PSP game rentals planned, music downloads under consideration - Reports

As alleged customer-survey scans surface, <i>Develop</i> magazine reports game designers were briefed on service; CNET claims record-label talks could yield iTunes competitor.

Last month, Sony Computer Entertainment America director of hardware marketing John Koller told GameSpot to expect "a lot of announcements coming up to E3 and particularly at E3." In particular, he was referring to the PSP, which was the subject of three reports today indicating that big things are in store for the handheld.

Game rentals and music downloads on the way?

Last night, gaming blog Joystiq received a screenshot of what was purportedly a Web survey about a game-rental download service for the PSP. The text on the shot says "the service will enable you to download a fixed number of games during your subscription period...[which] might renew weekly, monthly, or for some other time period." Sony already offers games for sale via digital download, including the download-only Patapon 2.

The survey goes on to ask basic market-research questions about pricing, subscription periods, maximum monthly rentals, and what number of new games respondents would want to see added each month. The survey also asked if the "recency" of the games on offer would be a factor and how strongly respondents would want games on the release date itself.

Interestingly, the supposed survey also promises that "at launch, there will be an extensive catalogue [note European spelling] of games to choose from." Such a scenario is reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 video store, which had movies and TV shows from Lionsgate, Warner, Disney, Paramount, Turner Entertainment, MGM, and (of course) Sony Pictures Entertainment on day one. That service was unveiled via a surprise announcement during Sony's 2008 E3 press event.

With Sony saying that the PSP's UMD optical-disc format "isn't going away," any digitally distributed PSP game rental service would presumably complement physical game rentals. That service appears to be well under way, according to a Develop report today. Citing unnamed sources, the European game-industry magazine said it "can confirm" that back in March, Game Developers Conference attendees were "briefed" on the service behind closed doors.

The third PSP report of the day came from CNET's news blog, which reported that Sony has been meeting with record labels about an iTunes-like music download service for the PlayStation Newtork in general and PSPs in particular. However, "the sources said the talks are only preliminary and no deals have been struck."

When asked for comment on all three reports, Sony reps said, "These are all rumor and speculations, which we cannot comment on."

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Discussion

56 comments
GOAT_DUDE
GOAT_DUDE

I think sony should make a sony store where they sell movies and music and have the ps store in it.

brain3d
brain3d

I don't really give a crap about Psp rentals, but where the hell is my Final fantasy VII remake? Answer me THAT sony!

nate1222
nate1222

@ston3henge Ditto. "Renting" on a gaming device? They should be more concerned with putting MORE of their PS1's library up for download. I recently parted with my PSP. Good riddence, too. My DS has yet to betray me. And yes, I plan to upgrade to the DSi simply for its downloadables. I see plenty of Nintendo's classics on the horizon. Much like what I like the Wii for.

ston3henge
ston3henge

Game rentals... please. Whatta rip. The way this is shaping up is like iTunes "rentals" - The minute it hits your PSP you'll have a count-down to losing (the copy of) the game. I don't know about the rest of you, but that's just not cool with me. I change around on my titles a lot, and this just doesn't seem economically viable to a slow-paced gamer like me (still playing "Field Commander", for cryin' out-loud). I would rather have more QUALITY PS1 titles in the NA PSN (and by the way Sony, "Ford Racing" and the poorly-rated "Rainbow Six" - 3.7 out of 10 here on GS - aren't exactly the cream of the crop how about some REAL classics).

Head_Psychosis
Head_Psychosis

Just to back up fiskefryen, i've seen Patapon in Jb Hi-Fi for the price of $59.99 AU. It's the physical game, it is not DLC only, so... yeah i'm sorry to burst your bubble Gamespot, but you Fail!

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

music downloads? ok. game rentals? pfft no.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

@ tgr000: sorry tgr000 but "only" means "only", i'm sorry i've ruined your day.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

it seems like people here dont belive me. patapon 2 is on UMD and i'm sorry that you guys are ******. you can buy it from cdwow with free shipping if you like, and i dont see whats fake about it, it has everything the DLC version of the game has. but i didn't buy it from cdwow i found it in a gameshop called GAME (very orgial i know, its some swedish company i think), and they had it also... on UMD! so stop being noobs and failing at life! patapon 2 is NOT a DLC only!

mystic_knight
mystic_knight moderator

@Kleeyook i dont think i want to be spending hundreds of dollars just buying memory cards for installs. Maybe if Sony Adapt the DS idea and do a UMD Drive + a media drive for the newer concepts allowing for both current versions of games + whatever way the new format will be to play on it. Also i think sony can create a faster UMD loader if they want, I mean they are making 4K tv's as well as OLED Tv's, Im sure they can make a faster UMD drive.

Grymmbear
Grymmbear

I would much rather have more PS1 classics in the States (y'know, like Japan has a boatload of) than the ability to rent PSP games.

Ewangotkool
Ewangotkool

great, i can finally start useing my psp more.

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

I think that SONY should leave us alternative to install the game from UMD-disc into memory card to reduce download time.

Malhound
Malhound

Now that I had that PSP thingy, now I had music in it.

Blackmantra1243
Blackmantra1243

@ konradak why is it whenever news is released about a console is there always people talking about a different console

tgr000
tgr000

@SDSkarface and fiskefyren: Patapon 2 was released last in NA as a download-only game and all other regions sold it on UMD. Read a little.

thewhorock
thewhorock

@fiskefyren you have one because its fake?

