Sony’s PSP Engine Middleware Enables PSP to PS3 Ports

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The PlayStation Portable has good games. However, many of those games rely on dual analog mechanics on a system which does not have a second analog controller. That’s one reason why I haven’t gotten around to playing Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

More PlayStation Portable games deserve attention and thankfully Sony is helping with the PSP Engine. Apparently this middleware engine will enable the following features with relative ease:

  • High res rendering
  • Control (with Dual Analogue support) through wireless controllers (Dualshock 3/Sixaxis)
  • 3D stereoscopic output
  • Ad-hoc Party unification
  • Main memory and graphic memory expansion
  • Common save data

Expect more ports in the future under the “PSP Masters” initiative.

I welcome these ports. If it means more people get to enjoy Valkyria Chronicles II & III, then I’m all for it. Don’t disappoint me, Sega.

PSN Welcome Back Program Freebies Detailed

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With the PlayStation Network back online, Sony began unveiling details on their “Welcome Back” program.

Shortly after the PlayStation Store’s restoration, a handle of first party titles will be available for 30 days. Each PSN account will be able to select two PS3 and two PSP titles from the following selection:

PlayStation 3

  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

PlayStation Portable

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

Every member will also get 30 days of PlayStation Plus membership while existing PS+ members will get an additional 60 days.

100 virtual items will also be made free for PlayStation Home fans.

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FYI: PlayStation Suite, PSP2/NGP & More

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PlayStation Suite unveiled; brings PlayStation titles to Android platform (via Engadget)

  • A hardware neutral development platform
  • PlayStation Store launching on Android
  • Emulated PSOne games coming first
  • PlayStation Certified program will ensure some level of quality for original Android developed games sold via the PS Store
  • PlayStation Suite requires Android 2.3 or higher
  • Xperia and Next Generation Portable are both PlayStation Suite compatible
  • Physical controls are not required; can use on-screen controls

Next Generation Portable (NGP) announced (via PS.Blog)

  • Check all the specifications and planned titles in the link. I’ll only be mentioning additional info.
  • No launch date yet
  • No launch price yet, but Sony is going to be selling at a loss (via Eurogamer)
  • No removable battery (back touch pad is the reason) (via GamePro)
  • No UMD drive; games delivered digitally or via flash carts (via GamePro)
  • Will be available in two models: 3G+Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only (via Eurogamer)
  • Excellent hardware analysis by Digital Foundry

Release dates

  • SOCOM 4 debuting April 19th exclusively for PlayStation 3
  • Brink debuting May 17th for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • Hunted: The Demon’s Forge debuting June 1st for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • RAGE debuting September 13th, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

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What I Want From The PlayStation Phone

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If you haven’t read up on it yet, here’s the Engadget article.

Apparently, this PlayStation Phone will sport the following:

  • Will be powered by Android 3.0
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8655
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 1 GB ROM
  • A touch screen in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches
  • MicroSD slot
  • L/R shoulder buttons and long touch pad in the middle

I’m not too familiar with smartphone processors, but according to this Wikipedia article, this phone will be okay on the processing power front. What I’m very hopeful for are the controls. It’s the best of both worlds: touch screen for light gaming and productivity while a slide out control pad for more serious games.

Engadget is saying that this PlayStation Phone is going to feature a “custom Sony Marketplace which will allow you to purchase and download games designed for the new platform”. I hope that’s not true.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to create another platform for developers to get into. I want to see this PlayStation Phone positioned as an extension of the PlayStation Portable brand. It should be able to play some PlayStation Portable games, PlayStation 1 games and even those PSP Minis that no one is talking about. On the flip side, it will also have access to the Android marketplace.

I also have strong doubts about this phone being the PlayStation Portable 2. Maybe an extension of that platform, but it’s not going to be the sole handheld simply because no parent is going to fork out $400+ on a handheld console.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to finding out more info on this PlayStation Phone.

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