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Sony May Consider Free PSP Dev Kits

| 8 Sep 2009 16:38
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Sony may consider giving out free PSP development kits to encourage interest in the PSP Minis lineup, but right now it's focused on providing a higher and more consistent level of quality than is currently available on the App Store.

The App Store is a phenomenal, unprecedented success but as it becomes increasingly crowded thanks to its "anyone and anything" approach to developers, it faces a very real risk of collapsing under its own weight. There are currently over 13,000 iPhone games available on the App Store and while much of it is very cheap, players looking for quality titles have a lot of garbage to sift through.

It's a pitfall that Sony wants to avoid when it launches the similarly inexpensive series of "bite-sized" games called PSP Minis. Zeno Colaco, Sony Europe's head of developer relations, said the company wants to properly support PSP developers, which will result in a smaller but more consistent selection for gamers.

"Right now, we're looking for a good portfolio of games. Unlike with the App Store, we're looking to support everyone that develops for us, instead of leaving developers out in the wilderness. We're not immediately interested in giving developers free access and no help," he said in an interview with Develop.

"There are dangers in having total open access; having six thousand applications where probably only thirty are discovered by the consumer," he continued. "Some of the developers working on the App Store and PSP Minis tell us that they prefer our approach because they get more visibility."

While Sony has no intention of matching the sheer number of games on offer at the App Store, Colaco said the company would have a good selection of PSP Minis available before the holidays. "We're not short of product. Right now we're working with about 60 developers with about 50 games coming out before Christmas," he said. "I think we're going to launch with about 15 titles."

And hope remains for so-called "hobby developers" who'd like to see what they can do with the PSP but aren't interested in laying out the cash required for a dev kit. "Further down the line, we may investigate a totally free model or supported model," he said.

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