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The PSP is a... Comics Store?

A video released by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe indicated that the company is ramping up the comic book offering on the PSP.

Something is going on with the PlayStation Portable, something... wonderful. And while the handheld console's apparent metamorphosis has nothing to do with alien embryos or an Arthur C. Clark novel, recent rumors and official tidbits rising to the surface are indicating at something is brewing within the steaming bowels of Sony. Certainly, gamers are hoping that the end result is far from stinky, that PSP fans will finally get the 1st-party and 3rd-party support that should have been the console's foundation in the first place.

As if to foreshadow the impending storm of PSP goodness, SCEE released this flash video (thanks Joystiq), detailing the handheld console's revamped support for viewing digital comics. "PlayStation Store, the world's largest comic store in the palm of your hand," the video touts. "Instant access to thousands of comics. Never miss an edition ever again." Indeed, the video already revealed a few titles available in the new library including Dead Run, Final Scar, Ghetto Rising, Pest Control and more. 

According to the video, the new "comics shop" will be located under "Applications and Videos," listed as "Comics and Mags." By clicking the button, consumers pull up a page that displays a Browser Collection tab, a Recently Added tab, an Unread tab, a Bookmarks tab, and an Options tab. By hitting the Browser Collection tab, end-users call up another page that organizes comics by genre, series, or display them all at once. The All Comics window showcases each detailed issue cover standing upright, and allows the reader to browse through the collection--much like the iPod Touch--by shifting the lineup left or right. Upon clicking on a comic cover, a brief summary appears; consumers thus press the "X" button to open the actual digital comic.

But unlike other electronic comic readers, flipping from one page to the next, the PSP comic reader uses "Auto Flow," enabling the end-user to read the comic the way it was intended, pane by pane. However, the software doesn't lock the reader into a linear flow, but rather enables them to move from whichever pane they choose by using the directional and shoulder buttons. This allows the reader to return to previous panes and enjoy the digital artwork whenever they like.

Of course, all of this information is based off a video supplied by SCEE. The layout provided above is somewhat different from its North American counterpart. In fact, it's highly likely that the Comics section will fit nice and snug into the Media portion of the PlayStation Store front-end. Currently this area contains video and music content, so comics would feel right at home.

For now, SCEA hasn't offered an official announcement regarding comic book support. Hopefully, that will happen soon, if at all.