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

If you press the arrow button on any games you have stored on your PSP and press "information" it has a bit that says "expires" and "hours left". They will obviously sell rentals as normal games but the "expires/hours left" part will actually say something and make the game unusable when it hits that point. I personally like the idea. A great way to try before you buy and withut the limitation of demos.

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

@fiskefyren High res screenshots of this "UMD" of Patapon 2 that you supposedly have or STFU with your BS.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

"download-only Patapon 2" how come i have patapon 2 on a UMD then? anyone?

necronaux
necronaux

Downloadable rentals? Sounds iffy. How long can you keep them? What titles? How much? If it's saved on a memory card, you remove it, will it expire somehow? Not holding my breath.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

my wife bought me the god of war limited edition psp for our anniversarry when it came out. I love the psp. Made me totally get rid of my crappy ds. This would be a great service. Now gamestop would be forced to stop selling psp games for 40 fricking dollars. Way to go Sony. Please come true...... crosses fingers and licks lips....

konradak
konradak

Sweet ,sounds like something of a good idea. MS? Anything to counter?

wateverboy
wateverboy

@okassar Super right, that would destroy gamestop/eb from selling us over price games that lasted only 2-4 days.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

psp dead? i dont think 50million units sold means its dead

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

that would be awesome!! hope it'll make more releases for psp,

VanGriffin
VanGriffin

Its all about pricing. The DL games that they do have on the PSstore are usually more expensive that buying the UMD are places such as amazon. (this doesn't include PS1 games, usually $6-10 USD a pop). A rental service will be welcome, a try before you buy; so i dont have to blow 30-40 on a pile of crap.

kemar7856
kemar7856

you stupid fanboys don't msg me i just told the truth

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

This would be great. Since the Xbox360 and PS3 released I've been hoping for a rental service for games. It would be nice to also see it on the PSP. I just need to get a bigger memory stick. I don't play my PSP much (v1.0) and I've only got 256MB of storage to work with. _

okassar
okassar

Dude,there should be electronic rentals on every system, that's a great idea.

AnelZukic
AnelZukic

PSP sold very good, even though it can go better, but games is what we, on the west are missing. Japan has a lot of games for PSP, but looks at US and Europa, we hardly get 33% of those games :(

beekayjay
beekayjay

PSP needs features like this. I've been putting off getting one cuz first and foremost I'm not totally into mobile gaming, especially at that price point. If there were more features to sweeten the deal, then maybe just maybe.

Pexalottle
Pexalottle

I still believe that PSPs are still popular. Every train I get on theres a few other people with their PSPs out, playing a game, watching a movie or listening to music.

ssk187
ssk187

Oh, I'm not a Sony Fanboy, I grew up on Nintendo and have leaned toward the 360 this generation.

ssk187
ssk187

Kemar you've got to be kidding me. The psp isn't dead. If sony introduces the service; game rentals and music downloads there front runners once again. The psp has been making news all year and has a good buzz around it. If this turns out to be true, and they unveil a new redesigned psp at E3 this is going to be a game changer. Not to mention that the psp is still selling well in America and very well in Japan.

kemar7856
kemar7856

this ins't gonna help sony psp is pretty much dead theirs heardly any development for it and the people who deny this are just sony fanboys who can't stfu.Sony just cut your losses make as much money as u can from it with price drops and start fresh with a new system.No one is gonna rent a game when they can just download it with custom firmwares no offense but this is the truth.The music idea is a bad idea also since itunes,zune etc holds most of the market share unless you share media with them I see this as a fail.

zintarr
zintarr

Why is Sony digging an even deeper hole for the grave of the PSP?

Kris024
Kris024

I don't understand the point of renting digital games at all.I would rather download digital games for keeps. The iTunes-like music downloads would be awesome though.

abu_eljod
abu_eljod

Good Sony,give us more stuff for the PSP so people have more reasons to buy one,but please don't let us down at E3 this year.

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

I still prefer the UMD's. With digital media, i feel like i own nothing.

meluvulongtime8
meluvulongtime8

Game rentals aren't something that I'll support. Hope there is no truth to it. How about just creating more quality games for the psp period.

zinoalex
zinoalex

Gamers don't need this.Gice us more UMD titles. that are worthwhile.Not $19.99 fluff that no one wants and only danages the once proud Sony image.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

I don't need PSP game rentals. Just release more UMD titles in downloadable format! Every time I buy a UMD based game I can't stop thinking about how much faster it would load or how much quieter the system would be if it was in digital format. And it would probably drain less battery life too. Sigh...

chappy_man
chappy_man

dude ipod killer? i doubt it at this point, unless they are cheaper and offer some serious improvements. Sounds like PSP2 time

robfield
robfield

Game rentals and music? How bout we get actual games first? 4 years and almost nothing in PS1 store.

enix165
enix165

Ummm...well, as much as I hate to say it, the iPod Touch looks a lot more appealing than it did before I read this...

coolkid93
coolkid93

This would be something good to put on the psp.

runstalker
runstalker

Certainly lends credibility to the rumors of a Q4 PSP ver.2 in 20/40/60 GB flavors, with the elimination of UMD drive and shift to pure digital. And if they intend for you to spend significant time browsing AppStore/iTunes-like scenarios, the rumored touch screen would make sense.

Francision69
Francision69

If they'd release a good rental service and find ways around the memory issues on memory sticks, then I'm sold on the idea.

Wings_008
Wings_008

as long as they keep the UMD alive am okay and the iTunes feature seams quite promising, but the PSP needs to play more video formats its annoying to convert them