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PSP firmware 5.00 also coming soon to US, PC Store temporarily down

While firmware 5.00 was confirmed for Japanese release this week, it appears that America will also follow suit. The big update in 5.00 is the ability to access the PSN and PLAYSTATION Store directly from the PSP. The PC-based Store will be temporarily down in the interim.

While this is great for our Mac-owning friends that weren't able to purchase games in the past, this deal will be far more enticing if it ensured that our weekly PSN updates were slightly more robust than wallpaper downloads. Let's hope that the US can have a downloadable lineup as great as Japan's.

TGS 08: Firmware 5.00 and PlayStation Store launch next week

The PLAYSTATION Network is coming to the PSP next week -- at least in Japan. Firmware 5.00 will be available on October 15th and will add the built-in PlayStation Store under the new XMB category.

Japan will then get a regular release of downloadable titles through the rest of the holiday season. Games include:
  • Yuusha no Kuze ni Namaikida or2 (10/16)
  • Bleach Soul Carnival (10/23)
  • Secret Agent Clank (11/20)
  • Patapon 2 (11/27)
  • LocoRoco 2 (12/4)
  • Resistance Retribution
Notice how every SCE first-party title is downloadable, including Resistance Retribution? It looks like Sony is finally ready to give up on UMD ... or at least give consumers a viable alternative.

D3 Publisher bringing Puzzle Quest, Dead Head Fred, more to PS Store

Finally! D3 Publisher, we applaud your decision to bring your PSP catalog to the PLAYSTATION Store. You're not bringing just one obscure game onto the Store -- you're making available a number of games, from big-budget releases to obscure cult classics. Best of all, you're making them available for cheap! Here are the releases:

September 18, 2008
October 2, 2008
October 16, 2008
To find out more about each of these titles, simply click on their names. You'll find all our news, previews and reviews of these games.

European PC Store releases for September 4th

Don't get too excited. There's nothing of any real interest in today's PC Store update. That is, unless you're into managing your PSP's content via a handy PC application. The Media Manager (version 2.5, no less) is now available for free on the European PC Store and lets you drag and drop content from your PC to your PSP, previewing as you go. Oh, there's also the next episode of Movement. Here's the info in handy list form:

  • Media Manager 2.5 (free)
  • Movement episode 5, part 2 -- "London" (free, includes 8 videos)

PSP Wi-Fi Store coming in Fall, new PS3-Infrastructure mode announced

Finally! Sony has announced that the long-awaited PSP Wi-Fi Store, which allows players to purchase and download content directly on the PSP (without the need for a PC or PS3), will be available this Fall in Japan. Most likely, this will be global simultaneous launch. To commemorate the opening of the new Store, a free downloadable game, Mainichi Issyo Portable, will be available to all.

In addition, Sony has announced that a new feature will allow players to connect their PSP to their PS3 systems and enable a new Infrastructure mode for certain games. For example, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G will be online-enabled through the PS3. In addition, players will be able to add text and voice chatting capabilities through this service. Additional details will be revealed at a later date.

It looks like Sony isn't falling asleep with the PSP. Let's hope concrete release dates for these services will be available soon.

American PC Store update for August 28th

Americans won't be fixing pipes in their PC Store update. Instead, they'll get their hands on a series of wallpapers and themes, some even cake-related! Who doesn't like cake?
  • Cake Mania: Baker's Challenge theme
  • PSP Wallpapers Series 1 wallpaper (x3)
  • Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2 wallpaper (x2)
  • Cake Mania: Baker's Challenge wallpaper (x3)

European PC Store update for August 28th

Hope you didn't buy Medal of Honor Heroes last week -- because the superior sequel is available on the Store this week. Ouch! Also, a free demo for you guys to try!
  • Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (£14.99)
  • Pipemania demo (Free)
Visit store.playstation.com to get downloading, or use your PS3 to connect to the PLAYSTATION Store.

Firmware 4.05 features hidden support for movie and TV service

While the official changelog of firmware 4.05 is underwhelming, it does feature a key hidden feature: support for movie and TV service. According to this support page on PlayStation.com, "Support for PLAYSTATION®Store Movies and TV video service" has also been added in firmware 4.05. Undoubtedly, we're going to find out more about this service during tomorrow's E3 conference.

Stay tuned.

