Super Stardust Portable Coming Soon

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Hi, my name is Kimmo Lahtinen and I was the programming lead for Housemarque on Super Stardust Portable. Super Stardust Portable is the PSP version of our previously released PS3 title Super Stardust HD with some nice additions we think you’ll enjoy. And you’ll be able to enjoy them very soon. Super Stardust Portable will be available for download on the PlayStation Store on Thursday, December 4th for just $9.99!


If there is one word to describe the game, that would be ‘intense’. Your goal in the game is to simply destroy the waves after waves of enemies we throw at you and try to not get killed. If you’re not constantly on the edge of your seat when trying to blow up everything in sight with dozens of asteroids coming at you all the while screen is filled with explosions and fireworks, you should probably apply for a job as an astronaut or something. :)

When we first got the idea from Sony about doing a PSP version of the game, we were thrilled. We think that Super Stardust is a perfect fit for a portable device, do a 10 minute session of Endless while riding on the bus into school. Pick up and play, it’s like it was designed to be portable from the start. Then it hit us, how are we going to get this thing running on the PSP. Even though the PSP is the most powerful for a hand-held console, it’s still a totally different animal from the processing power of the PS3. We’ve got more than ten thousand objects and hundreds of thousands particles flying around in the PS3 version and we probably use more than 10GHz of processing power from the machine.

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What we learned from developing the PS3 version is that sphere level is actually quite a large playing space and requires thousands and thousands of objects rotating around before the game level doesn’t feel empty. It took a lot of trial and error to get that working on the PS3 version. The PSP version is played on a wrapping 2D field that is optimized for the PSP screen. There was a lot of tuning to make it not feel either crowded or too large so we could have the gameplay and levels stay as fast as before. After we found the optimum size, we felt that we had lost nothing of the old intensity in the conversion. In addition we actually do a few tricks to make it look like you’re still playing around a planet too. After a lot of work and because of the choices we made, we managed to get more than a thousand objects on the field with 60 frames per second. That’s a lot of things to shoot. We’ve also got the Super Stardust trademark particle effects working on the PSP, so the explosions look as pretty as ever.

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Another change we faced was the controls. The PS3 version uses two analog sticks for control and shooting. How are we going to get that working on the PSP where there’s only one analog stick available? What we decided to go with is to map the shooting to the face buttons and let the game interpolate the shooting direction when needed. This took a lot of effort to get right, but the end result feels perfect. We were glad to find out that even for those that are completely new to PSP system, it didn’t take long to figure out the controls. We also made a new shooting mode to make full use of the buttons. If you tap a shooting direction, the shots will spray around. This also makes for another interesting gameplay choice. More weapon power on one focused point or less in a wide spray? The controls are also configurable, so if someone out there doesn’t like the choices we made, they can remap the controls for their own liking.

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Some other new things we have for PSP version:

  • A completely new mode: Impact. In impact mode you cannot shoot, just bomb and boost. The boost is a bit different in this mode in that when you boost through something, you receive more boost energy and your multiplier goes up at the same time (max 100x), so the key to high scores is to chain your boosts into as long as you can and to collect points with huge multipliers.
  • A new final boss: One complaint on the PS3 version was that the final boss was way too easy. I should warn you that your first meeting with Professor Schaumunds’ new machine of destruction could leave a bit of something in you pants. ;)
  • Even more intense gameplay. We still have a casual mode that is suitable for everyone, but one thing we found out about the PS3 version is that for the best players it takes hours and hours to complete the arcade game. For this version we have upped the difficulty curve too after a few of the first difficulty levels. This is a portable game, you shouldn’t have to play a day to get challenged in the game even if you are that good.

Our main goals were to keep the same high intensity gameplay from the PS3 version and do it at a consistent 60 frames per second. We feel that both goals were successfully completed, but I’ll leave the final judgement to you.

See you on the high score lists! (Yes we have online high scores too!)

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83 Comments

  • Super Stardust is one of the ONLY reasons I’m even keeping my PS3… The PSP version is a no brainer.

  • Very cool..

    Shoo I was thinking since SSD HD was the first game on the PS3 to have trophies, it would be cool if SSD P would to the same on the PSP.

    Trophies cool be gathered while offline and when connected to the internet we could sync like on the PS3..

    Of course all this was prolly already brought up.

  • wow that was some bad typing.. didn’t read over it .. sorry..

  • @18 tdh

    I typed my comment before reading everyone elses.. so we’re pretty much thinkin the same..

    I completely agree.. lol

  • Sold … the PS3 version is SICK … so I am down with this.

  • It’s about time too. Can’t wait to pick this one up.

  • That’s cool to know, but I’m fine with my PS3 version.

  • @28 & 29

    Thanks for the irrelevant personal attacks that have nothing to do with the thread!

    @24

    This is the future only as long as we roll over and allow it to be.

    As long as they understand they are *guaranteed* to lose sales with only DLC, then hopefully they will change their minds and make *everyone* happy, instead of a select few.

  • great we have SSD on the PSP. Now when does Loco Rocco (a real one) and Patapon come to PS3? Even a hi-res port would be nice

  • So wait, it’s just…a port? Why not a new game? :c

  • and Wuggyboobeaufuf, just keep ignoring the posts that truly state that the costs of the DLC games would be more than doubled if they were physically sold. you’re right, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

  • I love Super Stardust HD on the PS3, and I’ll be getting this game as well.

