During the Sony Conference at E3 2009, Kaz Hirai announced that PS3 and PSP development kits would be undergoing massive price drops in order to encourage greater participation from the development community. The PSP units experienced the biggest drop, going from $10,000 per development kit to just $2,000, signaling that Sony is ready to take over handheld gaming. But they may very well be attempting something far more ambitious that would put them toe to toe with Apple.
PlayStation Network has grown massively since its introduction in 2006, and, according to Destructoid, Sony may use the service’s sleek, user-friendly store to carve out its own share of the apps market. PlayStation Apps are something that have been sorely missing from the PlayStation Portable, especially as the iPhone has evolved and grown over the years. Adopting apps onto the platform would put the PSP in direct competition with the iPhone, and give it a large advantage over the Nintendo DS.
Sources state that Sony is aiming for a price range of two to six dollars, and will also allow for developers to release apps free of charge. 2D and non-gaming apps are also encouraged, with a generous size limitation of 100MB. The apps lineup is rumored to make an appearance at Gamescon in August, with a PlayStation Store update coming afterwards to support the new software when it releases later this year.