PSP Minis Will Be Like iPhone Apps, Only Neutered

psp_go_handWhen I first heard that some of the first PSP Minis out the gate would be ported iPhone apps, I admittedly got a little bit excited imagining the competitive power of iPhone games on a platform with actual physical hardware controls. Turns out I should’ve reserved judgment.

First, as you may have seen, Minis will be limited to games only, so that’s a whole vast uncontested field left open for the iPod touch. That was bad enough, but now it looks like Minis will only be pale shadow versions of their former selves by the time they hit the PSP. For Minis, both wireless multiplayer and DLC or feature updating will be completely forbidden. Read More about PSP Minis Will Be Like iPhone Apps, Only Neutered

iPhone Apps Set to Appear as Downloadable PSP “Minis”

pspgoThose of us interested in the gaming community, as well as in all things Apple (s aapl), are probably aware that Sony (s sne) is set to introduce the PSPgo, a UMD-less follow-up to its PlayStation Portable handheld gaming device. The PSPgo will rely on downloadable, rather than disc or cartridge-based media, like a certain phone/media player from our beloved Apple. One might say they’re poised to compete with one another.

According to news released today, that assumption appears to be right on the money. Sony announced 15 launch titles for its PSP Mini line, with Minis being the equivalent of the iPhone’s apps. Minis will be available to all PSPs, not just the new PSPgo, but the downloadable titles are clearly designed to bolster sales of the new hardware. You’ll recognize at least a few of those titles, including Fieldrunners and Hero of Sparta, from the App Store. Read More about iPhone Apps Set to Appear as Downloadable PSP “Minis”

Xbox 360 Games on Demand Hobbled by Greed

While the big buzz about the recent Xbox software update centered around social TV, avatar marketplaces and Netflix, it was another feature that was perhaps the biggest news of all: Games on Demand. With the recent update, Xbox Live customers can now purchase and download the full versions of current generation game titles directly to their console.
Why was the Games on Demand feature from Xbox 360 such big news? Because while smaller casual games (and game demos of full titles) have been available for download through the Xbox Live Marketplace, the recent upgrade pushes the console world – or at least the Xbox 360 – fully into the world of digital game distribution.
Some – including yours truly – have long predicted full-game downloads, but now that they’re here, will consumers embrace them?

Nintendo and Sony “Freaking Out” Over Apple iPhone

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If you go and do something like found Electronic Arts (s erts), which then goes on to be one of the dominant forces in video games worldwide, people tend to take notice of things you say. Yesterday in an interview with Venture Beat’s Dean Takahashi, Trip Hawkins, EA founder and current Digital Chocolate executive, said that Nintendo and Sony (s sne) are probably “freaking out” over the rampant success of the iPhone as a gaming platform.

The threat of the iPhone to Sony and Nintendo, and their PSP and DS(i) respectively, is not the number or quality of games available for the platform, but rather the value proposition it represents from a business standpoint. According to Hawkins:

The iPhone is by far our most effective platform. We make as much money with these games on one device as we do putting a game on 100 different cell phone platforms. Between the iPod touch and the iPhone, I think the platform is freaking out Sony and Nintendo.

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Apple Job Posting Suggests iPod Touch to Gain Camera

ipodtouchcameraconceptThere’s been lots of talk recently about what the future might have in store for the new iPhone camera, with one report claiming that the orders have already been placed for 3.2-megapixel sensors for the device to be released in June. Today, AppleInsider pointed out a recent job listing that seems not only to confirm the rumors about the iPhone, but also sparks new ones about the possibility of the iPod touch getting a camera soon, too.
The job listing called for a “Camera Project Manager” whose responsibilities include driving “the design, development and integration of camera modules across iPhone and iPod,” the operative phrase there being “and iPod.” If it turns out to be true, the addition of a camera would allow future iPod touch users to use the many camera-dependent apps currently available for the iPhone, and would further narrow the gap between the two devices. Readers should note that the listing has been changed since, with iPod references removed. This could be the correction of an error, but more likely, Apple (s aapl) realized they were tipping their hand. Read More about Apple Job Posting Suggests iPod Touch to Gain Camera

Sony Set to Take On Growing Dominance of iPhone and iPod Touch

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Sony (s sne) is no doubt feeling the heat from Apple (s aapl), whose campaign to push the iPod touch (and the iPhone, though less directly) to the forefront of mobile gaming continues, with another recent advertisement using the “Funnest iPod Ever” tag line, and highlighting another selection of games available for the platform. They’ve also introduced a Games Showcase attached to the official iPod touch page of their web site. It looks like Sony may be taking Apple’s success seriously into consideration in designing their upcoming successor to the PlayStation Portable, their own mobile gaming device.

The biggest cue they’re rumored to be taking from Apple is a switch to exclusive digital distribution, instead of retaining support for disc-based media via their own proprietary UMD format. I am myself a PSP owner, and I admit that I find the discs both cumbersome and antiquated now that I’m used to just downloading, resetting, and playing on my iPhone and iPod touch. Read More about Sony Set to Take On Growing Dominance of iPhone and iPod Touch