Friday, April 4, 2008

Echochrome Will Be Download Only in NA

With echochrome out in Japan for a few weeks now as both a UMD for PSP and download for PS3, the big question has been: when the hell is the game coming to North America, and will the PSP version be making it over?

The release date is still up in the air, but according to the fine folks over at Level Up, echochrome PSP "will be coming to North America via the Playstation Network store only--i.e. not brick and mortar retail--with its own unique 56 levels."

So now the question is, what does "unique levels" mean? The Japanese UMD had 100 some-odd puzzles while the PS3 download only had 50. Is the US PS3 version going to have half the levels from the Japanese UMD while the US PSP version has the other half? Is the US PSP version going to have 56 brand new levels not even in the Japanese version? That seems unlikely. Either way, I think it's safe to say that the PS3 levels will be different from the PSP levels in the US.

I still think Sony should release echochrome as a cross-platform download. You pay $20-$30 and it plays on your PS3 in HD and can be transferred to your PSP. Isn't this exactly what they're doing with the "digital copy" feature on many Blu-ray discs? UMD movies failed because people didn't want to pay $25 to watch a movie they already bought on DVD for $15. Digital Copy is a concession to that. Surely the same principle applies to games?

I don't want to have to buy echochrome twice to be able to play it on both my PSP and PS3. The fact that they are making the PSP levels different than the PS3 levels leads me to believe that this is exactly what Sony wants. Sure, the content is different, but I'd bet that after a month or so there'll be premium downloads for each that include the exclusive puzzles from the other version. All of this is made even sillier by the fact that the game includes a level editor in which you could just recreate levels yourself if you were so inclined.

[via Level Up]

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