There’s a strong rumor this morning that Sony’s busy prepping a discrete part of the PlayStation Store for new games and apps that’ll be directed at the PSP and PSP Go. Sounds like Sony’s also jumping on the App Store bandwagon.
The rumor started over at Develop, which claims to have the inside track on Sony’s plans. The company is “aggressively courting” developers for the scheme, and the plan is to develop digital-download games and applications specifically for the PlayStation portable. Not only that, but to make sure it all happens swiftly and easily Sony’s taken a hatchet to its developer program and chopped off unnecessary blockages to development. So the program is now cheaper, there’s no need to apply for concept approval and the quality assurance system has been speeded up.
In other words Sony’s trying to get lots of content available really quickly, and the cheaper dev kits should encourage cheaper more casual game and app development. In short Sony’s chasing after a similar audience that Palm is with its app store, RIM is with its, Google is with the Android app market, Microsoft with the upcoming marketplace and even Verizon is with its smartphone app store. Sony, of course, is likely to lay more emphasis on gaming than all of these others in order to appeal to the younger audience that the PSP enjoys versus expensive full-featured smartphones. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see things like social networking and health, study-guides, e-books and so on popping up too. Assuming Sony can actually attract hordes of developers, that is.
Though perhaps we should have expected something like this, after the all-digital download PSP Go surfaced, who would’ve thought that the iPhone iTunes App Store would have such an extensive halo effect?