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Portables (Games) Media Music Entertainment Games

Sony Connect To Hook Up With PlayStation Portable? 99

Posted by simoniker
from the cloak-and-dagger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK video game site C&VG has posted a story rumoring Sony's PlayStation Portable handheld game console will allow both music and games to be downloaded via the newly announced Sony Connect online download store. An industry source quoted in the article says: 'PSP is intended to be able to link up with Sony Connect to offer digital music for download, but the bigger deal is the plan to put PSP games up there for download eventually, too.' C&VG says this rumor, if true, shows 'Sony's alleged drive to ultimately cut-out retail and handle distribution of software itself' - we'll find out for sure next week at E3." Elsewhere, GamePro/Famitsu interviews leading Japanese PSP developers, with Atlus producer Hideyuki Yokoyama saying: "I expect downloads and fees to be the primary business model."
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Sony Connect To Hook Up With PlayStation Portable?

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  • Important Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tcgwebs (737923) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:36PM (#9089395) Homepage
    Will they allow "classic" PS1/PS2 games to be downloaded in the same way?
  • Interesting move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:37PM (#9089404) Homepage
    Right now, Nintendo has a problem with people downloading rom files for the Game Boy Advance, and playing them with a growing number of emulators for platforms from the PC, OS X, Linux, GP32, and maybe even Palm Pilots.

    So to combat that, they've created "value added" features, such as their Connectivity system: if you want to get the Tingle Tuner for the Gamecube, you need a GBA + Gamecube + an actual copy of the game. In some cases, it's worked (see "Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles" and others), so that's Nintendo's move.

    Sony seems to have a different idea: use the Internet. Assuming that you'll be able to use Sony Memory Sticks with your PSP, then you can just download games off the 'Net and play them. Granted, these games won't be the 1.8 GB that their PSP disks can hold, so it will be the difference between playing, say, "Final Fantasy VII" on your PSP and playing "Chrono Trigger".

    Still, it's an interesting move: Sony's betting that there won't be a PSP emulator for long enough to squeeze profits out of this. And if they allow people to create their own "burned" PSP disks from downloads (sure, 1.8 GB takes awhile, but you never know), then they just have to make their system difficult to mod for "pirated" games.

    I'm still in a "wait and see" for both the DS and the PSP, but I think both items will have different markets that should prove interesting to a range of gamers.
    • yeah I heard about this problem as well!
    • Re:Interesting move (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gl4ss (559668)
      There's other players in the arena already..

      Most of n-gages sales and software seem to lie in the online stores. Series60 software(that runs on the n-gage as well other s60 phones) is mostly available only online, including the best games available for it(such as Sky Force, which is an excellent shoot'em'up in 1942 style, which imho is better than any of the n-gage only games). Though, maybe they're looking for a way to get a cut of that side of the action with their own store.

      however, I kinda doubt you w
    • Right now, Nintendo has a problem with people downloading rom files for the Game Boy Advance, and playing them with a growing number of emulators for platforms from the PC, OS X, Linux, GP32, and maybe even Palm Pilots.

      Don't forget the GBA itself, via flash cartridges. That is the ultimate midding finger as far as Nintendo are concerned, just look how hard they have tried to bring down everyone who sells those things (they have succeeded every time too, which sucks because these carts are awesome for ho

    • Sony's betting that there won't be a PSP emulator for long enough to squeeze profits out of this.

      Assuming everything else you said makes sense, that's pretty risky. Particularly when you consider that the first GBA emulator came out before the GBA was even launched.
  • by dethl (626353) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:37PM (#9089411)
    "In related news, our source also revealed that Sony is currently leaning towards a price point of $249-299 in the US..."

    If Nintendo can beat this price, I don't think Sony has a chance at getting the handheld market. I personally wouldn't want to pay that much for just a handheld.
    • You're right - I do not have so much of a craving for games that I need to spend more than the actually PS2 costs just to be able to play them on the go. Nintendo has already beaten this price - sure the GBA:SP isn't as powerful, but who cares? You have fun games like Mario Kart: Super Circuit to keep you company.

      Besides, I have my iPod for music.
    • I personally wouldn't want to pay that much for just a handheld.
      It's amazing how many people who bought the N-Gage would probably say something like this ... ;)
      • Yes, but it is at least a cell phone as well as a gaming handheld.
      • Unlike most handheld gaming systems, N-Gage is a mobile phone as well. Many parents and school administrators will let their kids carry a mobile phone to school but not a gaming-only system. Most mobile phone network operators sell phones on an installment plan along with mobile service. Do the major toy stores offer installment plans for the gaming systems they sell without having to go through a credit card company?

