Sony to charge for PSP downloads in 2006?

SCEE's Phil Harrison says the portable will see "premium content next year."

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Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference Europe, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe vice president Phil Harrison largely dispelled fears that the PlayStation 3 would come in multiple SKU models. Though he didn't entirely rule out the possibility, he said it would be "confusing" for the consumer and pooh-poohed the Xbox 360 two-tiered sales strategy.

But not all of Harrison's words were as comforting. In fact, many gamers were made downright nervous by the executive's comments on his company's portable, the PSP. He revealed that, having used the free downloads of Wipeout Pure as a test case, Sony would be moving to a pay-per-download model for extra content next year. "It's an experiment which has turned out to be a good experiment," he told UK-based Edge magazine.

Edge also quotes Harrison as saying that Sony is in the process of setting up a digital rights management system for PSP content. Like iTunes, this system will allow gamers to pay for content once and download it multiple times. While Harrison didn't identify what kind of content would be available for download, it would presumably be similar to the Wipeout Pure content, which included new vehicles, levels, and menu skins.

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