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Portables (Games) Media Music Entertainment Games

Sony Connect To Hook Up With PlayStation Portable? 99

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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  • Interesting move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <[ten.lemmuhnhoj] [ta] [lemmuhj]> 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.
  • Only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baudilus ( 665036 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:37PM (#9089405)
    ...if your talking about ROFL. This is going to be a costly p/r ploy by Sony.
  • 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.
  • by SCSi ( 17797 ) <corvus@[ ] ['vad' in gap]> 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 baudilus ( 665036 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:43PM (#9089461)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2004 @05:46PM (#9089494)
    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 games down before you spring for them, then exactly what becomes the value proposition for that shop. They're left with selling to parents and grand parents who know nothing about the games and just want to ask somebody "what's the best baseball game" during xmas and as gifts.
  • 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.
  • Re:Thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MogwaiJeeper ( 777972 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:00PM (#9089612)
    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 all. Not because it's not good... I'm sure the NGAGE^H^H^H^H^H PSP is good at what it does, but I want multiple devices because he who dies with the most toys wins... at least that's how it works for geeks.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Over Hyped (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:43PM (#9089839)
    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.
  • PSP Pipe Dreams (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2004 @06:59PM (#9089954)
    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 not surprised.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @07:17PM (#9090073) Homepage Journal
    "The people who can only get dialup access, or the're going to burn a good majority of their users.. "

    This was insightful like 3 years ago. Today it's like complaining that Microsoft isn't supporting Windows 95 users.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @07:19PM (#9090081) Homepage Journal
    "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 instead of sonys online store?"

    How are you going to burn those little discs?
  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) on Friday May 07, 2004 @08:56PM (#9090610) Journal
    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.
  • ... 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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 08, 2004 @03:32AM (#9092088)
    Typical ignorant post. Most people in the developed world can't get broadband access to the internet, that includes the USA.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) * <> on Saturday May 08, 2004 @07:58AM (#9092568) Homepage Journal

    For people in many geographical areas, the choice is still either dial-up, ISDN, or a $$$/mo T1 line, without any offer between ISDN and T1. What suggestion do you have for them?

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.