    • I personally wouldn't want to pay that much for just a handheld.

      But it's not just a handheld, is it, that's the whole point. If this can replace your games handheld and your digital music handheld, there will be a huge market for this, not with 16-year-olds (Nintendos main GBA target market), but with 25's. That's where the real money lies, and Sony knows it. Nintendo gave the impression they were aware of this with the SP, but they'll have to work really hard with the DS if they're going to hold of the P
  • by Frigid Monkey (411257) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:38PM (#9089420) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so this is a little embarrasing but with the amount of games that were distributed for the PS1 that are now filling up landfills, not to mention the industrial waste from producing all those cds/dvds eliminating the packaging/disk/instructions might not be so bad, heck I'm going to go play my PSP in a TREE damnit!
    OTOH, eliminating the retail side of sales will cut all us little guys trying to make a buck slingin' games to pimply kids straight out.
    "I'm sorry we don't carry Madden 2006, it's availible only from sony.biz.com.monopoly"

  • by SCSi (17797) <corvus AT vadept DOT com> on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:38PM (#9089423) Homepage
    The people who can only get dialup access, or the're going to burn a good majority of their users..
  • by Tyggyr (133366) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:39PM (#9089429) Homepage
    So what's the value-add of retail shops anyway?

    I would think a retail store staffed with knowledgeable, helpful people who know & play the game, and can help with appropriate selections, would have nothing to fear from online distribution.

    Of course if someone is just pushing boxes, then they should be afraid...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I would think a retail store staffed with knowledgeable, helpful people who know & play the game, and can help with appropriate selections, would have nothing to fear from online distribution.

      But if Sony has a "try before you buy", then these types of shops are in big trouble. After all, usually knowledgeable means they know something about the games to help you select. Well, if you have a large body of people evaluating games (i.e. the internet) and the ability to then try this narrowed list of ga
    • The value is getting out of your house. See some hot chicks at the mall. Duh.
    • Remember how hard it can be to find certain games in stock, like those highly anticipated games that sell out in the first few hours of the release date, or those older games that aren't selling so well anymore so nobody really wants to keep any copies in stock just taking up space. With online distribution, you can get any game you want without having to worry about these issues.
  • by foidulus (743482) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:40PM (#9089432)
    Andy Sony Connect to sell PSPs. Though actually this time I think it will work in reverse, PSPs will sell Sony Connect since I would imagine the primary motiviation of most people who will plunk down the few hundred dollars for one of these bad boys is not to listen to music :P Maybe Sony is hoping that it will generate revenue for the Sony Connect(since Sony has it's own music label, they stand to make a lot more money if the Sony store becomes successful, since they will be collecting the 70 cent royalties, provided people buy Sony's music)
  • Thoughts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clu76 (620823) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:45PM (#9089476) Homepage
    Not a bad idea. But I feel Sony might be doing themselves a disservice by making the PSP an all purpose device. It has great potential to suffer from a serious identity crisis.

    It plays games, movies, music, it slices, it dices, and can still easily cut through a tomato. But unless it excels in every feature, might be better to buy devices dedicated to one purpose. I personally don't want to use the PSP for music playback if it isn't going to be as good or better than my ipod. my $0.02
    • Re:Thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MogwaiJeeper (777972)
      Very nice. Not to mention the fact that real geeks like to have lots of toys to accomplish all their tasks...

      I have a phone that I use as... a phone. Sure, it can do calendar, contacts, all kinds of organizer functions, but I use it as a phone. I have an iPod that I use to *gasp* play music. I have a PDA that I use as an organizer. I have a watch that I use to tell time. I have a GBA that I use to play games. I have all these neat little toys, and I LIKE it that way.

      I don't want one device that does it al
    • Convenience (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phorm (591458) on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:05PM (#9089648) Journal
      It doesn't have to be great at everything, just great at the primary application, and convenient for others. My PS2 in many cases isn't the best DVD player, but it's been pretty good at playing some discs I borrowed from a friend recently (when my PC, which usually plays DVD's is busy burning them instead).

      Sure, I could go buy a DVD player for cheap, but really the PS2 does the job, and nowadays I use it more for video than games.

      Remember, not all of us have an ipod. If Sony adds said functionality for cheap and it works half-decently, it'll probably be useful.
  • Downloadable games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:47PM (#9089497)
    It's easy enough to pirate the seemingly crackproof media PS2 uses but it would be even easier to pirate a PSP game. whats to stop me from downloading one from alt.binaries.games instead of sonys online store?

    So what security measures are there if any to stop pirating...