    It looks similar enough to the PS3 game to be worthy of carrying the Super Stardust name. At the same time, there are enough changes and additions (such as Impact mode and the new boss) to freshen up the game so that it’s not merely “just a port” and can stand on its own.

    I liked kspraydad’s comment (#44) earlier. It would be great if there was some kind of “loyalty program” to offer a discount to gamers who bought the PS3 version of the game before a certain date. This could be extended to downloadable add-on packs for other games, too.

  • Just got it in my own illegal way.

    Amazing game! Thanks guys… I would have bought it if it was on a UMD, but… you know. :/

    Sorry! I really am… I just dont like buying psp games from the store. I DID buy Stardust HD though if that makes it any better. I also got one of the addons, and all but 3 trophies!
    Ill make you a deal. If you somehow give us trophies tied into our friends list, ill buy this game. :D

    (By the way. What the hell is with the control scheme? I would much rather it be the D-Pad to move, and the face buttons to shoot (Everyday shooter style) than being forced to use the analog/action buttons to move. Why would i want to move around with X square Triangle and O??? That was the biggest disappointment with this game since everyday shooter had the best controls in any 2-stick shooter ive ever played. Oh well though…)

  • @63…did you just come on here..admit to STEALING this game and then b1tch at the developer over the control scheme?

    Wow.

  • @58…

    I would say that the amount of money going into the producer’s pocket by selling at lower cost but only digitally would be more than selling UMDs.

    You may see a game like this on a UMD PACK such as is sold in the UK and since games are region free YOU can import.

    The first two UMD packs were:

    http://uk.playstation.com/games-media/games/detail/item119336/PLAYSTATION%C2%AENetwork-Collection—Power-Pack/

    Powerpack: Syphon Filter, Beats and flOw

    or the http://uk.playstation.com/games-media/games/detail/item119342/PlayStation%C2%AENetwork-Collection—Puzzle-Pack/

    Puzzle Pack: Lemmings, Go! Suduko and Go! Puzzle

    See…there is hope for you yet.

  • Wow! This is great news. Definitely a day 1 download for me! SSHD is my favorite game so far this generation, and I’m pretty sure the SSP will defintely be fighting with Lumines for my time. Can’t wait to get back into Stardust. Any news on a SSHD add on? Some new planets or enemies would be awsome. Defintely love the game and hope to hear more from you guys!

  • Why couldn’t you just add new levels to the old one.

    I don’t want to buy it twice, barely like using that tiny PSP as it is.

  • You made my day. I will buy this, as I loved the PS3 version! Please make more games of that genre!

  • When are the hiscore servers going online?

  • I saw the trailer a month ago and it looked cool. I said to myself this will definitely be second game I ever buy from the PSP store while the first one I bought was Beats when that came out last year. So yeah I’m psyched for this game and will buy it day one.

  • I WANT IN-GAME MUSIC ON ALL GAMES ON PS3!!!!!!

    And not just Stardust HD… I know Microsoft has the patent thing but I really like listening to music.

  • Great, I loved Super Star Dust HD on Playstation 3, Ill buy this straight away!

  • Will there be a demo available.

  • Hey guys – do you understand yet?

    UMD = sale.

    DLC = NO SALE.

    Now fix it!

  • @Wuggyboobeaufuf

    The system reads from the UMD much much slower than the memory stick and wastes a lot of power while doing it. Insisting on a UMD is.. well.. its not a great thing to insist on. (And its $10.. what’s your beef?)

    60FPS was likely not possible on UMD at all. If having a hard copy and a plastic case is more important to you than the gameplay itself, Im glad its not you making these games.

  • Awesome news. I’ve been waiting for this one, as well as Everyday Shooter (ahem, release date, please!).

    As for the UMD vs. online store comments, I’ve gotta say I don’t mind the PSP PSN store setup– I can redownload my purchased titles at any point, as well as using them on up to 5 systems. Now, if the video store could adopt a similar set up, then Sony could start grooving to the sounds of ka-ching.

  • @75

    The simple *fact* of the matter is DLC is not about easier distribution.

    It is about inserting nasty nasty DRM into games (and other things – remember when Sony got sued for their *illlegal DRM on cds because it was crippling computers?) to try and control how you use something you legally buy.

    They want to kill the used game market, they want to kill the homebrew market and DLC is their attempt to do that.

    Paying for DLC, by corporate definition is not actual ownership.

    If you buy a product via DLC, you are *leasing* it. (Corporate definition – *not* mine.

    The *fact* of the matter is that DLC is all about control and *not* ease of distribution.

    I will not buy DLC under *any* circumstances.

  • @shinichitaicho If they ever introduce trophies to PSP (and I really hope they do) it will probably be with something like LittleBigPlanet PSP (rumored to be released at some point).

  • Can we expect the same AWESOME music from Super Stardust HD!!? I loved the in-game music from SSDH, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  • i’m gonna buy it!!

  • @77

    You don’t OWN the operating system of the computer you are currently using either but you obviously still use it right?

  • Consider adding a trophy to the PS3 version that checks to see if you have PSP version’s game save data (when USB plugged in). Add a trophy patch to reward fans of the series who have beat both the original and the portable versions.

  • Cant wait to buy it but still stuck on the trophies from SSHD.

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