Sony hoping to compete with Apple’s App Store

“We’re introducing new initiatives for the PSP which take it beyond traditional gaming, but still includes elements from gaming, and also includes new developers,” said SCEE’s head of developer relations Zeno Colaço in an interview with Develop, adding that Sony already has more than 50 studios working on smaller, “snackable” games and applications, to be sold in a specially-branded section of the PlayStation Network for both the PSP and PSP Go.

Hoping to get a slice of Apple’s pie, Sony will be lowering if not abolishing some of the handheld system’s development hurdles, including forgoing concept approval, reducing devkit prices and speeding up the quality assurance process in an attempt to compete with Apple’s App Store, which features more than 65,000 apps and counting. Though Sony will be stopping short of a publicly available-SDK, the reduced restrictions have already attracted smaller studios like iPhone developer Subatomic, who’s currently working on a PSP-friendly version of their top-selling tower defense game Fieldrunners.

“It is still a professional environment, you still need a development kit and you still need to have investment and a team. But it can be a small team,” said Colaço. “This is an opportunity for the premier indie developers…to come in and offer content that will fit the PSP.”