Japanese PSPs getting online store, PS3-based ad hoc play

Sony uses Tokyo press conference to unveil PS3-/PC-free Web-based content market, PlayStation Network-enabled portable play mode; now more than 10 million units sold in Japan alone.

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TOKYO--With PlayStation Portable sales booming in Japan, it's not surprising that Sony Computer Entertainment is strengthening its online support of the handheld. Today in Tokyo, the company held a press conference to announce its year-end plans for the PSP.

At the conference, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan president Shawn Layden began by noting that the PSP-3000's release date in Japan will be October 16, two days after the North American launch. The handheld will retail for ¥19,800 ($182), the same price as the current PSP-2000 model. The redesigned handheld, the second in as many years, will also be available as part of a ¥24,800 ($228) value pack, which includes a 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, carrying pouch, strap, and wiping cloth. The color variations available in Japan will the same as in other countries: Piano Black, Pearl White, and Mystic Silver.

After the hardware talk, Sony revealed that Japanese gamers will be able to access the PlayStation Store directly with their PSPs. Starting this fall, PSP owners will be able to download demos or to buy PlayStation Archive games without having to connect through a PlayStation 3 or PC, which is currently necessary in North America and Europe. The first game announced for the service is a PSP version of the Japan-only online game Mainichi Issho, which translates roughly as "Everyday Together." Sony did not reveal when the functionality would be available outside of Japan.

Sony also announced a new online functionality that will let PSP owners engage in ad hoc play over PlayStation Network-connected PlayStation 3s. Matchmaking, friends lists, text chat, and voice chat are among the planned features, and the service will be available via download this fall. All three PSP models (PSP-1000, PSP-2000, PSP-3000) will be able to use this service, and Capcom's Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G will be one of the first games to take advantage of the new connectivity.

The conference also saw a number of upcoming PSP games dated for Japan. Patapon 2 will arrive on November 27 for ¥4,980 ($46) at retail and via a slightly cheaper ¥3,980 ($37) downloadable version. The game will also be offered as part of a hardware bundle for ¥23,800 ($219). Meanwhile, Namco Bandai's Kidou Senshi Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam will ship on November 20 for ¥5,040 ($46) solo or as part of a ¥24,840 ($228) PSP bundle. Lastly, Square Enix's Final Fantasy: Dissidia will arrive on December 18 for ¥6,090 ($56) a la carte or inside a ¥25,890 ($238) PSP-3000 package.

Sony also used the conference to talk up the PSP's dramatically rising sales in Japan. According to Layden, the handheld was the top gaming machine in Japan from January to August, having sold 2.47 million units--a 189 percent rise over the same period last year. Sales for the April to August period were particularly good due to the popularity of Capcom's hit game Monster Hunter Portable 2G. The handheld sold 1.43 million units in the four-month period, a 227 percent boost over last year. Layden also mentioned that the PSP's sell-in and sell-through figures have both surpassed the 10 million mark in Japan.

Software sales have also been good for the PSP, with 6.66 million games sold from January to August, up 171 percent from 2007. Of those, 4.19 million were sold after April, a 242 percent increase over 2007. The biggest contributor was Monster Hunter Portable 2G, which was released in March and quickly became the first PSP game ever to sell more than 2 million copies in Japan. As of August, Monster Hunter Portable 2G has sold a total of 2.4 million copies. Layden commented that the PSP is in a good "positive spiral" condition, meaning that the hardware and software sales are enjoying abundant synergy.

Sony also took the opportunity to offer some insights on how consumers in Japan are using their PSPs outside of gaming. According to research figures, only 16 percent of PSP owners use their machine to just play games. Some 69 percent of users said that they use their PSPs for listening to music. Watching videos came in second place at 58 percent, followed by photo viewing (46 percent), and surfing the web (39 percent). About 25 percent of PSP owners said that they use their handheld for watching TV, given that a PSP digital TV-tuner peripheral is available in Japan.

