IGN Entertainment has announced the launch of the first title on the PlayStation Portable to use its popular GameSpy multiplayer technology solution - namely Activision's new card game, World Series of Poker.
The game, which is one of the earliest PSP titles to offer online multiplayer, will allow players to compete against opponents online using any wireless network - even those found in public places like train stations, airports and cafes.
Reflecting the different demands of multiplayer gaming on handhelds, the system has been designed so that players search for games to join according to factors such as game type or betting limit, rather than selecting from a server list as is traditional on the PC platform and some console online titles.
"Nothing beats playing against real humans with their varied skills and individual betting strategies," commented Activision Value general manager David Oxford. "Players can easily set up virtual tables with long time friends or get a seat at a table with likeminded poker players from around the world."
"We have enjoyed a great partnership with GameSpy over the years," he continued, "delivering excellent multiplayer functionality on the PC and PlayStation 2. We were pleased with the features we were able to quickly deliver for World Series of Poker and the appeal of PSP with an adult audience made it a perfect fit."
IGN claims that the team behind World Series of Poker was able to build multiplayer functionality into their title much faster due to their previous experience with the GameSpy product line - which has powered multiplayer gaming on over 300 titles on the PC and PS2 to date.
"We are happy that we were able to reduce cost and time to the development team so that they could focus on what they do best - making great game contents," commented IGN's publisher services general manager, Mark Stieglitz. "It was exciting to see such a nice PSP multiplayer implementation right out of the gate. We applaud Activision for their continuous successes with connected gaming across all platforms."