PSP Go to support non-gaming apps

Sony confirms handheld's 80% dev kit price reduction is to broaden scope of programs for upcoming smaller, lighter, UMD-less gaming device.

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While a litany of leaks may have diminished the impact of the PSP Go's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 debut, they had no bearing on the potential of Sony's new UMD-less media device. Taking on proportions more in line with a mobile phone, the PSP Go is 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than the current PSP-3000, and it packs a sliding screen, 16GB of flash memory, and integrated Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth and Memory Stick Micro support.

The PSP Go can double as a clock.
The PSP Go can double as a clock.

Sony said during its E3 press conference that it had reduced the price of PSP development kits by 80 percent. In explaining the functionality of the PSP Go to GameSpot sister site CNET, Sony public relations manager Al De Leon confirmed that one reason for making such a dramatic cut to the price of dev kits was to entice developers who aren't necessarily interested in making games.

"One thing we did announce at E3 was a significant reduction in the price of development tools for the PSP," he said. "The goal with that is to enable all sorts of developers to be able to develop content for the PSP. It will mostly be games, but there's certainly an opportunity to look at some non-gaming applications." De Leon's comments came as he was holding a PSP Go with a clock face prominently displayed on the device's screen.

Sony's move into the application space puts it in line with other mobile devices, such as Apple's ubiquitous iPhone. According to marketing analytics site Mob Clix, the iPhone's App Store currently offers more than 50,000 applications, 12,000 of which fall into the gaming category.

The PSP Go will launch in North America on October 1 for $249.99. For more on the device, check out GameSpot's hands-on from this year's E3.

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