz Hirai PSP launch
C-Daly talking up SCEA prez Kaz Hirai about the PSP. Hirai?s money quote: ?If someone told you that the PSP is a portable gaming device, shoot these people. The PSP is not a portable gaming device, it is really a convergent portable entertainment device.? You have your orders, people; shoot anyone on sight who calls the PSP a gaming device.

PSP commercial
They also debuted the new PSP commercial, which was (not) surprisingly rather good. Sony countered Apple?s use of The Caesers by playing Franz Ferdinand in their commercial, who are now also officially over. And yes, Danger Mouse is DJing this joint, and rather well, we might add.

PSP launch Carson Daly Damon Dash
Damon Dash helping his boy Carson give away some gift packs. They were drawing numbers at random and giving the winners special PSP prize packages that included a PSP Value Pack, a ?high-capacity? Memory Stick Duo, a game, and a Sony digital camera. We didn?t win one.

PSP cracked
There were loads of demo PSPs everywhere, and it didn?t take long to find a broken one. Looks like this one had been dropped on the ground and the screen cracked.

PSP line
About ten minutes before midnight they asked everyone to line up in a different section of the store according to the color of their wristband.

PSP launch party
Kaz Hirai, ringing up the very first PSP purchase himself. That?s Dash and Daly watching it on the big screen along with the rest of us.

PSP table
And that was that! We?ll see everyone at the PSP2 launch party in 2009.



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Live from Sony's PlayStation Portable Launch Party