PSP’s networking capabilities getting a major upgrade

In a case of “better late than never,” Sony has announced that it will be dramatically updating the PlayStation Portable’s networking capabilities later this year. 

In a firmware update coming this fall, the PSP will finally have direct access to the PlayStation store. Gone are the days where you’ll have to download demos and content on your PlayStation 3 or PC, then having to transfer the content via USB. Everything will be handled from the unit itself.

Sony have also revealed some further PSP and PS3 connectivity that will allow users to take ad-hoc multiplayer modes online for select PSP games. Only Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G has been confirmed to take advantage of this capability, but this is huge news considering that one in every two people owns the game in Japan*. When connected, the PS3 will be used for text messaging and match-making.

These features will be compatible with all versions of the PSP (including the forthcoming PSP-3000) and have only been announced for Japan. It’s only a matter of time before this functionality comes to North America, though.

Any ad-hoc only games you’re hoping Sony offers up support for?

* Not an actual statistic.

[Via IGN]

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