updated 04:15 pm EDT, Thu June 25, 2009
Sony PSP Non Game Tease
Sony spokesman Al De Leon today teased that Sony is considering downloads of non-game software for the PSP. In an early demo of the upcoming PSP Go, De Leon told Crave that most of the downloads from the soon to be expanded PlayStation Network store will be games but that there's a chance "non-gaming applications" will be available. What these would entail isn't mentioned, but Sony already incorporates utilities such as Skype in PSP firmware.
A recent rumor floated by Destructoid, however, hints that Sony plans to partially emulate the iPhone's App Store and will turn PSN into a generalized but controlled store. Small developers will reportedly have the option of developing games and utilities that don't have to go through the licensing required for retail but will have to limit these to 100MB and at reduced prices. A tiering structure like Apple's would exist and keep prices for paid apps between $2 and $6; free apps would also be available.
If authentic, the plans would have Sony announce its plans at Germany's gamescom in August and make apps available in the fall, roughly in time for the PSP Go's October launch. Sony has already said it plans to have all retail PSP games from then onwards also sell online and will port its video store to the handheld at the same time.
The PSP is quickly being positioned as an alternative to the iPod touch and will be the only real alternative to the Apple player that has downloadable apps, games and media that don't require at least some form of removable storage. Nintendo's DSiWare store has downloadable software but has limited storage and is technically incapable of supporting retail-quality titles.