Sony: PSP SDKs May Become Free

What's a good way to kick Apple? Offer a free software development kit (SDK) for a competing platform. There's no question that Sony is gearing up for a war on the portable front with its revamped PSP handheld, set and ready to tackle the iPod Touch and iPhone next month with the release of the PSPgo. With the availability of the PlayStation Network and PSP-specific apps, the new console could cause quite a stir if Sony falls through with a free SDK.

Develop recently spoke with Sony Europe's head of developer relations, Zeno Colaco, and talked about how Sony's PSP Minis will be better than the sea of Apps saturating Apple's App Store. One thing that Colaco pointed out is that the App Store has attracted a number of "hobbyist developers"; because the PSPgo is first and foremost a gaming machine, the platform will offer a more "professional environment." Then again, he encourages the hobbyist to develop PSP Minis anyway.

Colaco also said that Sony has dropped the price of the PSP SDK by 80-percent; Apple's iPhone SDK is actually free for registered developers whereas the PSP SDK currently costs a whopping $1500. That kind of pricetag doesn't appear to be any kind of incentive to jump on the PSPgo bandwagon, especially for small developers and "hobbyists." But when asked if Sony plans to offer the SDK for free later on, Colaco seemed optimistic, saying that Sony may investigate a free model.

But the bottom line is that Sony wants a good portfolio of games, and doesn't want to leave developers "out in the wilderness" with free access and no help. "There are dangers in having total open access; having six thousand applications where probably only thirty are discovered by the consumer. Some of the developers working on the App Store and PSP Minis tell us that they prefer our approach because they get more visibility," he said.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • ssalim
    They forgot to mention or I should say re-iterate the difficulty of doing it. "Good luck with the programming!"
  • cryogenic
    ssalimThey forgot to mention or I should say re-iterate the difficulty of doing it. "Good luck with the programming!"
    Well Apple's Objective-C based iPhone dev. environment ain't quite the programmer's heaven you'd want either ...

    At least C and OpengGL skils that PSP SDK uses are pretty common in the gaming industry compared to the rather strange Objective-C language Apple has chosen.

  • JohnnyLucky
    Gee! Can't this stuff be developed with open source software?
  • False_Dmitry_II
    JohnnyLuckyGee! Can't this stuff be developed with open source software?
    Nah, then everyone who already knows that stuff would be able to go ahead and make apps. That's too easy.
  • bustapr
    Even with free SDK, the PSPgo probably wont go anywhere, not having a UMD would suck!!
  • matt87_50
    I just took my iphone game and got it running on the psp in 1 day with no prior psp knowledge. it looks alot better and easier for coding games than the stupid iphone with its objective c shit and crappy implementation of openGL!

    also, the psp's debugger actually seems to work, you have to remember there is a good reason the apple sdk is free.. cause its buggy as hell!

    and what do you mean "not having UMD would suck" ?? not having multi-minute load times will 'suck'???

    and another thing, the apple sdk isn't free! you need to buy a Mac (which no self respecting coder would have) and pay $100 A YEAR, just to have your app rejected for no valid reason!

    One question tho, having the sdk free is all well and good, but what about a dev kit? will we be able to use any psp as a dev kit like we do with the iphone? will there be an emulator?
  • Hatecrime69
    it can't be this easy, sony finally listening to all the logic and making the sdk free? if they do make a 'free' version it will probably be crippled, making people who already make programs for psp still use the tools they developed
  • tacoslave
    whoa whoa whoa mr. parish i think you forgot the most important part of this article. "F#$% Apple!!!"
  • davisorle
    Ofc the current developers prefer this. Since the fans of Sony and loyal casual consumers will spend THAT much to buy that piece of crap one way or the other and will have lmitied about of apps compared to what it would if was with free SDK ofc tehy preffer this since they will have hundrends of times more chances to have their products purchaced as the only options. Now if I were Sony id make it free for limited time. Meaning? That would give me the right when they accept to get the tools that I can dissable them from using them for free after... maybe 6 months or so. That would give me at least some time to promote from more interested developers etc material, showcasing more and more stuff to buy online all the time in short period and by the time the fre SDK was expired Id have nough rep on the platform to force them to payfor the SDK since they will see that ppl actually DO have the PSPGo and do pay for its apps nowmore since it already became more poppular in that short period.

    On the other hand, I hate Sony cause they are bloodsuckers when it comes to most of electronic departments. Not just consoles. And if they charge for NO apparent reason SO much for that piece of crap when its barely a bit cheaper than the PSPSlim, which SO LONG they weere saying about its great value due to hardware advancement and BD included, what of those does the PSPGo include ? DD THX HD Sound, 1080p and BD playback? Whats that makes it so unexcusably expensive? SO no, i dont want them progressing in the handhelds anymore till they learn to respect the consumer a bit. If they already are willing to rip ppl off so badly after all those years of practice they've been doing it they need to get a bit anal to chill and then play fair. Spoiling Sony more by supporting the Go isnt wise.

    Keep in mind that all those comments i left arent based on my handheld needs yet I would respect myself too much to pay so much for that thing if I ever needed a handheld. Neither I like Apple's attitude when it comes to app store etc. Nintendo, I always respected for their strategy and fairplay but just not of my taste :)
  • amnotanoobie
    JohnnyLuckyGee! Can't this stuff be developed with open source software?
    The editor and compiler is free you could get any editor you want, the libraries aren't.