updated 04:45 pm EST, Wed December 5, 2007
Sony Direct PSP Store Hint
Sony is genuinely considering an online store that would let users download games directly to writable storage on the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Network's operations director Eric Lempel has hinted to MTV. Where current owners of the handheld game system have to receive content after first buying it through a PC or the PlayStation 3, the electronics maker is 'definitely thinking about' establishing a service which would use the Wi-Fi onboard the PSP to buy and download games from the device itself. Time has been the chief obstacle to establishing the heavily requested feature, according to Sony.
"We figured we could wait and take longer to develop [an online store] just for the PSP, but we wanted to get this out sooner rather than later," Lempel says. "And also if you look at other space of portable devices, if you look at something like an iTunes, it's kind of the same thing."
While likely given the existence of ports of games using the PSP's UMD optical discs into download formats, such as Wipeout Pure, any service in the works is not expected to release online versions at the same time as physical versions to avoid hurting sales at retail stores that still depend heavily on the UMD sales traffic. These versions will also require that users buy large-capacity Memory Stick flash cards to hold one or more games at a time.
No timeframe has been given for the earliest possible appearance of a direct PSP online store.