Several major PSP hits-in-the-making were announced earlier this week, but Sony’s head of PSP marketing in North America, John Koller, told me that we don’t even know the half of it.
The announcements we made are half the story,” Koller told me in an phone interview on Thursday. “There’s another half still to be announced in the next couple of months-slash E3. A lot of first and third-party titles that are coming in the back half of the year want to hold their announcement until E3 timeframe. There’s a few pretty ’majors’ coming still in that franchise line, but we wanted to whet people’s appetite.”
Here’s what Koller told me about a few of the big ones announced this week:
“Assassin’s Creed” PSP
“One of the first to be very open about jumping back into the PSP world was Ubisoft. The ’Assassin’s Creed’ idea popped up early. And we were able to announce that this week. That’s been a project in the making for quite a while.” Koller said this game won’t be an attempted port of the forthcoming “Assassin’s Creed 2”: “It’ll be a completely different game, unique to the PSP.”
“Rock Band Unplugged” PSP
“We’ve worked with [“Rock Band” development studio] Harmonix in the past,” Koller said, citing the studio’s PS2-exclusive rhythm games from earlier this decade. “I launched the ’Amplitude’ and ’Frequency’ games with them here.” At that time, Koller was the product manager for those games. “It’s a tremendous franchise and it fit within our recipe: big franchise, unique to PSP and tremendous quality.”
“It’s obviously tremendously expansionary in the way that it will allow more casual consumers into the PSP world,” Koller said. “It just fits perfectly in a handheld environment. It’s going to be a really big brand for us.” I asked if the game would be interoperable with the PS3 game. “There are certainly a lot of options on the table for us there. Nothing is 100% confirmed, but you can look at those kinds of opportunities.” I pressed more, asking if we might be able to edit our PS3 “LBP” levels on the PSP. He said: “I can’t confirm anything like that yet. There are certainly options like that on the table.”
Look for much more from my PSP interview with John Koller later today and on Monday, as we discuss Sony’s vision for the PSP, its recommendations to PSP game developers, plans for an expanded download program for the system and much more.
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