Dave Perry, the respected creator of games like Earthworm Jim, recently went on record to SPOnG about what he'd like in a potential PSP redesign. He starts by describing the system as "a great little machine, but the price is a major barrier. The American public like $149 to $99 for handhelds." Lowering the price would be substantial in getting more PSPs out there. Mr. Perry has a lot of ideas, some great, and some not-so-much:
  • He proclaims Sony should "make the PSP with a clamshell design, to protect that lovely screen, and they should have made the screen at least DVD resolution." A screen that's 480p would certainly be far pricier to manufacture than Sony's current screen, no?
  • "I would also kill off the UMD disc, remove it entirely and shrink the device size." But that would get rid of compatibility with old PSP games. Maybe for PSP2?
  • Mr. Perry gets a boner for digital distribution, and for good reason: "Embracing digital distribution... would bring movies and games back to the PSP in a sensible way. Then I can buy movies or games for less (ZERO cost of goods), keeping the library safely stored on my PC, picking the ones I want to watch next, and all I have to do is sync. If they wanted to be forward thinking, they could offer modern features like game demos, trial music from new artists, item sales, vast customization of items, characters and in-game objects from databases too vast to store on the PSP." As seen by the popularity of downloadable demos, it's clear that PSP owners want to download games to boot from Memory Stick. The eventual popularity of PSone game downloads may lead Sony to start thinking about offering full PSP titles digitally, saving gamers from UMD costs, and UMD loading times.
  • Homebrew can actually help Sony, according to Mr. Perry: "Did user-created content hurt YouTube? Why not open the PSP? Welcome indie games, welcome development, get the users promoting the device... I bet Sony tries to tell you it doesn't matter. Well, if you type "Sony PSP hack" into Google, there are now 8.6 MILLION pages dedicated to the subject."
I completely agree that Sony should be supporting homebrew developers on the platform. In fact, embracing the development community might've prevented the popularity of illegal emulators and ISO programs. Sony could've kept a watchful eye, instead of dividing the community between those that actually play new games, and those that pirate games. One of the greatest attributes of the PSP is that it can connect to a PC, and you can move files between them both. Digital distribution of more demos and games will be key for all PSP owners, and I hope Sony gets working on it.

[Via kikizo]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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