Sony PSP to get location-based games?



Sony PSP to get location-based games?
John Koller, senior marketing manager for the PSP at Sony Computer Entertainment America, speaking with the press at the E3 Game show last week said PSP games using the GPS are likely to appear next year.

The GPS PSP add-on was initially launched in Japan in 2006 but it did not really generate a lot of attention from game developers. In Japan there are currently only a few applications taking advantage of the GPS: two mapping and navigation applications, a software to look at stars in the sky and a virtual golf caddy. But these applications are not “games” stricto sensu. The only bit of location-based gaming was in Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops from Konami (released at the end of 2006) which contains a feature that takes advantage of the PSP GPS add-on. In this game the PSP, when using the GPS receiver, acts as a sort of "radar" that players use to recruit new soldiers (in the game) by moving around (in the real world). It spices up a bit the game but it remains a rather limited use of GPS in a gameplay.

In the most recent weeks Sony Computer Entertainment Europe launched in Europe a GPS add-on for the PSP too, but there again, no game but a navigation software (developed by Nav N Go). Starting with navigation to create an installed base of GPS module owners, then developing games for this module might be the Sony strategy. But waiting until 2009 for launching a navigation software in the U.S. will not make this market happen any time soon.

Wednesday, July 23rd 2008


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