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PSP2 to lose UMD, build an AppStore?

By on February 26, 2009
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Rumours have swirled around the Internet about PSP 2 for a while now, and the latest to weigh in is games designer Dave Perry.

His Twitter page reports “I hear Sony FINALLY has the PSP 2. And thank goodness, they’ve removed the stupid battery-sucking UMD disc drive. I’m excited!”

Perry’s sources are not clear, and Sony’s response across the blogosphere has been a firm “No Comment”, but it makes sense, because:

By dropping the UMD, Sony will be able to reduce the cost both of the PSP 2 and the games, since it will have no expensive proprietary discs to manufacture and distribute and potentially open the door for more innovation and opportunity for smaller developers and publishers.

The change will cause some challenges at retail since there may no longer be a boxed game per se. Perhaps this will lead to the emergence of PSP “upload stations” in GAME where PSP users can purchase the latest games in much the same way that photo-processing stores now have multi-format card readers to produce prints.

If the rumours are true, I applaud Sony for dropping a engineering-led solution (the UMD) and embracing the download market that consumers are clearly ready for.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com