October 9th, 2008, 22:53 Posted By: wraggster
PSP may have been the first major gaming system to launch with online-enabled titles on Day 1, but since then, the console has not lived up to the dream of online play. Only a few titles feature an online mode, with more titles opting instead for the less expensive and simpler ad-hoc mode of local player-to-player play. Earlier this year, however, Sony Computer Entertainment officially announced a brand new feature that would help make online play on the portable a much more common experience for gamers.
Debuting October 30th, this new service called "Ad-Hoc Party" connects PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 together, using the console as the home base (rather than having the complications of a net connection and lobby server) online play on games utilizing ad-hoc mode. The PS3 would "tunnel" your game session between another player or set of players over the internet.
While online mode (or "infrastructure mode") is fairly rare on PSP, almost every game with a multiplayer feature supports ad-hoc mode. Do the math, and you can see the potential of this feature. Gamers would link to friends via their PlayStation Network ID, so friend lists and other communication (such as PlayStation Eye, text chat or microphone voice talk, we assume) would come automatically with the feature. This service would only allow players to play online when at home and within range of their PlayStation 3, but unless you play a lot of SOCOM games at your local coffee shop, you probably won't be missing out too often. It is not known yet what specific titles will actually be able to use Ad-Hoc Party, but theoretically the number of games that might use this mode is huge.
We're hoping to have further details on this feature from the show, but owners of a Japanese PlayStation 3 should mark their calendars now for October 30th.
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