PSN downloads should give the PSP a much-needed boost with digitally distributed games and DLC in 2009.

Let’s just say the latest PSP firmware update has got our attention. The ability to download games and other content straight to the PSP without having to muck around with a PC or PS3 could mean great things for the platform’s future. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Zeno Colaco, expects this new digital distribution model for the PSP will bring a wider range of games to the system next year.

Speaking to Pocket Gamer Colaco, vice president of publisher and developer relations for SCEE, said the changes will give developers and publishers more flexibility to explore the different kinds of games they can create for the platform. Without having to create a boxed UMD version, this can free them up to do smaller releases at a reduced cost or offer additional downloadable content and customization options for retail games.

“Publishers are definitely exploring more opportunities in terms of the types of games they can release on PSP, even in terms of more female-oriented games, puzzlers and less hardcore games,” he said. “The opportunity we’re providing with digital distribution will ignite those thoughts.”

With the number and frequency of interesting game releases on the handheld being stuck at a slow crawl for some time now, downloadable titles could go a long ways to bringing the PSP back into the running next year.

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