    Hmm just let me enter my cdkey..

    up down X R1 L1 L2 start select triangle!
    • by NanoGator (522640)
      "It's easy enough to pirate the seemingly crackproof media PS2 uses but it would be even easier to pirate a PSP game. whats to stop me from downloading one from alt.binaries.games instead of sonys online store?"

      How are you going to burn those little discs?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        How are you going to burn those little discs?

        Well if sony makes it's PSP games downloadable theres no need to burn any discs.

        It sounds like sony might have to rely on some DRM type system for it's downloadable games instead of the classic read only storage medium used for console games such as cartreges and GDROMS... anyway these sorta things can't be copied.

        Sony plans to just sell pure software so you can put that into your PSP and play it. No hardware protection no safe storage media. Smartdisks are r
  • by mekkab (133181) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:47PM (#9089502) Homepage Journal
    Copy apple with iTunes/iPod, that sounds great.

    Show me the money. Err, downloads.

    You can talk all you want, and thats great. But I don't believe Sony until its in my hands. Sure, I love it once I can buy it, but promises from never-never land mean nothing.
    • This won't be taking any iPod market share with just memory stick for storage. What do flash players cost now? Like $60? I doubt it'll play unprotected MP3 files. It'll probably make you recode everything to ATRAC just like the NetMD. Vapourware implies something new and exciting. A flash music player locked in to a copy protected online music store is neither.
      • oh, no no no! I don't mean that its competing against iPod! I mean that Apple uses iTunes to sell iPods- sort of a value added service and a reason to buy an iPod over a Nomad jukebox.

        In the sameway, downloadable roms that are legitimate is the vapour- and quite an enticing vapour, too.
  • by No_Weak_Heart (444982) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:48PM (#9089509)

    David Pogue at NY Times trashes Sony's Connect [nytimes.com] service.

    • Pardon me, here's a different link [nytimes.com], the Google News workaround link. Don't be shy about looking it up yourself next time -- comes in handy if you're actually interested in the content.

      On the other hand, if your objective is to rail against evil site registration then I can see how you couldn't be bothered.

  • plan to put PSP games up there for download eventually, too.

    So, will it eventually be epoxy encapsulated a la phantom? [infiniumlabs.com]
  • pic? (Score:2, Funny)

    by chachob (746500)
    funny how the nintendo gameboy is used as the logo for a sony playstation article, eh?
  • Surprised? I'm not. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thedalek (473015) on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:13PM (#9089693)
    Didn't anyone else notice that Sony was touting the new discs to be used in the PSP as a new end-user storage media (meaning not exclusive to games)? How they went on and on about how the PSP was going to be the new Walkman? How they talked about watching movies and listening to music on it?
    • "Didn't anyone else notice that Sony was touting the new discs to be used in the PSP as a new end-user storage media (meaning not exclusive to games)? How they went on and on about how the PSP was going to be the new Walkman? How they talked about watching movies and listening to music on it?"

      Probably to be expected. Sony's always trying to push their own media. The question is whether or not making an overpriced portable game system is the right way to promote it. I like the idea of using that sort o
  • What about piracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrispyman (710460) on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:15PM (#9089710)
    While that sounds like a nice way for Sony to cut out the middle man, you're forgetting that it's alot harder to physically copy a copy-protected, non-standard format game disc than, oh, some file you download to a hard drive. After all, the only way to pirate GameCube discs was due to a buffer overflow in Phantasy Star Online. I can only asume that online game distribution would be pretty easy to crack compared to cd copying.
    • Actually, the only way to *play* pirated GameCube discs is currently due to a buffer overflow in Phantasy Star Online. Actually getting data off the discs is much less complicated. I won't link them here because they are quasi-legal at best, but efforts to emulate the GameCube (and PS2, and XBox...) on PC are all progressing well--some to the point of near-playable quality.

      It's always just a matter of time and interest--build a better mousetrap, we'll build a better mouse. There is no perfect encryptio

    • Anti-piracy advocates like to drone on about how piracy raises prices for everyone. Why, then, are GC discs still so outrageously priced if piracy has not made a dent in their profit margin? Wind Waker is still C$69.99 in stores months after a very successful release.

      It seems that only the shit titles see a price cut to attract otherwise uninterested customers.

      Either the game companies are greedy or piracy has relatively little affect on console game prices.
      • It seems that only the shit titles see a price cut to attract otherwise uninterested customers.

        We have a winnah!

        Just like everything else, game companies charge what people are willing to pay. People are still willing to pay $50 for Halo, so it's price really hasn't dropped yet. (I've seen it for $39.99, no lower) Amazingly enough, less popular games are in the $19.99 Bargain bin.

