PSP to feature online play at US launch

First-party titles to be playable over the 'net using wireless hotspots.

Sony has revealed that five of its first-party PSP titles will feature online play from the launch of the system in the USA, with the games set to be playable both over local wireless connections and across the internet.

ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails and Twisted Metal: Head-On are joined by sports titles MLB, NBA and Gretzky NHL from Sony's 989 Studios in the roster of early online-enabled games.

The games will all feature standard wireless play between consoles in the same area, as already seen in many of the Japanese titles for the system, but will also be playable over the internet using an "infrastructure" wireless LAN.

What this means, in effect, is that players will be able to connect to wireless hot spots - either at home or in wi-fi enabled public locations - and play games across the net in this manner.

The three sports titles will support two simultaneous players, while four players can go head to head in ATV Offroad Fury, and six can play in Twisted Metal.

SCEA is clearly placing a heavy priority on the online abilities of the system, as its plans for online are significantly further ahead than SCEI's own plans in Japan - where no online titles for the system are on the horizon as yet.

Last year it emerged that Sony had plans to create a unified PlayStation Portable online service which would allow customers to pay a single subscription fee to access PSP services from any of a wide range of commercial wireless hotspots, but no further details have emerged since.

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