A pair of PSP Slims were on hand at this week's CES, showing off the recently announced Skype software designed specifically for the Sony handheld. While it's harder than one might think to test the clarity of a peer-to-peer phone call via Sony's own mouse-phone hybrid in a busy convention hall, there were no complaints about the actual technical capabilities of the service. Actually, the two Sony reps making the calls were about six inches from us when we picked up the phone, so those with an ear for such things may want to wait until in the field reviews arrive, if they're picky.
The PSP interface for Skype was fairly straightforward, with a Skype icon appearing under Network in the portable's XMB. The expected menu items were there—My Profile, Contacts, History, Dial—with other personalisation features making appearances so other Skype buddies can know your "mood" or see your chosen photo icon. Skype for PSP makes international calling easy, with a list of selectable country dialing codes right at the dialing screen for those who travel often.
The headset, shown above and on display at the convention was supposedly not final. That's a good thing, as I found it to lean toward clunky, but we're not holding out hope for a massive redesign as the thing launches in February.
Yes, Skype for PSP is only for those who have the PSP-2000 model (aka the PSP Slim & Light). While many will probably wonder why they'd consider giving up their cell phones for calling on the go, those who make international calls often will probably be interested in picking up Skype for the cost savings.