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Sony has confirmed that downloadable games will become a much bigger feature on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) throughout the rest of 2009.

John Koller, Sony Computer Entertainment America's Director of Hardware Marketing, told Wired that “one of our big pushes this year is to be sure that the right kind of content and the right kind of games in particular are placed on the PlayStation Network [PSN] for download on the PSP”.

“In the back half of this year,” Koller added, PSP gamers will begin to see a “good rise in the amount of content that comes to PSN for the PSP.”

Some gamers could interpret Koller’s comments to mean that Sony’s inked a timeline to phase out the PSP’s UMD optical disc format, but it’s worth noting that the executive didn’t say anything that indicated such a move.

That’s despite a senior gaming executive at games developer Acclaim hinting back in February that a redesigned PSP that doesn’t use UMDs could be launched by Sony this autumn.

Koller seemed to be stuck between a rock and a hard place, though. He claimed that although retail sales – namely UMD – are still of “extreme significance”, Sony is also “looking at” launching digital versions of the games released on UMD. ®

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