Sony is in talks with publishers to bring a variety of classic games to PlayStation Network, including titles from beyond the PlayStation catalog.
Though plenty of PSP owners have already hacked their systems to play basically every classic game in existence from Vagrant Story to Mega Man X, Sony wants to make this practice into something official by adding classic games from non-PlayStation systems to its catalog for downloadable games. The company is already in talks with other publishers to make their vision of PlayStation Virtual Console a reality.
"In general there's a lot of discussion about [publishers'] back catalogs that will finally find its way to PlayStation Network in the back half of this year," Sony's John Koller told MTV Multiplayer. "PSOne is included, but everything is on the table...We look for some of those big hits from all of the past games in their history and look for ways we can bring them over."
The big obstacle, once publishers have been convinced of the idea, is emulating the games so that they'll work on the PSP. According to Koller, Sony's working on these issues and as soon as they're resolved, we'll be seeing "a wide variety of retro games and brand new games coming to PSN."
This project is part of a general project to beef up the amount of downloadable content for the handheld. According to Koller, Sony has been increasing internal development on downloadable titles as well as planning to bring over many of the downloadable PS1 games currently available in Japan but not in the West. The company's emphasis on digital distribution echoes remarks made by Koller last week in response to rumors that Sony is planning on releasing a PSP2 later this year that will rely solely on digital downloads for content.
One question this brings up is whether or not a beefed up PSN that rivals Virtual Console or GameTap will be enough to stop hackers from doing their dirty business. Considering that Sony probably won't be able to get a number of notable publishers (Nintendo) on board with the project, it might not be enough to get hackers to stop their shady ways. For the rest of the PSP owners who don't want or know how to crack their machines, though, it should be something to look forward to.