E3 '09: New PlayStation Portable puts emphasis on shorter games to attract studios

Will the Go re-ignite developer interest for PSP? Sony thinks so

SCEA hardware marketing boss John Koller says that the PSP Go will appeal to developers as it puts the emphasis on smaller, shorter games.

Speaking in the leaked video detailing the strategy behind Sony’s new PSP Go handheld, Koller confirms that the latest iteration of the PSP features a slide-open design and no UMD, with the same platform as the original PSP.

Koller says that the digital distribution emphasis allows developers "to create a smaller package – something that’s easier to play on the go, something you you play for 15 minutes and then put down – just to break up the game a little bit more".

"So developers i think are going to be looking at that," he said.

Launch of the device later this year, will see "some similar games available" for the device on the PlayStation Network, where games will be downloaded from – presumably this means new digital version of exisiting games. But eventually there "will be some changes" to the type of content available he said.

Sony also thinks the device sits a point where development and consumers interests meet around digital distribution, Koller added when discussing the timing of the new device’s introduction.

"We wanted to get into digital and really understand the needs of our consumers," he said. "Users are going online to purchase music – and they are starting to purchase games and purchasing some movies.

"We always want to be ahead of the curve and look at all of our products as 10-year life cycle products – our view of the world is that digital is going to be more important as we go along and ease of use factors make it all that ore important."

But there will be what Koller dubbed a ‘Shared strategy’ between retail and digital products at Sony.

"Hard media, tangible goods have their place – but there is a growing segment, culturally, that want to be able to have digital goods," he said. "They’ve grown up with downloading movies and music, and now they can download games."

Going forward, Sony plans to add "a lot of backend service and support" for the device for developers – although it’s not clear whether that means in terms of concept approval and certification or other online services.

Plus, Koller said, the device will enable more new IP for the format – although the format holder is expected to rely on new PSP games based on the LittleBigPlanet, Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo franchises at its E3 press conference when officially unveiling the Go.

Between now and launch, Koller said, Sony is planning to forge relationships with studios and encouraging them towards developing new titles for the platform.

He said: "Our focus is now working with developers and making sure they look at the usage model for the Go."

About MCV Staff

Check Also

EA suggests that it may drop FIFA brand

It's a rock and a hard place for EA, but it's the right thing to be at least considering a change