Five PSP games playable online at launch

SCEA confirms MLB, NBA, Gretzky NHL, ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, and Twisted Metal: Head-On will all be playable over the Internet in "infrastructure" mode.

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has confirmed to GameSpot that five of its forthcoming PSP titles will be playable online when the handheld launches on March 24.

Representatives from Sony's US game division said three titles from its 989 Sports studio--MLB, NBA, and Gretzky NHL--and two from SCEA itself--ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails and Twisted Metal: Head-On--will be playable wireless via the unit's built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi connectivity.

All five games will feature wireless multiplayer play in both a standard "ad hoc" and an online-enabled "infrastructure" mode. In ad hoc mode, PSP owners will simply stand by fellow wielders of Sony's handheld to connect with each other. However, the big surprise is the infastructure mode, which allows players to challenge opponents over the Internet via a wireless hotspot. All games will allow the same number of players in both modes: two for the three 989 Sports games, four for ATV Offroad Fury, and six for Twisted Metal.

Sony's revelation regarding the Infrastructure mode means the PSP will be the first platform--either console or handheld--to have games playable online at launch. Neither Xbox Live nor the PlayStation 2 network adapter launched until nearly a year after their respective platforms debuted, and the GameCube has entirely shunned online play save for two Phantasy Star Online titles. While it has similar wireless capabilities as the PSP, the DS currently has no games playable online, although Nintendo has implied it may in the future.

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