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More PSP "exclusive titles" remain unannounced

E3 is right around the corner, and Sony's getting the PSP ready for the big show. In a great interview with GameDaily, John Koller, senior marketing manager for PSP, had a couple of key things to say. Of particular note is his response to what he thinks the key titles of PSP later this year:

"There are a number of exclusive titles coming from a third-party perspective, but without getting into all of those since many are unannounced, I think the three big games for PSP are Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (again, a fantastic game), SOCOM: Tactical Strike (a huge franchise for us on the first-party side) and then God of War."

We're excited as-is by the upcoming PSP library, but to think that even more exclusives are coming is tantalizing. We were surprised by Star Wars Battlefront becoming a PSP-exclusive ... could any more big hitters be coming our way? Read the full interview at GameDaily for more info on the PSP/DS war, UMD sales, and more on why this is the "year of the PSP."

Analyst: lower price, younger demographic

Analysts get paid a lot of money to come up with stuff. While most of the info they spew out is incorrect, it's still fascinating to see the kooky predictions that they come up with. GameDaily BIZ reports that Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian believes that Sony will be targeting younger players in future PSP campaigns: "Sony could be preparing to bolster the PSP handheld market with a shift in marketing towards a younger demographic, possibly including a hardware price cut later this year."

A lower price combined with some more kid-friendly software a la LocoRoco may help the PSP compete directly against its biggest competitor: the DS. Certainly, Nintendo has reaped the benefits of going for the younger gamer: will Sony be able to strike gold as well?

God of War II's director says PSP version "definitely a possibility"

Cory Barlog, director of the upcoming God of War II recently spoke with GameDaily BIZ, waxing on about the future of the franchise. When asked if the franchise would ever jump ship to the PSP he had a few interesting things to say: "That would be awesome. I mean, I've been a big proponent of that concept for quite a while. I want it on every possible system you could put it on. I think it's definitely a possibility. It's not something we haven't discussed but it's not something we're actively discussing right now."

But does this mean that the Ready at Dawn slip-up was just a mistake? It sounds like Barlog is denying that God of War is currently in development for the our system. We keep on hearing conflicting reports of GoW on the PSP, but hopefully, we'll see what's going on with this hotly anticipated title at next week's GDC.

Developers have to "wise up" and avoid 3D

Chris Buffa from GameDaily XL has a truly opinionated piece on the PSP. He blames developers that "shoehorn games onto this sucker that don't belong." Examples include Brothers in Arms: D-Day. No... he meant all FPS games on the handheld. Heck, he somewhat insinuates that all 3D games are flawed on Sony's portable:

"Most 3D games play like garbage on Nintendo's hand held. At the same time, most of its games work because developers play to all of the system's strengths, rather than ignore its weaknesses. Konami, for example, would probably attempt a 3D Castlevania on the PSP as opposed to a 2D one, simply because of the system as well as Sony's love for all things 3D. Same with Metal Gear. Portable Ops has control issues. Why not create a 2D game, or a top down game, ala the Game Boy Color Metal Gear? Go retro. People would still purchase it."

But wouldn't taking advantage of the PSP's strength involve taking advantage of 3D gaming? Certainly, the PSP is a far more powerful machine than the DS. Games like Daxter prove that the PSP can work quite well in the 3D environment. Games like Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins showcase how 3D graphics can make 2D games look especially beautiful. Maybe if developers focused on more refined controls, and shorter load times, the complaints of so many would dissipate rather quickly.

GameDaily grades the consoles, PSP gets a B

AOL-owned GameDaily recently gave grades to all of the consoles. They gave the PSP a very respectable "B." Here are some excerpts of their review:
Though overshadowed by the Nintendo DS, the PSP still holds its own with a more mature game lineup, plus music playback, Web browsing and media storage... The UMD movie market may be slowly dying, but the game supply is holding steady. Younger gamers will like Daxter and Loco Roco; the nostalgia gamers can relive the past with Ultimate Ghosts n' Goblins and Capcom Classics Collection; and mainstream players can pick up Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Madden NFL '07."
The system is praised for its more mature game variety. They recommend that a price drop would do a lot to help the PSP, and it would make the system "an easy choice for those who aren't into Nintendo's style." Nintendo's style, of course, net the Nintendo DS an "A" because of its position as a "gotta-have gadget."

