Casual Games and Flash on the Sony PSP
March 16th, 2006, By Duncan Gough
Three somewhat related stories from Gamesindustry.biz, all Sony related.
1. Free online service from day one, hard drive to be a requirement, puts a positive spin on the recent annoucement of the PS3’s delayed shipping date.
That hard drive, that one right there, you know what it’s going to be used for, don’t you? Yes, online play, MMOs and downloadable content. This clearly has the look of a LiveArcade rival, which is probably one of the many reasons why the PS3 is delayed until November.
2. Sony promises global PS3 launch in November; six million units by March ‘07. There are also screenshots of the annoucement here. Can’t wait.
While not entirely good news, given that a global launch and the impending ‘holiday season’ look set to put Sony through the same problems that Microsoft went through with the Xbox360, six million units by March 2007 is at least plausible.
3. And finally, PSP to get EyeToy, GPS, video chat – and PSone downloadable titles.
GPS could open up a few location based games on the PSP and the EyeToy is a proven success. All we need is Guitar Hero on the PSP and that’s most of the gadget related stuff done. Tucked way down in the article, though, is this little nugget:
An early use of the system will be to distribute a range of classic PSone games, which will be playable on the PlayStation Portable. No details have yet been announced regarding which games will appear in the range, and whether they will need to be extensively re-coded to appear on the system.”
Either I’m going to need to buy a lot of memory cards for the PSP, or this is really just a precursor to what we can expect to see for the PS3. I’m hoping that the success of the Xbox LiveArcade, especially the Flash games on there, is making Sony sit up and build something very similar. And if it is really a ‘free’ online service as mentioned above, then I’ll be very happy. Buying a game and paying to play it online has always felt wrong, especially for anyone who has come to console gaming from PC gaming.
Oh, then there’s this oddity..
/me waves from the minor end of the spectrum
Casual gaming on a portable gaming unit? That’s incredible news. Casaul gaming has really taken off as an umbrella term to cover a lot of gaming that occurs during ‘downtime’. With the PSP we have a portable gaming unit that is small enough and good looking enough to be carried around. As the redesign of the Nintendo DS proves, looks are huge factor. The form factor and visual appeal of the PSP sell it even whilst the poor game library is letting it down. Tie that back into the download service and the memory card no longer looks too small for game content. I can download and run a bunch of Flash games from a modestly sized memory card and be very happy.
‘Minor end of the spectrum’ indeed. Come on, imagine the sync-and-play Soduko opportunities…