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Sony 'PSP Minis' Royalty, Approval Details Debut Online

New docs from Sony provide developer specifics on the 'PSP Minis' program for the PlayStation Portable handhelds -- from the absence of a content approval requirement to streamlined QA process. Details within...
Sony's recently-announced PSP Minis program -- low-priced games with small filesizes for both PSP Go and conventional PlayStation Portable handhelds -- will offer developers an avenue for small apps on the upcoming digital download service. Smaller developers and independents in particular stand to benefit, and now new documents from the company provide a raft of new details on the program, which allows downloadable PSP games of up to 100mb to be released digitally. Mobile-focused site PocketGamer was the first to notice a .PDF on Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's licensing website, offering details on content approval, QA process and other crucial program components. Developers have encountered some well-known challenges and apparently inconsistent circumstances in concept approval on Sony's PlayStation Network -- for example, Sony Europe approved Outrun Online Arcade for PSN, while SCEA apparently passed. According to the document and previous online reports, though, this particular approval phase will not be part of the process for PSP Minis, leaving the purchase decision in the hands of buyers. In addition, Sony also expects the duration of the QA process to be shorter -- although this seems to anticipate a manageable queue of games awaiting certification at any given time, and it's likely the speed of certification will ultimately depend on the size of the Minis store. In terms of revenue, SCEE will offer revenue monthly, with no penalty for minimum sales -- unlike WiiWare, for example, which requires developers to reach a certain sales threshold before they can reap any earnings. Publishers are not subject to title quotas or bandwidth charges, either. It was also recently claimed that games, demos, and anything on the PlayStation Network require a 16-cent fee per gigabyte of data -- this will not be the case for PSP Minis. The document also says that developers will maintain strict control of their own release dates through the Minis program, as opposed to the relatively strict moderation Microsoft maintains on Xbox Live Arcade. PSP Minis can release any day of the week, or choose to launch alongside Thursday PlayStation Store updates at their own discretion. Finally, the information also references the PSP Development Tool, which is currently priced at €1200 ($1718). This represents an 80 percent price reduction in the cost of the devkit, and is opposed to the $99 subscription fee required by XNA Indie Games and the iPhone's SDK (although the latter also requires a Mac computer). The Minis Store will launch alongside the PSP Go on October 1st in North America and Europe, and in November in Japan, and will be available on all PSP consoles via PlayStation Network.

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