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This week’s update will be the last for the PlayStation Digital Comics store, bringing to an Sony’s nearly two-year-old service for the PlayStation Portable.
Announced in August 2009 and launched four months later, PlayStation Digital Comics permitted users to download comics from such publishers as DC, Marvel, IDW Publishing, Archie, Tokyopop and BOOM! Studios to handheld game console. The service amassed a library of more than 4,000 titles, which Sony says will remain available to PSP users.
In a brief announcement made Wednesday on the PlayStation blog, Grace Chen, director of the PlayStation Store, wrote that, “The Digital Comics Team will continue to work on bringing the comic service to other Sony devices.” That suggests the service, or one similar to it, may be available for the PlayStation Vita, expected to be released in early 2012.
On the heels of DC Comics’ big announcement this morning, Sony has issued its own release emphasizing the availability of the publisher’s titles on the PlayStation Digital Comics service for PlayStation Portable.
Launched in December 2009, the PlayStation upgraded its digital comics reader just this week with features that include collection browsing, an Autoflow Viewer and left-to-right reading for manga.
In addition to many of the initial offerings available through Apple’s iTunes App Store, PlayStation Digital Comics carries PlayStation Network-exclusive titles like Free Realms, God of War, Resistance and Superman/Batman.
It’s been awhile since Sony announced their digital comics reader for the PlayStation Portable, or PSP. The reader, apparently, is already available as a part of a firmware update, and last week Pete Stott, one of the designers of the reader, posted more information on the European PlayStation blog.
“You’re maybe thinking, ‘How’s that going to work on the PSP’s beautiful, yet compact, screen?’” Stott said. “Well we think we’ve solved that with AutoFlow! With AutoFlow all you have to do is hit one button and the camera will float over the page to the next panel, panning and zooming automatically. We also let you move around manually if you want to get up close and personal with your comic.”
Stott also said that joining Marvel, IDW and iVerse (whose content will include comics from Archie, Image and many of the other companies they release content for on the iPhone) on the PSPS will be Disney, Insomnia, Titan and 2000AD. This means PSP owners will be able to purchase titles featuring Wallace & Gromit, Judge Dredd, Archie, Mickey Mouse, Transformers and Spider-Man, among many other characters.
Sony has also launched a website where they plan to list the entire catalog of comics once they officially launch and where you can download a sample Transformers comic to see how it will work. If you’re a PSP owner and you’ve checked out the reader, let us know what you think in the comments section.
Earlier this week Sony answered a question that Chris Mautner had asked earlier this year when they announced a new Digital Comics service that’s coming to the PlayStation Portable in December.
They also announced partnerships with Marvel Comics and IDW, which means they’ll offer everything from Spider-Man to Star Trek on the PSP. If I’m not mistaken, this is Marvel’s first major foray into portable digital comics besides the Spider Woman motion comic that came out this week on iTunes and the N project they were involved in with Stephen King.
Sony is also working with iVerse Media, who have steadily been making deals with various companies and creators to bring their comics to the iPhone for the past nine months (and in fact, they just passed one million downloads for the iPhone and are expanding onto Google’s Android platform as well).
While the press release from Sony highlighted iVerse bringing titles by Archie and Image, I checked in with them to see if there was a list yet of everything they’d be doing on the PSP.
“We’ll have a more comprehensive list of everything that is coming to the PSP closer to the launch of the platform, but most of the titles and publishers we currently release on the iPhone will be available on the PSP,” said Michael Murphey, CEO of iVerse Media. “There will be quite a few titles on the platform.”
iVerse has published iPhone applications for comics from Archie, BOOM!, Ape Entertainment, IDW, Red 5 Comics, Dabel Brothers, Ardden Entertainment and Image Comics, among others. So it’ll be interesting to see what makes the jump.
I personally don’t have a PSP, and I don’t know if this is enough to make me want to go buy one. I would, however, love it if this service was available on the PlayStation 3. Having a comic on a portable device for airports or planes is nice, but having a comic available on my flat screen would be even nicer.