[Via Cold Pixel]

Don't worry: you don't need a PS3 to download PSone games

Sony's Gamer's Day revealed some interesting info about the exciting PSP-PS3 connectivity. But, we were left pondering whether or not we'd need a PS3 to download PSone games to our handhelds. It would be a little silly if Sony tried to force us to buy a $500+ piece of hardware simply to download games, and thankfully, Sony hasn't gone completely mad as we've feared. GameDaily interviewed everyone's pal, Peter Dille, and he confirmed that you do not need a PS3 in order to download PSone games to your PSP:

BIZ: I know you guys have previously talked about a PSP emulation service where PS1 titles would be downloaded directly to the PSP (for example, if someone didn't own a PS3). This new PS3 download service of PS1 titles, which involves transferring to the PSP, is not going to replace the previous PSP emulation plan is it?

PD: You are correct. We'll still have that. We have the PSP downloads site now, and you're right; these PS1 games will be available either from the PSP downloads site directly, so you don't need a PS3 to get them or if you do happen to be one of the lucky guys that gets a PS3, you can download the games to your PS3 hard drive and then slide it over to your PSP. Both services will be up and running.

Whew! That's good to hear. I'm going to pick up a PLAYSTATION 3 one of these days, but I'm sure many of you are very relieved to hear this confirmation.

[Via Gamespot]

GameDaily's steps to revitalizing the PSP

Sony's in need of some PR recovery for its multimedia gaming handheld. GameDaily listed a few suggestions, many of which should lead to the PSP's success:

1. Drop the UMD movies already. Yes, I completely agree. But considering the lack of UMDs on the release schedules, I think Sony's unofficially officially given up. What we DO need is Sony's Connect to materialize some time soon. Apple now distributes movies for the iPod; I want Sony to distribute movies for the PSP's beautiful widescreen display. Now. And for cheap.

2. Lower the system price. We've heard tons of rumors of a price drop. I don't think it'll happen: what's more likely is Sony continuing to "update" its Value/Core/Giga packs. Not that the latest one was any good.

3. Fix the D-pad. I completely agree. There's something wrong when pre-order bonuses involve giving away free replacements for the D-Pad.

4. Get more exclusive games. I don't really agree with this point. While the system has been struggling early on, there's a lot to look forward to, as evidenced by Tokyo Game Show.

Continue reading GameDaily's steps to revitalizing the PSP

Jack Tretton reveals bullish numbers for Sony

An interview with GameDaily BIZ reveals optimism for SCEA Executive VP Jack Tretton. While many find it easy to criticize Sony's moves as of late, there's no denying that press attitudes and reality may differ greatly. For example, according internal sell-through data, the PSP is a much faster success than the original PS1: 18 months after launch of each system, the PSP sold 5.30 million units in America compared to the PS1's 3.48 million.

"We really feel we carved out new territory [with the PS1] and then we built upon that with the PS2. The parallel that we draw to the PSP is that it is exactly the same to portable gaming to what the PlayStation was to console gaming, that we are carving this new road out and we are selling again to 20-something consumers that were not fans of portable entertainment, were not playing Game Boys because the technology and the software offerings just weren't appealing to them... And now because of the technology in PSP and the game offerings it appeals to them and that same consumer we carved out with the PlayStation is now being carved out with the PSP at an even much greater rate than we did with the original PlayStation"

The executive rightly questions whether or not Nintendo is truly "expanding" the market. He suggests that most DS owners have owned a Game Boy Advance in the past. The PSP can appeal to a wider demographic, considering how gamers are getting older and demand more mature games and multimedia functions out of their handhelds. He questions that older gamers would want Brain Age over a PSP: "I would tell you for a fact that there are much more people in their 50s and 60s playing PlayStation platforms in terms of console, than there are playing Nintendo platforms."

[Via Joystiq]

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