Sony has upped its commitment to digital content with the release of over 100 games on the PlayStation Store as it launches its new handheld, the PSPgo, across Europe and the US.
The revised hardware goes on sale from today, and is supported by new PSP games, classic titles previously available on UMD and Sony's latest digital initiative – the PSP Minis.
Clare Backhouse, product manager for the PSP in the UK, told GamesIndustry.biz that Sony intends to ride the pre-Christmas market and grab early gaming adopters before increasing marketing in the new year to focus on a wider audience.
"I think we're quite lucky we're launching two months before Christmas - I think that'll really help boost sales," she said. "With the campaign as well that we've gone for it's quite targeted. I think we'll see the early adaptors, the gamers, the technology guys getting into it first and I think it'll sell quite strongly prior to Christmas.
"Then you always have a bit of a lag in January and maybe you'll see at the start of the new financial year, next year, it pick up again with a wider audience I imagine. That's when we'll start talking about other entertainment functionalities as well," she offered.
Already live for US consumers, the PlayStation Store has been updated with over 100 downloadable games, including the highly-anticipated Gran Turismo from Sony, and multiple titles from all major publishers including Electronic Arts, Activision and Capcom.
The European store has also been updated, with an additional 20 games added to the service, including God of War: Chains of Olympus and Motorstorm: Arctic Edge.
Designed for shorter play sessions, the handful of PSP Minis so far includes Subatomic Studios' Fieldrunners, EA's latest take on the classic Tetris and Alien Havoc from Creat Studios. Minis are priced between £2.49 and £3.99 in the UK.
Sony has also released the 6.10 firmware update for the PSPgo, allowing Bluetooth tethering options and revising the handheld's media capabilities.
Tethering – which only works on the PSPgo – allows users to connect via Bluetooth to a device such as a mobile phone and use it to connect to the internet. A new-look MediaGo update also enables users to connect to the PlayStation Store via the PC and manage music, video and images.
The console retails for around £225 in the UK, with Sony yesterday telling GamesIndustry.biz that it expects around 60 per cent of sales for the new system to come from PSP-3000 users trading in their old machines for the new model.