Phil Harrison has been a busy guy at D.I.C.E. this year, and during a Q&A session, he revealed that the PS3 and PSP would eventually be fully functional online marriage. As of now, it's not quite there, and Harrison understands that.
When asked about the PS3's online feature that goes hand-in-hand with PSP owners, and the hint that the feature wasn't fully fleshed out, Harrison responded by saying it would be "refined and expanded" in the future.
"This year we'll be adding some functionality to the PSP that will unify our approach", Harrison said.
"Unify?" We're sure the attendees asked for a clarification regarding the statement, but Harrison didn't go into details. There has been much talk about the PSP equaling the PS3 in terms of online functionality; i.e., bringing the PlayStation Store and Network to the handheld. The PSP doesn't have a unified network plan right now, and due to this lack, many developers have simply ignored the PSP's online option. It also didn't help when we learned the PS1 classics would only be available via the Store…and thus, via the PS3. This means you'd need both platforms to play those games (download on the PS3 and transfer to the PSP), and that could pose a problem. Therefore, perhaps we can hope that the Store becomes directly available on the PSP.
Harrison believes the PSP is a great platform for developers, and says Sony is putting a big emphasis on the handheld's capabilities, and not just in relation to the PS3. He says there have been "missed opportunities" with the PSP, saying that despite having the ability to portray PS2-quality games, developers just haven't gone that far. Throw in the community aspects and other media features, and there's plenty that can be done. However, it hasn't quite happened just yet, and Harrison hopes to see that change in the very near future.
We hope to see more information regarding the "unified approach" to this issue. And when we get it, we'll be sure to let ya know.