Sony is set to expand the reach of PSP development with a new programme enabling universities to gain access to the same professional tools available to commercial game developers.
The non-commercial scheme was announced by Sarah Lemarié, who is Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's academic liaison, at the Games:Education day of the Develop Conference in Brighton.
It builds on the existing PlayStation 2 Linux programming scheme run by over 20 UK universities. It will enable the institutions to buy the same hardware development kits as professional developers for what Lemarié described as a "vastly reduced rate".
It will also ship with the same ProDG programming tools and debuggers used by commercial studios. Online support will be provided with a cloned version of the professional development website, with students able to create their own accounts so they can access and interact within their own forums.
Further details will to be announced soon, but the computer programming courses at University of Abertay Dundee, Sheffield Hallam and Hull universities are expected to be the launch partners for the service.