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iPhone dev eager to "sink teeth" into PSPgo

Platform looks "great" but Sony will need to beware of overlapping content with iPhone, says Johnny Two Shoes

Sony's newly announced PSPgo, digital distribution model and lowered entry costs into development could be successful in attracting new talent to the handheld format.

That's according to Maxwell Scott-Slade, co-founder of iPhone studio Johnny Two Shoes, who said his company would like to get hands on with PSPgo development, but that cost and time could still be a factor when compared to "absolutely no barrier of entry" offered by Apple's devicee.

"At the moment I can see it in the distance as something weʼd like to sink our teeth into," Scott-Slade told "Itʼs a great platform and the feature set looks good on paper."

But even with a reduction in the outlay of the software development kit - Sony used E3 to announce the price would drop by 80 per cent - creating games for the PSP still presents barriers for smaller studios currently producing iPhone games in a matter of weeks using a Mac and nothing else.

"You can build iPhone apps just as long as you have a Mac for no additional cost," said Scott-Slade. "You donʼt even need an iPhone or iPod to start out - I think this has given a lot of individuals absolutely no barrier of entry to development.

"The cost is also a factor for development time, you donʼt need months or years to build great iPhone applications."

The company co-founder still believes Sony can offer a service that co-exists with the Apple model, but only if the two don't overlap - either by Sony offering non-game apps or Apple coming up with hardware that rivals PSP's graphical quality.

"Both devices offer something different. Sony has a more traditional gaming catalogue that promotes longer play times at a higher price point while Apple conquers the casual gaming market with huge library and a lower price point.

"Thereʼs always an opportunity to do something new, I think Sony has a great possibility to differentiate itself in this space and even with overlap I think there is still a reason to play on both devices. In the end, the consumer wins for choice and developers win for a more direct access to their audience."

Sony could learn from the Apple too, by utilising into its own online store the sort of discovery system developers have been calling for from the App Store, said Scott-Slade.

"Itʼs important for Sony to differentiate between its casual and traditional gaming content. The ability for the store to 'learn' what you like would mean that content can be shown to gamers based on what theyʼve previously bought. This kind of promotion works, we know it works even with huge content databases - look at Amazon.

"Thereʼs a huge barrier between a player finding what they want from the App Store and settling with something from the Top 25 lists because thereʼs just too much content."

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