Since last year saw some of the greatest software for the PlayStation 3, Sony intends on fixing its past portable mistakes and promises a strong 2009 for the PSP.
God of War: Chains of Olympus and Patapon appeared on the PlaySation Portable last year to rave reviews from critics and gamers alike. Their success was a boon for Sony, but the portable’s manufacturer has a major concern: These titles were developed by Sony first-party studios. Where were the third parties?
The answer: On the PlayStation 3, selling millions with Resistance 2, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV.
Sony senior vice president Ray Maguire assures gamers that Sony, despite having 50 million hardware units sold, recognizes its errors in managing its only handheld machine.
“It was slightly under-supported, mainly because a lot of the energy was going into stuff we’re doing for PlayStation 3,” Maguire commented to GamesIndustry. “There was an added complication in that the UMD model wasn’t brilliant for third parties, either.”
A lack of software hasn’t halted the millions of individuals who purchased the hardware, an audience Sony intends on targeting in partnership with its retailers.
“Retailers are looking at it as well, realizing that they haven’t supported it as much as maybe they might have done, and they’re also thinking about how we almost reintroduce the PlayStation Portable into the market place, with the confidence that we should have had last year, but didn’t,” he stated.
Realizing the limitations of using the UMD format for games and dealing with retailers, Maguire expects the PSP’s online capabilities to allow for improved digital distribution straight to the hardware, which could potentially receive an upgrade in 2009.
“My gut feeling though is that people are looking for more snack-type content, and the downloads side of it will increasingly become a bigger part of its future,” he said. “It’s also something that development can get into at a much, much lower entry cost, and I think we can see this everywhere, whether it be iPhone applications, whether it be mobile phones – there is an appetite for smaller, snack-type games.”