Discussion

87 comments
gmoya909
gmoya909

i have already been there ^^ and i love it so far!! any one play dissidia on ad hoc party let me know at gmoya90@hotmail.com i fight u any day ^^

Darkensei
Darkensei

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Damn, that sounds bangin'! I wonder if it's gonna be done by a firmware up date or something or if you have to go onto the Sony JPN site download something else. Oh boy, time to fire up the 'ol import (PSP) and see if I get lucky. ;)

Doolum
Doolum

i wish it too Capcom would bring MHF2ndG States side.

Bboyjhin
Bboyjhin

will they release monster hunter 2 g over here in the USA because if they do i will get it

onlinedevil13
onlinedevil13

y cant i live in japan? D: i want all this stuff... T.T

calvinx6
calvinx6

The only upcoming good third party games on the psp is from Square Enix that a shame.

randomkilla85
randomkilla85

Hahahahaha! Beat that Microsoft! Lets see if ure still gonna sell more consoles this year with ure price drops

marvelx3
marvelx3

why are they naming it the 3000.as far as i know.. no major upgrade has been done to this little bugger.

abdullrahman
abdullrahman

well it looks n!ce but is there gona be a store in the EU or NA

ctg867
ctg867

The PS Store through Wi-Fi isn't an issue for me since I don't have Wi-Fi, but the new Infrastructure through PS3 thing is friggin awesome. This would mean I'd be able to play my PSP games online now. If they up the feature set, add support for Bluetooth headsets through the PS3, and give the PS Store access through this service as well, Sony will have added a huge component to the PSP. Way to go Sony, this is just kick ass news. Aside from this, I expect we'll see Patapon 2 in Q1 09 since it's coming out in late November in Japan, which is awesome. I'm curious to see if it will also be available as a PSN game stateside. I really do think that all PSP games should be available through the PS Store day and date as they are on retail. It would really increase worldwide PSP software sales and revenue for Sony. As a side note, we should really get a white PSP-3000 in the US that comes with one of the soft case and lanyard for around the price of a normal PSP. With the upgraded screen, built in mic, removal of the finger printy glossy finish on the white and silver models, and the minor but cool looking external additions (buttons, edges, PSP ring, etc), I'd definitely pick that up, even though I have a black PSP-2000. Also, I really want to see an analog/digital TV tuner here in the states. That would really be a cool addition to the PSP. I would easily drop $40 on that. Please Sony, make it happen! Lol.

PolskaKing
PolskaKing

That is very nice!YAHH! but this should be in EU and NA

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

It's about time they considered linking directly to PS Store from the PSP... hopefully this feature makes it into an NA and Euro firmware update.

djt567
djt567

who cares bout japan

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

I'll stick with my first-generation PSP. I don't see too many differences between the original model and the new one to make another purchase worthwhile. I guess that I would be one of the 16% of gamers (in Japan) that only uses the PSP to play games. The internet interface is just to cumbersome to navigate for me, and I really don't play online games.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

"Sony also announced a new online functionality that will let PSP owners engage in ad hoc play over PlayStation Network-connected PlayStation 3s" What does that mean?

galduke
galduke

If MFP 2nd G can move a dying system like that, imagine how big Monster Hunter 3 will be when it hits the Wii. Poor PS3 will miss out on a PSP like revival though...

vidplayer8
vidplayer8

Uh, how awesome is that. Can't wait till it comes to the states, would force me to get a PSP.

blackace
blackace

Uuumm.. when are these bundles coming to the U.S. I want the FF: Dissidia bundle. Hehehe!! I already own a PSP, but is it wrong to want a newer model?

FFadikt
FFadikt

I hope it comes out in the U.S.!

legend133
legend133

how is it that monster hunter has such bad reviews here in the states yet it sell over 2 million in japan???? i personally don't know if the game is good or not i haven't played it.

Saprissa9
Saprissa9

yeah im not gonna get desperate over that. it should arrive soon here in the U.S.

buzzguy
buzzguy

Man, I love my PSP! Which it was as popular here in North America as wayyy over there in the far east!

