Sony Connect for PSP Games

Saw this interesting tidbit over at Gamespot:

“Soon, Sony will be rewriting the rules once again,” the company said in a statement. “The Connect service will enable you to download hundreds of videos, games, and TV shows as well as films and other content. You’ll even be able to browse from a wide selection of books.”

The mention of games raises the likelihood that Connect will have an Xbox Live Marketplace-like section which will let PSP owners download titles. Currently, games on Xbox Live Marketplace cost between $5 to $20 and feature classic arcade titles like Joust and new casual games like Hardwood Backgammon. However, Sony did not mention any specific titles.

I’d like to think that this is a step towards official homebrew on the PSP, but I have my doubts. Knowing sony so far, I think it’s just as likely that the mention of games was a mistake.

But I’d really like to see some kind of official dev environment that would let people write stuff directly for the PSP. One thing that annoys me about xbox live arcade/marketplace is the fact that you still need to be able to afford devkits to be able to finalize and deploy a game to their service. They make it sound like anyone can make a game and submit it, but that’s not exactly true.

I’d hope that Sony does one better… but I don’t really expect them to.

I’d be surprised if any publisher of a plaform would just open the doors to homebrewed games and sales of such. That’s about the last advantage the PC has over the consoles and it’s probably the only one that won’t be eradicated.

Could this be a preview of what might be coming for the PS3 as well? I can’t imagine them continuing to ignore the online infrastructure for their primary console after doing this, despite their previous “Xbox live? Pfft, so what, who cares…” attitude.

You mean other than Microsoft, right?

Or do you define “homebrew” differently?

demos I’ll guess. and game trailers etc… boring.

I’m glad sony lets me put my own video on the device, but they act like they dont realize that users can do so.

And it has a web browser already, so ebooks are also easily put on there on your own.

F for effort!

Isn’t this what Charles was alluding too? It sounds like dev kits and certification are still required.

Yeah, which is kind of what sucks. They’ve made it sound like arcade/marketplace is somewhere where small developers can get their cool stuff out… but the reality of the situation is that that’s not true. Me and my three friends could sit down and make a really fun little arcade game… but we’d never get it on XBL Arcade, becuase there’s no way we’d be able to afford a devkit.

How much is a devkit? $20k?

I don’t think it’s particularly reasonable to ask that the console makers push forward a model that exposes console gamers to games that are significantly less quality than casual PC games these days. And I can’t imagine that there are a lot of casual PC games that come in utterly dirt cheap and are done as back-room knockoffs in the way you’re suggesting.

So yeah, there’s some cost involved. But it’s not prohibitive if you actually want to make games on a small budget for a large audience. It’s just prohibitive if you want to stab blindly at making games without investing resources to try to ensure a modicum of success. That seems the reality of the PC market where the “devkit” barrier doesn’t exist anyway. If you and your buddies have such a fantastic game idea and the skills to execute it, why not make it there? Hell, seems like the market would be a bit more forgiving than the hardcore, production-values slanted arena of console games.

When I was reading about it a while ago they said you did not need a Dev kit to get a game on to the live marketplace. As a matter of fact they had lots of tools that you could use to make sure your game would run on the 360.

I looked in to it. All they have is a set of guidelines for developing on PC. After that, the game still has to be made to run properly for the platform using a dev kit.

Onto what, exactly? The biggest memory stick around only does 2GB. Granted, the lower resolution of a handheld screen helps a lot, but “hundreds” of anything besides MP3s sounds a little… optimistic.

You know, you’re allowed to buy more than one memory stick.

I think by hundreds they mean selection.

As for video, the screen is high enough res that you don’t really save that much converting from a full size vid to handheld size. At least, from the conversions I’ve done using PSP video 9, the sizes are roughly the same. Of course, I’m not skimping on the quality.

Sony announced new 4GB and 8GB Memory Sticks today at CES. I’m sure they’ll cost a fortune, but I think I see where this is going…

  1. Sony loses money on the PSP.
  2. Sony makes money on memory sticks
  3. Sony makes money on selling you media from their Connect service.
  4. ?
  5. Profit!

Err… all you have to do is wait. The 2GB now are selling for what the 1GB cost when the PSP was released. I expect a 4GB to hit $150 by next Christmas or so. Memory always gets cheaper (as long as it’s not an outmoded format).

4GB = 2 full length movies or so in H.264, or 2 hours of video and 10 cds, or… decent amount of media on the go. (And as more devices come out to compete with the PSP in those capabilities I expect sony will pare its profit margin on memory sticks down to a decent but not overwhelming premium. Maybe 10-15% or so.)