PSP to get direct Playstation Store access, shorter battery life

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Some more details have trickled out on how Sony plans to boost the fortunes of the PSP, which still lags behind the Nintendo DS in the gaming market, and mobile phones and wallets containing money in the “trendy lifestyle accessories you take out with you” market.

To presumably coincide with the launch of the PSP-3000, a redesigned PSP, and due to the trend away from the (anything but) “Universal Media Disc” (UMD) towards internet downloads, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has revealed that is it launching the Playstation Store directly on to the PSP, meaning that users will no longer need to use a PS3 or PC to download stuff to their handheld.

One of the first games to feature on this new service (in Japan, at least) will be Mainichi Issyo Portable, which is apparently an “artificial life” game, which if it makes it over here should make a nice change of pace from the western Playstation user’s “KillDeathShootFightZone” type games.

Another new development looks set to be the ability to use the PS3 to create a virtual bridge between PSPs, allowing you to play ad-hoc multiplayer PSP games that lack internet functionality of their own, over the internet. Genius.

The other nugget of PSP news is perhaps slightly less encouraging. Whilst the PSP-3000 does have a much improved screen, battery life will apparently be slightly compromised, losing between 20 and 30 minutes of play time. Though I guess this sacrifice is worth it if it means that you can actually see the screen.

(via our friends at PSPSP and Shiny Shiny)

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James O’Malley