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Connect store to close, services to move to PlayStation

As we predicted, Sony is finally abandoning its failed Connect download service to move its digital media ambitions to the PlayStation brand. About 20 employees will be "phased out" as "Connect resources were being shifted to handle the needs of the PlayStation group." Timing on this restructuring seems in-line with the upcoming PSP Store to arrive on the system later this year. Let's hope that Sony's effort with a media-heavy PlayStation Store is far more robust than the sparse offerings provided by Connect.

[Via Engadget]

Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 6

Every Saturday, PSP Fanboy will answer your burning questions. If you have a question for the team, send an e-mail to andrew @ with the subject "Ask PSP Fanboy."

Q: Are their any music subscribtion sites compatible with the PSP?
A: Yes. It's called Connect, and it's unsurprisingly owned by Sony. It works just like Apple's iTunes Store: it's 99 cents for a single song, and usually about $9.99 for an album. One deal that you might want to look in to is the "2 for 1 Tuesdays" deal, where if you buy one album, you'll get a coupon code for another for free. Getting 2 albums of music for less than $10 is really quite a steal.

Continue reading Ask PSP Fanboy: Volume 6

Broken Saints comic heads to the PSP

Broken Saints is a fairly popular internet comic that hit it big a few years ago. With a Broken Saints game in the works, the franchise is set to hit it big. If you haven't checked out the phenomenon, don't fret: it looks like the Broken Saints people have made a deal with Sony's Connect to offer their comic in PSP video format for free. You'll be able to "watch the latest version of BS on this gorgeous gear without having to wait for some overpriced multi-disc UMD set."


[Via Broken Saints]

Shock! Connect's PSP site... now works on PSP!

David Carony once asked when Sony's Connect service would stop being so awful. The Connect site was revamped many months ago on the PC, but strangely, was inaccessible to PSP owners, redirecting them to a never-updated site in which you could download an old episode of Speed Racer... and not much more. Well, it appears that the oversight has been corrected. Typing in on your PSP browser will now take you to a site very similar to the full version of the site. From the browser, you'll be able to download movie trailers, game videos (ironically, of non-Sony games), and more. It's not all roses though; it appears that you have to press Triangle over a movie you want and save the link target. For some strange reason, the browser (on 2.80) doesn't automatically detect the files as movies.

This is a step in the right direction. Now... when will Americans get something akin to

Kaz Hirai talks PSP, denies redesign

Nintendo fans have Reggie. We have Kaz. There's no real new info in his interview with Gamespot, but it's always interesting when a Sony exec goes on the record about the system. Here are some bullet points summarizing what he said:
  • Sony is still "hard at work" on Connect. (Note: It was originally supposed to come out in March.)
  • PSone downloads will come "close" to the PS3 launch. "Obviously, we certainly are not going to have 1,200 titles come out at once. You also need to realize that some of the games just don't translate well onto a PSP environment, games that require the use of the two analog sticks, for example."
  • No plans for a PSP price drop OR redesign. Sony is "happy" with PSP; it is their "fastest-growing product."

How the PSP can overcome the PSP-inspired mylo

David Carony, executive editor at CNET, has a lot to say about Sony, the PSP, and their newly announced mylo. Sony's attempting to market the device at a whopping $350, which is ridiculous when many, if not all of its features can be implemented in the PSP, or a PSP redesign. With the right accessories and firmware upgrades, the PSP can do every thing the mylo can... plus it can play games. And at $199, it would be a bargain for the consumer. Here's a list of what Carony believes will make the PSP better:
  1. Skype support to make Internet (VoIP) calls (using the SOCOM headset).
  2. Support for Slingbox (a competitor of Location-Free TV). Sony could make some bling by not selling hardware, but selling a Slingbox application.
  3. Built-in IM applications, similar to mylo's support for Yahoo! and Google.
  4. Better e-mail integration.
  5. Keyboard accessory.
  6. Video output for TV.
  7. Stop making Connect so crappy. Where's the revamp?
These are all great, plausible and reasonable upgrades that Sony can provide. If Sony actually took these suggestions to heart, I know a ton more college students and business people would pick up a PSP. Let's hope Sony has the brains to follow through on some of this.

[Via PSP World]

Online PSP store opens in Europe, Sony's European PSP site always is a step above its American counterpart. Not only does the site look sexier, it has a lot more functionality. European PSP owners not only have a better website, but they get access to PlayStation Spot, white PSPs, Tales of Eternia, and they also get their downloadable demos days faster than the US. While Americans have to deal with the absolutely useless, it appears that Europeans will now get an online store dedicated for the handheld. The site features downloadable demos, upgrades to games (such as new Lemmings levels), videos, music and wallpapers. Best of all, it appears that (for now) everything is free.

This service is almost exactly what we've been waiting for... now when's the US version of this going to happen?

[Via IGN]

Results: What would enhance the PSP the most?

About a week ago, PSP Fanboy asked you what would enhance the PSP system the most. It was a pretty obvious win: the ability to play PSone games on the PSP. For some reason, Sony believes that the number one most-wanted feature for the system is the ability to connect to a PS3, but as can be seen by our not-scientific poll, it's one of the least desirable functions, barely beating out Text Messaging. But in all seriousness, who would really want to use the PSP "keyboard" to text message anyone? People also seem to want a hard drive, but for some reason that's one of the main functions that Sony's not planning to implement... for now, at least. Here are some memorable comments from the Fanboys:
  • "How about if it were made by Nintendo. And oh yeah, games worth buying." - mitch
  • "I would so love to not have to name files with that useless naming convention." - PodMonkeys (wish granted!)
  • "I would really like it if the PSP came with a touch screen. Or a keyboard. It could be like the SideKick." - Hans
  • "What about the ability to pull pornography out of thin air?" - Player1
  • " A decent way to type, like a Virtual QWERTY keyboard" - MacFanBoy
  • "The greatest enhancement would be the ability to download and play iTunes and Videos from iTunes." - MM
  • "Real Bluetooth (data and A2DP) support would be nice. Then with a few software updates we could use bluetooth keyboards, bluetooth mice, bluetooth GPS devices, bluetooth stereo audio, etc. etc. the list goes on and on." - Ixalon

Comic-Con: new firmware, new demo and new connectivity [Update 1]

Comic-Con shouldn't be such a hotbed of video game news, but this year, it's proven otherwise. Sony revealed some crucial new features of the PSP today:
  • PSP will work as a remote for the PS3.
  • Advertisements for the budget Greatest Hits collection will be released on July 25.
  • PSP's firmware update next Thursday will offer RSS Video feed support for its web browser.
  • Thursday's firmware update will also have a demo of World Tour Soccer 2.
  • There are no plans to improve text entry on the PSP and no plans for a first-party keyboard.
  • Sony's in talks with wi-fi providers to make it easier for PSP owners to connect. (Similar to Nintendo's deal with Wayport?)
  • Video-out (to connect to a TV/computer) is a feature that they're working on.
  • Connect wants to provide video content to the PSP, but can't seem to find the right way to implement DRM. (But doesn't firmware 2.6+ offer DRM video support?)
[Via IGN]

[Update 1: Removed bit about UMD movie support.]

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