Sony is trying to bridge the gap between its PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation 3.
The company said yesterday it plans to launch a new series of games called PSP Remaster. The series will be composed of some of the more-popular PSP games, which will then be ported to the PlayStation 3 for big-screen, high-definition gameplay. To add more appeal to the formerly portable-only titles, the company said the games will come with stereoscopic 3D support.
However, the most important addition to the games is the ability for people to start playing the title on either the PSP or PlayStation 3 and then continuing the saved game on the other hardware.
Sony's decision to tie the PSP to its PlayStation 3 comes at a transitional time in the company's portable division.
Earlier this year, Sony unveiled the Next Generation Portable (NGP), which it plans to launch at the end of this year. The device, which is designed to replace the aging PSP, boasts two thumbsticks and a 5-inch OLED display. It will come with 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and it will offer vastly improved graphical capabilities, compared with the PSP.
The NGP will arrive at a critical time for Sony. After the PSP first launched in 2004, the device had relatively good sales figures. However, in recent years, demand for the platform has waned, and game development has subsided. Last year, GameStop Senior Vice President Bob McKenzie pointed to PSP titles as the single disappointment of 2010 in the gaming business.
"If I were to pick a disappointment, the only thing would be looking at the number of titles that launched on the PSP format compared to the prior year," McKenzie told video game publication Eurogamer in an interview last year. "I think Sony did a great job two years ago in terms of coming out with a pretty good lineup of PSP offerings, and I didn't see that breadth of titles this year."
But Sony isn't quite ready to give up on the PSP. In February, the company dropped the price of its portable to $129.99 to try to help boost sales. It also added 13 titles, including Assassin's Creed Bloodlines and Dissidia Final Fantasy to its "Greatest Hits" and "Favorites" line of titles.
Sony's Remaster series is quite limited at this point. The company said that Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Version will be the first title to be ported to the PlayStation 3. Sony said that it will begin to roll out the new series in Japan first. It will bring more games and expanded availability around the world at a later point.
The company did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on when Remaster titles will be available in the U.S.