Rizhall456
Rizhall456

hmm... i got my psp in japan, even though I'm in America now. Will I be able to connect with my psp? o.O

ratboys
ratboys

@necronaux- I think that you can't read now can you? I'm going to quote so you can get it, "The redesigned handheld, the second in as many years, will also be available as part of a ¥24,800 ($228) value pack, which includes a (lets emphasize a bit here) 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, carrying pouch, strap, and a wiping cloth." Yup, I think that a 4GB Memory Stick is worth the extra 30 bucks.

necronaux
necronaux

OOoooo... the new "value pack" contains a strap AND a wiping cloth. Thats definetely worth the extra 30 bucks.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

lol that is the one of the worst titles I have ever heard for a game. It repeats one word 3 times in the title. @gundam:gundam vs gundam

Hekynn
Hekynn

They better bring the PS store to the US on our PSP's as well :D

big-boss-91
big-boss-91

Hvac0120 who cares about US... it better come to UK!!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Kidou Senshi Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam -- most inventive video game title EVER!!! LOL I hope the PSP, PS Store comes to the US too! There is some great potential in the online space. I hope that this takes off in Japan. I really want to see Sony and other developers tap into the PSP's power and work on some instanced MMO's.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

?? - something is wrong with comments. My comment didn't post all the way, now the editing is not working???

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Kidou Senshi Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam

darkfox101
darkfox101

I'm living in japan right now.. maybe I could take advantage of something here

acsam12304
acsam12304

look this is so grate news BUT for the people in jappan right now. to use the PSN with your PSP you need a 3000 PSP. but if you live in the US you are getting notthing really as of right now. if you live in Japan you are getting a good bang for you buck. you know i agree the PSP does nto have many good games. most of the reason is we live in the US. if you take a look on the PSP games for Japan they have a good number of good titles to keep you busy on the go. Sony should talk to those companys and tell them to sell those games over here and other parts of the world. AND then they might have a chance to fight with the DS and have even more good sales.

football_legend
football_legend

This should arrive in North America and Europe soon after Japan.

cube-gage
cube-gage

there just trying to kill psp piracy with this release.

twistedmalice
twistedmalice

That is great it sells in Japan but there are other markets were they could use the increase. I like what they are trying to do hopefully it will help move some PS3 units also since you need it to be a server. The online store is a great idea too.

atomD21
atomD21

Sony could see similar sales boosts everywhere if they would do some of this stuff in Europe and the US too. I got my PSP because a friend of mine gave it to me. He probably would have kept it if he had some more compelling reasons to (glad he didn't though...).

D-Camo
D-Camo

Guess its gonna help since I live in Asia, and we receive consoles and video games stocks from Japan.

blueblur87
blueblur87

this is awesome. i might get monster hunter 2G since it will be able to use my ps3 as a server for online battles. would be better if the game didn't need a ps3 for online though. I really want a proper monster hunter on ps3, monster hunter 3, thats one of my most anticipated games for this generation.

dth_dlr
dth_dlr

good news, should help boost PSP's sales

pvt_richard
pvt_richard

Imagine that microsoft enters the world of Portable gaming devices like sony did .what will happen then?

raverrozza
raverrozza

gandalf storm I think he was just responding to andrew stibbons equally daft comment a couple of comments down the page.

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

people like the guy below "swatpup102" really need to get a life, a girlfriend etc. This is news article about the PSP getting an online store, not an opportunity to do some 360 or microsoft bashing, i must address the comment "bad online service", lmao, have you ever played on xbox live, I doubt you have to be honest, I would rather pay £4.99 for xbox live then have a limited free service. I enjoy the consoles from all companies and purchase or rent the games I feel like playing, I dont post pathetic / loser fanboy messages on a website. Back to the topic, I`m pleased for the PSP but Ive seen the future release list for games and its not great to be honest, the only one Im definitely getting is pipemania this month, unless it slips again, software support does seem to have flopped recently, this is shame because the PSP is a great multimedia handheld.

swatpup102
swatpup102

Now all we need is to see Microsoft shut down their game unit because the 360 is not fun to use anymore. same games as ps3, lower graphics, and bad online service. Bye Bye MS

samedizombie
samedizombie

Great to see the PSP is living up to it's potential. I have the first version and may upgrade when the 3000 is released.