[Via PlayStation Lifestyle]

Game prices increase sharply on US PLAYSTATION Store

For some reason, the prices of games on the US PLAYSTATION Store have fluctuated. Many games have actually increased in price, while The Con has been slashed in half. We're not exactly sure what's behind this seemingly-random adjustment in price, but we can't say we support it. Digital copies of games shouldn't be more expensive than buying it in retail. Let's hope this is a bad glitch.
  • The Con was $19.99 now $9.99
  • LocoRoco was $21.99 now $22.99
  • Kingdom of Paradise was $10.99 now $16.99
  • Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee was $10.99 now $15.99
  • Ape Escape: On the Loose was $9.99 now $15.99
  • Twisted Metal: Head-On was $14.99 now $15.99
  • SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo was $14.99 now $15.99
  • Gangs of London was $11.99 now $22.99
  • Wipeout Pure $10.99 now $15.99
[Thanks, Matt! Image Credit]

European PC Store updates for June 12th

Not a lot to see here today. SCEE has told us that, along with D2Comics' "interactive multimedia experience," The Cryptics, the store has also been updated with a trailer for Ape Quest as well as the game itself. To that, we ask "is it May 1st again?" We'll add it to the release list, to keep The Cryptics company. Plus, who knows -- maybe some of you forgot to pick up Ape Quest and need some gentle reminding that it exists. Here's the release list:
  • The Cryptics (£1.49/€1.99) Hands-on
  • Ape Quest (£6.99/€9.99) Review

European PC Store update for May 29th

Want more games? Sony has provided. No filler this week, just two full games up for grabs. Both are great and worth a punt, however Medievil is available at Play.com for half the price. If it's convenience you're after, however, feel free to pay extra and get it downloaded directly to your PSP. Via your PC, that is. Here's the release list:

Playable content
  • Rayman PS1 game (£3.49/€4.99)
  • Medievil Resurrection full game (£14.99/€19.99)

European PC Store update for May 15th

We have to say, we expected there to be more than a week between Sony announcing full PSP games being made available on the PSN/PC Store and it actually happening. We are, however, pleasantly surprised. Not only that, but there's another PS1 game available today -- specially for all you RTS fans out there. Here's the list:
  • WipEout Pure full PSP game (£14.99/€19.99) (Review)
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert PS1 game for PS3/PSP (£3.49/€4.99)
The PlayStation Store certainly becomes a much more interesting place once there's stuff to buy. Don't you agree?

Canada to get new prices on the PS Store

This Thursday update will surprise our Canadian friends. SCEA has announced that it will adjust prices on content available on the PLAYSTATION Store for Canadian customers. According to the press release, "the adjustment comes as a result of the strengthening Canadian currency and SCEA's ability to localize pricing within the PLAYSTATION Store." The prices will be adjusted during a window of time prior to Thursday's content update. As a result, we recommend all our Canadian readers to wait until tomorrow's content has gone live before purchasing anything this week. You'll most likely save a few bucks.

"We are continually looking for ways to enhance the player experience on the PLAYSTATION®Network, and downloadable content through the PLAYSTATION Store is just one of our areas of focus," said Grace Chen, Senior Manager for the PLAYSTATION Store. "We anticipate that this price adjustment will meet the expectations of our Canadian consumers and provide them with a better PLAYSTATION Network experience."

[Photo credit: Amy Talk]

American PC Store update for April 24th

Check out this list of content. This is definitely the largest PC Store update so far and for that we should be thankful. Three full games and a demo, not to mention a decent pack of trailers. We hope to see many more updates like this in the future. Here's the full release list:

Playable content
  • Loco Roco full game ($21.99)
  • Kingdom of Paradise full game ($10.99)
  • R-Types PS1 game ($5.99)
  • echochrome demo (free)
Themes and Wallpapers
  • Two Loco Roco wallpapers (free)
  • Five Kingdom of Paradise wallpapers (free)
  • Loco Roco nightmare track (audio file, free)

Three more PS1 games on Japanese PSN

Three more PS1 titles grace the Japanese PlayStation Store. It seems they're back on track with the PS1 updates after taking a two-week hiatus for the store redesign. The three games are: Athena no Kateiban: Family Game, a board game; Magical Drop F, a puzzle game; and lastly, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, an action platformer developed by Insomniac Games.

While the Japanese get back to building their downloadable PS1 catalog, what can we expect out of North America's PS1 offerings? Well, a store redesign not only means a graphical face lift; it could also symbolize a new direction with new content. With that in mind, let's hope the direction we're heading to means more PS1 games finding a place on the North American PlayStation Store, and a home on our PSPs.

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