Sony talk "Snackable" mini-games for PSP and PSP Go

Sony have revealed plans for "snackable" titles that gamers could download to their PSP Go in less than a minute, taking on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch in the process.  Speaking at a closed-doors event at E3 last month, Sony's head of developer relations Zeno Colaço told Develop that the company envisages the move appealing to non-traditional gamers familiar with micro-downloads.

"One of the things that has been exciting in my time at Sony is the big shift changes we have seen – the latest is that consumers have been consuming digital content in a totally different way.  Sony's been working very hard to find our position in that and bring top-end gaming to not just the consumers who were there for the launch of PSP, but extending to an audience that is changing how it consumes entertainment and applications.  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" Zeno Colaço, head of developer relations, SCEE

To encourage developers to jump on board with these mini-titles, Sony has cut the cost of the PSP SDK by 80-percent.  They've also removed many of the barriers that typically stand in the way of getting games published, including removing concept approval, streamlining the quality assurance process, and allowing for very low price points for new titles.  It seems their moves are working, too, as apparently over fifty studios are already creating "snackable" apps and games for the platform, including CandyStand and iPhone developer Subatomic Studios.

"Part of that 'snackability' of the content is because you can deliver the content over WiFi super-fast. We're making games that are just 20MB each, that's less than a minute to download – instant gratification, snackable content. This is an opportunity for the premier indie developers – and I hope we represent that group – to come in and offer content that will fit the PSP" Ash Monif, Subatomic Studios

While the SDK will not be free, unlike Apple's, and still require a team – albeit "a small team" says Colaço – Sony believes the changes will lift the restrictions of disc-based gaming.  One of the only confirmed titles will be Subatomic's Fieldrunners tower defense game.

[Thanks Tony!]