North American PSP owners will soon be able to take certain local multiplayer games online, thanks to Sony's adhocParty service, which effectively uses a PlayStation 3 as a network access point for the PSP.
The free AdhocParty launched in Japan last year, and Sony says it will be available in North America some time this month.
Many PSP games feature multiplayer modes that were initially designed to work only with ad hoc mode -- that is, a direct local wi-fi connection between PSP consoles. With adhocParty, the player joins an ad hoc connection with a PlayStation 3 instead, and the PS3 then connects to other online PSPs using the same system.
Because the PS3's own wi-fi capabilities are in use with the PSP, adhocParty requires a wired internet connection for the larger console.
A year in, the Japanese version of adhocParty supports well over 200 titles, although it launched with only one. Only Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo and Capcom's Monster Hunter Freedom Unite were explicitly mentioned in today's announcement.
"We saw this as a tremendous opportunity to enhance the PSP system’s online gaming experience and bring the service to our North American consumers,” said SCEA product marketing VP Scott A. Steinberg in a statement.