Sony officials Thursday said the company will release a software upgrade that will let the PlayStation Portable video game system surf the Web without a cumbersome software trick.
The free software patch will be available next week in Japan, said Ken Kutaragi, chief executive of Sony Corp.'s game unit.
The PSP comes with a built-in antenna for wireless Internet access, but the only way to use it for surfing the Web has been to modify a limited browsing feature in the racing game "Wipeout Pure."
Sony also said it will launch a white version of the PSP, which is otherwise black. The white version will be sold in Japan only.
The paperback-sized device launched last year in Japan and this spring in the United States. About 5 million have been sold since then.
The announcements were made during a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. strategy event which also showcased several games for the company's PlayStation 3 console, which hits store shelves next spring and is expected to compete with new hardware from rivals Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co.
No PS3 price has been announced, but "it will be expensive," Kutaragi said.