        Of course, this is only logical. If it doesn't sell at $50, drop it to $40 until it doesn't sell anymore. Drop to $

      • It is $49.99 every where i have seen... in fact, i don't think i have seen a launch title over 50 dollars. And yes, I do own the game(bought well after launch).
    • I can only asume that online game distribution would be pretty easy to crack compared to cd copying.
      Not easy if it's distributed to console like PSP. Sony can use model , commonly used for handhelds now: Customer give his unique device ID, server generate key from this ID , this key should be used to unlock application. For PSP server could also encript application with this key. Every time game running it check device ID and validity of the key. For PSP this sytem would be even more hard to crack then fo
  • Great idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:16PM (#9089712) Homepage
    This is great. Even better if the PSP could wirelessly download it from a hotspot or something. My big question though is once you've downloaded the music/movies/media to your PSP, will you be able to transfer it to your computer? Or will you just have to leave it on the PSP, and repurchase it once you've deleted it because you needed to make room for other files?

    • Re:Great idea (Score:3, Interesting)

      Small games and other data you created on PSP can be exported only to a Sony memory stick with MagicGate supported, I guess. Data you don't create such as large movies and games will be only for physical unrewritable UMD media to store contents which big boys will supply.
      As for connectivity to PC, a software with DRM, which is something like Windows Media 9 Series, may be supplied from Sony to manage MagicGate-protected data which originally belong to PSP.
  • Over Hyped (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I severly doubt the psp will live up to its claims.
    Just like Sony claimed the playstation 2 would be able to render toy story in real time, the psp wont provide revolutionary handheld graphics without an absymal battery time.
    However I hope that they can at least provide competition for nintendo to help lower prices in the handheld console area.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just like Sony claimed the playstation 2 would be able to render toy story in real time.

      It did render Toy Story, as long as you had the disc in the drive!

  • ... It makes sense, as putting down 40 for a game which may be crap is a bit of a risk, far better to pay 2-5 per level or whatever, then you would only spend more money on good games...
    • It wouldn't make much sense for publishers of poo-games to do that, and even if games were potential hits I don't think the publishers would want to risk the loss of people only paying 1/20th of the game and get bored with it (Prince of persia is a nice game but I probably would only have paid for a third before getting bored).
  • Looks like instead of PC's getting locked down with mandatory DRM, everyone else will just leave PC's behind and move over to a closed-box tamper-proof "i dial home and make sure your still a subscriber" units that do all the basic things most people need: games, music, video, office applications and printing. These platforms will be more strictly controlled than a totallitarian facist dictatorship, any tampering and the unit will kill its self, and if it doesnt dial in regularly the company will be able to
  • PSP Pipe Dreams (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I hear lots of marketing hype about Pricing, Connectivity, Storage, Raw graphical grunt, and making this beast of a handheld perform everything short of fellatio (Sonys tried and tested tactic of quietly reducing the features availible closer to launch aside). But I hear very little about the actual games and battery life, the two most important ingredients for any sucessful handheld, nice to know Sony have got their priorities right.
    Then again, judging by the damp squib that was the PS2 launch lineup I'm
  • by ITR81 (727140) on Friday May 07, 2004 @07:34PM (#9090145)
    I don't want to DL games (dialup like over 50% of the US). I like having actual instructions and not some .pdf file of it. I actually like to touch my games and collect them. I will not subscribe or rent my games from Sony.

    Another Q? How can they sell it at $299 or less when in Japan they have stated a $699 price range?? Sounds like they will be taking a Xbox route on this one.

    I think I'll be going with the Nintendo DS which will also play the entire GB lib...and probably still cost less.

  • ... wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GaimeGuy (679917) on Friday May 07, 2004 @09:55PM (#9090911) Journal
    I'm reading all these comments about "GREAT! BRILLLIANT MOVE, SONY! Use retail kiosks as a means of game distribution!"

    Yet, when Nintendo announced, and implemented, this feature into the iQue, I heard nothing but bashing from the internet community. Why the hell is it that everything nintendo does is a stupid move, but when done by Sony, it's the best business strategy ever? Not to mention the fact that they're touting PSP/PS3 connectivity, a la GC/GBA. -_-
  • by RotJ (771744)
    Chris Kohler [pitas.com] offers some details about the PSP rumors. According to him, the Sony rep who gave away the info he shouldn't have on Sony Connect had this to say: "Don't fuck me. Alright? Please don't fuck me."
  • Occasionally I enjoy playing games while I'm on the go. That's what cellphones are for

    It wasn't easy to spell all that with Dragon NaturallySpeaking I had to make a few corrections

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